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Our Lady of Cocharcas on the Altar

Arequipa School

American Art

Indigenous traditions gave rise to distinctly Spanish American iterations of Catholic faith. In the stories of local cults, Christianized Indians figure prominently as witnesses to miraculous apparitions of the Virgin Mary and demonstrations of her healing powers.

This painting shows a statue of Our Lady of Cocharcas, whose cult following developed after Sebastián Quimichi, a young Indian, made a pilgrimage to Our Lady of Copacabana. He purchased a replica of the miraculous statue and returned to his hometown of Cocharcas, where it was the source of miracles and developed a cult following as Our Lady of Cocharcas. A narrative scene at the bottom of the altar on which the statue stands shows Quimichi, his importance emphasized by his exaggerated size.


Las tradiciones indígenas dieron lugar a variaciones de la fe católica con características particulares hispanoamericanas. En las historias los de cultos locales, los indios cristianizados figuran prominentemente como testigos de las apariciones milagrosas de la Virgen María y de las demostraciones de sus poderes de curación.

Esta pintura muestra una estatua de Nuestra Señora de Cocharcas, cuyo culto surgió después de que Sebastián Quimichi, un joven indio, hiciera una peregrinación a Nuestra Señora de Copacabana. Allí compró una réplica de la estatua milagrosa, la que al volver a su ciudad natal de Cocharcas se convirtió en fuente de milagros, creando el culto a Nuestra Señora de Cocharcas. La escena narrativa en la base del altar que sostiene a la estatua muestra a Quimichi, enfatizando su importancia con su exagerado tamaño.

MEDIUM Oil on canvas
  • Place Made: Peru
  • DATES 18th century
    DIMENSIONS 34 7/8 x 30 1/8in. (88.6 x 76.5cm) frame: 41 1/4 x 36 1/2 x 2 1/4 in. (104.8 x 92.7 x 5.7 cm)  (show scale)
    COLLECTIONS American Art
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
    ACCESSION NUMBER 48.206.83
    CREDIT LINE Frank L. Babbott Fund, Frank Sherman Benson Fund, Carll H. de Silver Fund, A. Augustus Healy Fund, Caroline A.L. Pratt Fund, Charles Stewart Smith Memorial Fund, and Ella C. Woodward Memorial Fund
    RIGHTS STATEMENT No known copyright restrictions
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    CAPTION Arequipa School. Our Lady of Cocharcas on the Altar, 18th century. Oil on canvas, 34 7/8 x 30 1/8in. (88.6 x 76.5cm). Brooklyn Museum, Frank L. Babbott Fund, Frank Sherman Benson Fund, Carll H. de Silver Fund, A. Augustus Healy Fund, Caroline A.L. Pratt Fund, Charles Stewart Smith Memorial Fund, and Ella C. Woodward Memorial Fund, 48.206.83
    IMAGE overall, 48.206.83_PS6.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2012
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    RECORD COMPLETENESS Best (89%)
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