Why is the Virgin blue?
The Virgin of Guadalupe (an incarnation of the Virgin Mary) frequently wears blue as a convention of visual communication. In the same way, certain saints always hold specific objects images such as these were meant to communicate to a largely illiterate public. By developing a standard way to represent The Virgin, Christ, The Saints etc. it was ensured the message could be conveyed regardless of literacy.
If you head to the 3rd floor to see our Italian Renaissance paintings, you'll notice more of this standardized iconography.
Cool! Is this concept also applicable to Hindu paintings?
In a broad sense yes, iconography functions to deliver a clear message through easily understood symbols. Obviously Hindu paintings of Shiva are blue for a different reason, but the idea of clear communication is at the core.
What does the inscription on the lower part of this painting mean?
The inscription reads: "Se ácabó este Lienzo el dia primero de/Sbre d 1824 año: Lo pinto Ysidro Escamilla"
It gives the date on which this work was painted (September 1, 1824) and the name of the artist (Isidro Escamilla).
Can you tell me about the image?
This work is an example of the type of art being produced in Mexico after the colonial period ended and Mexico gained its independence from Spain in 1821. While these are all very clearly Catholic images, the work really shows a blending of Native and Spanish styles.
The Virgin of Guadalupe (an incarnation of the Virgin Mary) frequently wears blue as a convention of visual communication. In the same way, certain saints always hold specific objects images such as these were meant to communicate to a largely illiterate public. By developing a standard way to represent The Virgin, Christ, the saints, etc. it was ensured the message could be conveyed regardless of the viewer's literacy.
Who was the Virgin of Guadalupe?
The Virgin of Guadalupe is the patron saint of Mexico and a symbol of Mexican independence. According to tradition, the Virgin Mary (earthly mother of Jesus Christ) appeared to Juan Diego, an Aztec convert to Christianity in December of 1531. She requested that a shrine be built to her. This was the first of a network of shrines dedicated to Mary across Mexico. The small scenes in the corners show her story. The roses on either side of her refer to the roses the Virgin miraculously made appear in the winter.
What is this about?
This painting shows the Virgin of Guadalupe, an incarnation of the Virgin Mary. This version of her was painted by Isidro Escamilla. She is a symbol of the veracity of Christianity, and particularly Catholicism.
The Virgin Mary also became a nationalist symbol when Mexico gained independence in 1821. The visual language used to depict her includes the distinctive blue mantle, a traditional way of showing Mary throughout history.