Saying the Quiet Part Out Loud
I am loving these art history videos from Art Deco that analyze individual paintings. She does inject a bit too much of her modern-influenced perspective, but really, not a huge amount. Most of us would sneak in our biases far more.
I agree. Good analysis. The title of the painting suggests that the ‘marriage’ is not theologically sound to begin with; but there’s a historical practice called ‘morganatic marriage’ that was dedicated to enshrining inequality in marriage.
The bit about "whoever objects, let him speak now, etc." is not part of the Orthodox marriage rite, by the way. The bride and groom are instead generally queried by the priest, independently of the service itself, if they are without constraint. The latter aspect might have been different in pre-revolutionary Russia, I suppose. And certainly it would not necessarily exclude social pressures of the sort mentioned in the analysis.
It is used in movies as a device to rescue the bride, but the original meaning was indeed about "constraint," though usually of another sort. Was one of them already married to someone else? Were they near relatives that would ordinarily be prevented from marrying. It was because of the sacramental nature that the direction was to "forever hold your peace." Once the marriage was enacted it was a permanent bond, even if it came out later that it should not have happened.
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