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Virgin of Quito

European Art

On View: Luce Visible Storage and Study Center, 5th Floor
Polychromed sculptures made in Quito and Guatemala were particularly admired and collected throughout Spanish America in the eighteenth century. This finely carved Virgin adorned with a silver halo and wings is a variant of the Woman of the Apocalypse commissioned by the Franciscans for the main altar of their church in Quito (see illustration). Numerous versions were created in Quito, one of the viceroyalty’s top merchant cities, for popular consumption and export to other parts of Spanish America, including the Caribbean, where they graced salas and private chapels. The 1784 inventory of Manuel Herrera, a Creole member of the city council in Oruro, Bolivia, lists “several sculptures of saints with silver additions” in the sala.


Las esculturas policromadas hechas en Quito y Guatemala eran particularmente admiradas y coleccionadas en toda Hispanoamérica en el siglo XVIII. Esta Virgen finamente tallada, adornada con una aureola y alas de plata, es una variación de la Mujer del Apocalipsis comisionada por los Franciscanos para el altar principal de su iglesia en Quito (ver ilustración). Numerosas versiones fueron creadas en Quito, una de las ciudades mercantiles más importantes del virreinato, para consumo popular y exportación a otras partes de Hispanoamérica, incluido el Caribe, donde adornaban salas y capillas privadas. En el inventario de 1784 de Manuel Herrera, un miembro criollo del concilio ciudadano de Oruro, Bolivia, se catalogan “varias estatuas de santos con adiciones de plata” en la sala.

MEDIUM Polychromed wood and silver
  • Place Made: Quito, Ecuador
  • DATES second half of the 18th century
    DIMENSIONS 25 1/2 x 13 x 6 3/4in. (64.8 x 33 x 17.1cm)  (show scale)
    COLLECTIONS European Art
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is on view in Luce Visible Storage and Study Center, 5th Floor
    ACCESSION NUMBER 58.37
    CREDIT LINE Gift of Mrs. Giles Whiting
    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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    CAPTION Virgin of Quito, second half of the 18th century. Polychromed wood and silver, 25 1/2 x 13 x 6 3/4in. (64.8 x 33 x 17.1cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Mrs. Giles Whiting, 58.37. Creative Commons-BY
    IMAGE overall, 58.37_SL1.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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