Mary, Untier of Knots by Johann Georg Melchior Schmidtner
Reproduction made in oil on canvas with semicircular arch of “Mary, Untier of Knots”, also known as “Mary, Undoer of Knots”.
The painting depicts the Virgin Mary surrounded by angels where one of them, to the left of the Virgin, holds a ribbon full of knots, Mary unties them and gives the ribbon without knots to another angel on her right. In the scene, the Virgin steps on the head of a snake that represents the devil. On the other hand, at the bottom of the painting, an angel guides a person on a path to a village. The knots is a metaphor that represents the problems of human beings.
This painting became famous for Pope Francis’ devotion to the Virgin Desatanudos. The story begins when Monsignor Jorge Mario Bergoglio, Para Francisco, brought to his native Argentina a postcard of The Virgin Desatanudos after being impressed by the devotion they professed to him in Augsburg.
In Argentina they commissioned a reproduction of the original painting that is now in the parish of San José del Talar in Buenos Aires, and so the devotion in Argentina for Mary who unties the knots grew, which today has spread to several Latin American countries.