Our Lady of Mount Carmel
- Rafael Aragon, c. 1795 - 1862
Santa Fe, NM Cordova, NM
Paint and gesso on wood panel.
Gift of Morton D. May
Rafael Aragon. Our Lady of Mount Carmel. circa 1840. Paint and gesso on wood panel.. Gift of Morton D. May. 1969.155.
Dimensionsheight: 19.5 in, 49.5300 cm; width: 16.5 in, 41.9100 cm
DepartmentMayer Center, Latin American Art
When Spanish settlers arrived in the southwestern United States at the end of the 1500s, they brought with them paintings and sculptures of Catholic saints for their churches and homes. Soon afterward a local tradition of making such images developed. Spanish devotional artists (santeros) learned from local Pueblo Indians how to make paints from native plants and minerals. They combined these homemade paints with oil paints imported from Mexico to make images of religious figures known as bultos (sculptures) and retablos (paintings on wood panels). Both are still made in the area today. This image represents the Virgin of Mt. Carmel (known as Carmen in Spanish). According to legend, the Virgin Mary once appeared to a group of Christian hermits on Mt. Carmel in the Holy Land and offered them a short shoulder cape called a scapular. Later, miniature scapulars that look like double-ended necklaces were worn by the faithful as a reminder of personal devotion. Often in images both the Virgin and Christ Child hold scapulars. -- Donna Pierce, 2015
Known ProvenanceGifted 4 June 1969 by Morton D. May, Denver, CO, to the Denver Art Museum. Provenance research is on-going at the Denver Art Museum. Please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, if you have questions, or if you have additional information to share with us.