Ring dating of the pine panels on which Fresquís painted his retablos (paintings of saints) reveals that he may have been working as early as 1780; if so, heis probably the first native-born New Mexican santero (creator of saint images). The image of Our Lady of Guadalupe, the patroness of Mexico, is one of the most popular of all religious subjects for Mexican-Americans. A miracle was said to have occurred in 1531 when the Virgin Mary reportedly visited a converted Indian, Juan Diego, as he was walking to mass outside Mexico City. The image of the Virgin, it was claimed, was miraculously imprinted upon Diego's cloak after her fourth appearance and was widely copied in prints and paintings. The decorative borders of the painting, scratched through the wet paint, are characteristic of Fresquís's work.
Lynda Roscoe Hartigan Made with Passion: The Hemphill Folk Art Collection in the National Museum of American Art (Washington, D.C. and London: National Museum of American Art with the Smithsonian Institution Press, 1990)