Our Lady of Guadalupe (on silk)
Juan Bernabé Palomino (1692–1777).
R [etra]to de S [an]ta María Virgen de Guadalupe.
Engraving on silk.
Madrid: Juan Bernabé Palomino, 1740. (BRB1310)
The exhibited engraving on silk depicts the Virgin of Guadalupe, who in Catholic belief appeared to the peasant Juan Diego in Mexico in 1531. Produced by the Spanish Royal engraver in Madrid, the print shows the traditional image of the Virgin Mary in prayer, standing upon a crescent moon, clothed in the rays of the sun, lifted into the heavens by an angel. Four subsidiary scenes depict Juan Diego’s three visions of the Virgin and the appearance of both the iconic image of the Virgin and out-of-season roses upon his cloak, the miracles that finally convinced Bishop Juan de Zumárraga to build the first shrine in her honor.
Engraved on silk, this luxurious but fragile devotional image served as a memento of a more recent miracle: in 1736 and early 1737, when an outbreak of typhoid fever killed nearly two hundred thousand Mexicans, many believed that the Virgin of Guadalupe was responsible for ending the epidemic. On April 27, 1737, a date commemorated on the engraving, the Virgin of Guadalupe was officially adopted as Mexico’s patron saint.