Saturday, December 13, 2008

08/09 Academic Decathlon Image #11

Untitled (Our Lady of Guadalupe), a page accompanying a thesis submitted to the law faculty in Guadalajara by Joseph Turibius Gonzalez et Ramirez, Francisco Aguera Bustamante, Engraver, 1796, engraving, 11.1 x 7.3 cm (image) (Art during the Colonial Era)

This particular kind of image of the Virgin Mary is specific to Mexico and is still an very important symbol of national identity. She is reported to have appeared in Mexico in 1531 just after the Spaniards defeated the Aztecs. During this time, large numbers of Aztecs were converting to Christianity.

The narrative specific to this vision of the Virgin involves a poor Aztec man , Juan Diego Cuauhtlatoatzin (1471-1548). He had already converted to the Catholic religion. One day on his travels, he experienced a vision of the Virgin on a hill. She sent him to the bishop with the request for a church dedicated to her in that spot. Not surprisingly, when he delivered his story of the vision and instructions, he was spurned by Bishop Juan de Zumarraga.

Juan Diego went back to the spot, waiting to see the Virgin again. When she made another miraculous appearance, she dispatched him to find a rare species of rose that would not have normally been growing at that time of the year. He set off on his mission and wrapped the flowers in his tilma (a type of cape). The virgin arranged the garment with the flowers and sent him back to the Bishop.

When he opened his cape to reveal the flowers, a miraculous image of the Virgin appeared on his garment, and the Bishop fell to his knees and agreed to build the church at the top of the hill where there had been an Aztec temple. The power of the miracle has transferred to this symbol as the patron of the masses.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Cassandra Huerta
♥I like the detail of this painting even though there is no contrasting colors the way it was shaded has a certain light focus and it makes it feel as if there is like a ray of light casted on the virgen of guadalupe i really like this picture because it is a representation of my culture and my religion this is a really phenomenal picture it is sort of like an abbozzo. This picture is very beautiful.♥