Mormon Church condemned for photoshopping painting of Virgin Mary

Church cover-up! Mormon leaders are condemned for PHOTOSHOPPING 1650 painting of the Virgin Mary and Baby Jesus to cover her bust and shoulders and remove angels

  • The Church of the Latter-day Saint (LDS) altered Carlo Maratta’s 1650s painting The Holy Night 
  • They removed the three angels flanking Mary and brought her neckline up higher to cover the small amount of cleavage Maratta’s painting had 
  • LDS largely preaches modesty, especially among its female members 
  • The European sector of the church also blurred Jesus’ genitals in Domenico Ghirlandaio’s nativity scene this year 
  • In 2011, it also altered Carl Bloch’s The Resurrection by removing the angels’ wings and covering the females’ shoulders 

The Church of the Latter-day Saint (LDS) have been condemned for photoshopping a 17th Century painting of the Virgin Mary to make her clothing more modest. 

LDS released 18 nativity scene images for its members to download for the holiday season, including an edited image of Italian painter Carlo Maratta’s 1650s painting The Holy Night painting, which has since been taken off the site. 

In Maratta’s original artwork, Mary can be seen flanked by three angels while she held her newborn close to her chest, which the painter included a tiny bit of cleavage. 

However, the classic artwork was modified before being released to the church’s members, drawing her neckline up higher and eliminated the angels surrounding her. 

The Church of the Latter-day Saint (LDS) altered Carlo Maratta’s 1650s painting The Holy Night. In Maratta’s original (pictured) artwork, Mary can be seen flanked by three angels while she held her newborn close to her chest, which the painter included a tiny bit of cleavage

The classic artwork was modified before being released to the church’s members, drawing her neckline up higher and eliminated the angels surrounding her.

The image was originally edited in 2016, according to the Salt Lake Tribute, but only recently have the modifications been noticed.

DailyMail.com has recached out the LDS for comment.  

Dissenters, including the Salt Lake Tribune’s columnist Gordon Monson, have criticized the church altering the classic painting. 

Monson said the alteration sent the ‘aforementioned message to women that there’s something shameful about their bodies.’ 

‘We get it. The church is all-in on modesty. But the attendant shame put upon women coming alongside that overemphasis on keeping themselves covered backfires on the church, not just in the harm it creates among women and women’s self-esteem, but also in sexualizing them as objects or, even worse, possessions,’ he wrote. 

‘Nothing wrong with respecting women; nothing wrong with modesty, but when the church drapes a shirt over the Virgin Mary in classic art, eliminating the slightest bit of cleavage, what exactly does that do?

The European sector of the church also blurred Jesus’ genitals in Domenico Ghirlandaio’s nativity scene (pictured) this year during their Christmas concert 


In 2011, it also altered Carl Bloch’s The Resurrection by removing the angels’ wings and covering the females’ shoulders

‘It draws more attention to that form, sexualizes it, even in a rendering that depicts the mother of the Lord in complete innocence, adoring her newborn.’

He said the church’s messaging with the image was ‘overwrought and overbearing’ and was doing ‘more harm than good.’ 

This is not the first time LDS has alter classic artwork to their liking. 

The European section of the group edited Baby Jesus’ genitals at a Witness of Christmas concert, which was posted to its YouTube page. 

It altered Domenico Ghirlandaio’s nativity by blurring out Christ’s genitals during the brief moment the artwork appeared on the screen. 

The church also altered Carl Bloch’s The Resurrection, where Jesus is flanked by two angels. LDS removed the wings from the angels, as the church doesn’t believe angels have wings. They also added capped sleeves to the female angels to cover their shoulder.  

The church has not commented on the alteration, but has since removed the image from its site (pictured: LDS church in Salt Lake City) 

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