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Virgen de Monserrate

ca. 1775-1825 Unidentified (Puerto Rican) oil on canvas lined with masonite image: 7 3/8 x 5 3/8 in. (18.8 x 13.8 cm.) Smithsonian American Art Museum Teodoro Vidal Collection 1996.91.10 Smithsonian American Art Museum
Luce Foundation Center, 3rd Floor, 21B


Luce Center Label

In this devotional painting the Virgin is shown seated with the Christ child in her lap. Behind the figures rise the Monserrate Mountains, near Barcelona, where a Benedictine abbey was built. Monserrate, or “sawed mountain,” refers to the vertical fissures caused by earthquakes in the mountains. Spanish immigrants brought images of the Virgin of Monserrate to Puerto Rico. The most famous miracle credited to her on the island took place near Hormigueros, when the Virgin interceded to save a man from a charging bull. Her image was popular in Puerto Rico, where carved and painted versions were widely copied from mass-produced prints and prayer cards.

Keywords

Religion - New Testament - Christ

Religion - New Testament - Mary

painting

paint - oil

fabric - canvas

fiberboard - masonite