Virgin in Prayer
- unknown artist
Unknown artist, Virgin in Prayer, about 1675. Oil paint on wood panel; 19½ × 13⅝ in. Gift of the Stapleton Foundation of Latin American Colonial Art, made possible by the Renchard family, 1990.518.
Juan Bautista Vásquez de Arce y Ceballos (c. 1630-1677) was a Colombian artist who seems to have spent most of his career in the artistic workshop of his younger brother, Gregorio, in Bogotá. This composition of the Virgin with head bowed and hands together in prayer is found throughout much of South America. Likely originating with prints by the German artist Albrecht Dürer and copied extensively in Italy and Spain, it may have been introduced to the Americas by Italian-immigrant artists such as Bernardo Bitti and Angelino Medoro in the late 1500s. Evidence exists that the Vásquez workshop had access to a copy of a painting of same subject by Italian artist Sassoferato (1609-1685). The Vásquez workshop is known to have produced at least eleven paintings of this topic.
-- Donna Pierce, 2015