This Is Where You've Seen Beyoncé's Divine Grammys Performance Before

Photo Credit: Larry Busacca / Staff.
To say that Beyoncé has consistently given her fans incredibly crafted pieces of audio and visual art over the past year is an understatement. The 2017 Grammys were no different. For those who watched live, it was a stunning performance that far surpassed every other singer that dared to take the stage after her.
Surrounded by a dozen or so dancers, and wearing a literal golden halo, Beyoncé looked like an actual goddess. For such a unique performance, Queen Bey also looked a little familar. That's because the incredible artist has managed to morph herself into a myriad of divine women spanning multiple religions and cultures. The nine-minute long art piece was dripping with religious allegories and references to the most mysifying women. You basically got a mini-lesson in female dieties and didn't even realize it.
To fully grasp the symbolism behind the costume, visuals, and choreography, we breakdown the five main mythological and religious figures that influenced the iconic performance.
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Larry Busacca / Staff
The Virgin Mary

One glance at Bey seated on the floor between her mother, Tina, and daughter, Blue, and it's clear this is an homage to the image of Madonna. Most commonly painted during the Italian Renaissance, the Virgin Mary is one of the most popular subjects in art, second only to Christ himself. While Mary is not always shown with Christ, the pregnant Beyoncé bears a great resemblence to the Virgin Mary as she tradionally appears, seated and surrounded by members of the church also donning halos.
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Larry Busacca / Staff.
Oshun, the African Goddess of Love and Beauty

Beyoncé's golden hue is referencing the African water goddess Oshun. The Yoruba goddess of love, fertility and female sensuality, she is often shown wearing yellow, and around water. In fact, Beyoncé's yellow dress from "Sorry" is also an homage to the water goddess. The fertility symbolism is even more profound for this performance now that she is pregnant with twins.
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Mami Wata, Mother of Water

Mami Wata is a mermaid-like figure, who is half-woman and half-aquatic, according to tradition. She is found in water, and is as dangerous as she is seductive. Her name also means "Mother Water," which combines two reoccuring ideas of the performance. Mami Wata's tales stem from Africa, but also draws on dieites from Hinduism, European mermaid folklore, and Christian saints.
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Black Madonna

Bey also specifically calls upon Black Madonna, a depiction of Mary that most frequently appeared in art in the early medieval years. Her likeness to one specific statue, as one Twitter user points out, is incredible.
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Durga, the Hindu Goddess and Mother of the Universe

Again, Beyoncé is focusing on the most important mother dieities and figures from different cultures. Durga is seen as the mother of the universe in Hinduism and is often depicted as a beautiful woman with eight to ten arms. At one point, Beyonce builds on this imagery when she has her surrounding dancers spread their arms and silk pieces around her, giving the illusion of multiple limbs.
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Frazer Harrison / Staff
Traditional Christian Iconography

All of Bey's backup dancers were dressed in similar muted floor length dresses and golden halos. The use of a shining orb around the crown of religious figures has been used in art for centuries. The earth and water tones of their dresses were also a reference to the outfits worn in the music video for "Love Drought."
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The Last Supper

A nod to both Leonardo da Vinci's "The Last Supper" painting, and her younger sister Solange's conceptual album, A Seat At The Table, Beyoncé combined modern art with a biblical story. She then turned the reference on its head by adding a bit of magic realism when her chair tilts upwards on its own.