Our Lady of Guadalupe: The Painting, the Legend and the Reality

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McFarland & Company, 2006 - Art - 261 pages
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According to legend, on December 8, 1531, the Virgin Mary appeared to the newly Christianized Juan Diego on the Mexican hill of Tepeyacac. As proof of her divine visit, she miraculously imprinted her image upon his mantle. That image, known as Our Lady of Guadalupe, has become a symbol of national consciousness in Mexico and a talisman for Mexican Americans. Yet its notable features include obviously European artistic techniques. How is it that Renaissance styles are employed in a 16th century Mexican icon supposedly not made by human hands? Looking beyond the divine explanation for the Lady's existence, author John Moffitt uses historical and artistic detective work to determine the work's earthly origin. Originally published in Spanish, this volume provides an in-depth study of Our Lady of Guadalupe. It places the work within the context of art history as well as local contemporary events. The mundane origin of the painting is fully traced and investigated as well as the proliferation of the legend which led to the eventual canonization of Juan Diego as the first native Mexican saint. Appendices provide crucial related Spanish-language texts by Miguel Sanchez (1648) and Luis Laso de la Vega (1649, originally published in Nahuatl). Numerous illustrations are included.

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Spanish Marian Apparitions

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About the author (2006)

John F. Moffitt, Professor Emeritus of Art History, New Mexico State University, lives in Las Cruces. He is most recently the author of The Enthroned Corpse of Charlemagne (2006), Caravaggio in Context (2004), The Islamic Design Module in Latin America (2004) and translator and editor of Andrea Alciatis A Book of Emblems (2004).

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