The Virgin of Nuremberg, commonly known as the Iron Maiden, is a torture device that stimulate our senses in a very particular way. We preferred to adopt the name “Virgin of Nuremberg” inspired by the most famous “Maiden” ever created, built in the city of Nuremberg – Germany – and described as one of the most terrifying examples.
Her origins (as Iron Maiden) are wrongly associated to the middle-ages, maybe because of her vile aspect and the rawness of the materials “she” was made of. But the fact is: it was not conceived before the 18th century.
The classic 2 meters “Virgin” was originally designed with a Virgin Mary on the top, placed by the inquisitors, symbolically describing the triumph of the christianity over the heresy and heterodoxy. The carnal pain and the agonising time passed in that “dark womb” was interpreted as purifier and absolver of the heretic’s sins.
Visually speaking, our attention is firstly drawn to her head, a visage of an innocent virgin, sometimes portrait screaming in pain, and some other times just emotionless, which looks a lot more disturbing – That face of hers is powerful enough to awake our most chilling nightmares – Her eyes are both full of darkness and emptiness with a reprobative look (Christian style).
As we observe her body, it resembles a lady’s dress but it opens like a cabinet or a sarcophagus full of sharp and long spikes. It is not a coincidence to rank “her” as one of the most excruciating torture devices ever made. As an object, finds itself a terrifying balance between loathsome appearance and sadistic functionality.