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Ca. 1503 Albrecht Dürer made a series drawings showing Maria surrounded by animals. One of these, “Maria mit den vielen Tieren”, is in the Albertina Museum, Vienna [1].

AMW_3066_Maria_mit_vielen_Tieren_3066

At the bottom, one of the animals is a dextral snail with four tentacles; it is, however, rather stylised. This is one of the examples in Dittrich & Dittrich [2] for the snail as symbol of Maria’s virginity.

AMW_3066_d

Notes:
[1] AMV, inv. 3066.
[2] Dittrich, S. & Dittrich, L. (2004). Lexikon der Tiersymbole. Tiere als Sinnbilder in der Malerei des 14.–17: 1–672. Jahrhunderts. Imhof, Petersberg [p. 464].

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