Holy Family (nun's badge)

Holy Family (nun's badge)

early 1600s
Luis Juárez, Mexican, ca. 1585 - 1639
Work Locations: Mexico
Nun's Badge
Oil paint on copper with a tortoise shell frame
Accession Number
Credit Line
Gift of the Collection of Frederick and Jan Mayer

Unknown artist, Holy Family (Nun’s Badge), early 1600s. Oil paint on copper with a tortoise shell frame; 4⅝ in. dia. Gift of the Collection of Frederick and Jan Mayer, 2013.363.

diameter: 4 2/3 in, 11.8533 cm
Mayer Center, Latin American Art
Latin American Art

Nun’s badges (escudos) are unique to Mexico.  Invented there in the seventeenth century, they were worn at the throat by Conceptionist and Jeronymite nuns over the habits of their respective orders. Representing images of the Virgin and saints significant to the order and/or the individual nun, they were usually painted on round or oval sheets of copper and framed in tortoiseshell or wood. Many of the most famous artists in Mexico painted nun’s badges and some are signed by the artists. Although unsigned, this piece is attributed to the workshop or a follower of the important early 17th-century artist, Luis Juarez, founder of a dynasty of artists in Mexico.
--Donna Pierce, 2015

Known Provenance
Gifted 25 November 2103 by the Frederick and Jan Mayer Collection of Denver, CO, to the Denver Art Museum. Provenance research is on-going at the Denver Art Museum. Please e-mail provenance@denverartmuseum.org, if you have questions, or if you have additional information to share with us.
Exhibition History
  • "Heaven and Earth: The Jan and Frederick Mayer Collection of Spanish Colonial Art from the Denver Art Museum, Jun 16-Oct 8, 2006, Museo de las Americas, Denver
  • "From Viceregal to Verancular: Painting in Colonial Mexico and New Mexico," Nov 17, 2006-Apr 29, 2007, Museum of Spanish Colonial Art, Santa Fe