Las Once Mil Virgenes

  • Francisco "Pacheco" Claudio, Las Once Mil Virgenes, first half of the 20th century, carved and painted wood, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Teodoro Vidal Collection, 1996.91.35A-D

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The rigid poses and identical dress of these carved figures evoke a choir. According to legend, St. Ursula was the daughter of a British Christian king. Betrothed against her will to a pagan prince, she made a pilgrimage to Rome to delay the wedding. For three years she sailed on a ship with a thousand virgins; ten noble virgins, each of whom traveled in her own ship with a thousand companion virgins, accompanied them. On their journey home to Britain, they were martyred in Cologne by the Huns after Ursula refused to marry their chief. A church was later built there to honor the maidens. Depictions of Las Once Mil Vírgenes are prevalent in Puerto Rican imagery. (Yvonne Lange, “Santos: The Household Wooden Saints of Puerto Rico,” PhD diss., 1975)

Las Once Mil Virgenes
first half of the 20th century
overall: 6 3/8 x 8 1/2 x 9 in. (16.2 x 21.6 x 22.8 cm.) A (first row): 6 1/8 x 8 1/2 x 2 in. (15.6 x 21.6 x 5.2 cm.) B (second row): 6 1/8 x 8 1/2 x 1 3/4 in. (15.6 x 21.6 x 4.5 cm.) C (third row): 6 x 8 3/8 x 1 3/4 in. (15.3 x 21.3 x 4.5 cm.) D (fourth row): 6 3/8 x 8 3/8 x 2 1/8 in. (16.2 x 21.3 x 5.4 cm.)
Credit Line

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Teodoro Vidal Collection

Mediums Description
carved and painted wood
  • Figure group – female
  • Religion – New Testament – Eleven Thousand Virgins
Object Number
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