Immaculate Conception as a Motif in Sacred Art: Two unpublished items from Rab, Croatia and Hrastovlje, Slovenia

Document Type: Original Article


1 M.D., Ph.D., Professor of the History of Medicine in ritired. Croatian Scientific Society for the History of Health Culture, Rijeka, Croatia

2 M.D., Ph.D. Child and adolescent health specialist. Teaching Institute for Public Health, Rijeka, Croatia

3 M.D. Ph.D., Specialist in gynaecology and obstetrics. Rijeka University School of Medicine, Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics. Rijeka, Croatia


From the historical and medical point of view, this paper purports to illustrate two motifs of Immaculate Conception in Christian art. The first painting is an altarpiece of unknown author from the 17th or 18th century, known as Our Lady of Conception in the church of St. Antony the Abbot in the city of Rab on the island of the same name in Croatia, and the other is a mural from 1490, Mary’s Annunciation of John from Kastav in the Holy Trinity Church in Hrastovlje, Slovenia. This review ends with the conclusion that Christianity, with the accompanying iconography, other than sending just a religious message, if properly perceived, may also encourage the believer to a series of practical, in this case, biological thoughts on conception, i.e. the beginning of life.