Virgin of Guadalupe and Saint Juan Nepomuceno

Two themes developed in the New Spain, mainly in the eighteenth Century are addressed in this exhibition: cults for the Virgin of Guadalupe and Saint Juan Nepomuceno, both themes reached great popularity among artists of that period.

Marco | Virgen de Guadalupe (1850/1876) by José MayorgaAmparo Museum

Frame | Virgin of Guadalupe

Rectangular frame with rounded corners. Smooth and molded with convex, stepped and half-round fillets, it boasts, according to traditional schemes in New Spain and Mexican silver works, an ornamental relief at the corners and halfway point of the sides, based on flowers, berries, foliage and vegetal ces. The main theme of the decoration rests, however, on the roses which comprise the beautiful and emblematic rosebush crest whose double symbolism alludes both to the mystery of the rosary, and the apparition of the Virgin of Guadalupe, imprinted miraculously on Juan Diego's tilma (blanket-like garment) when the roses that she had asked him cut at the top of the hill of Tepeyac fell.   

Marco | Virgen de Guadalupe (1850/1876) by José MayorgaAmparo Museum

Frame | Virgin of Guadalupe

Virgen de Guadalupe con las cuatro apariciones (1700/1800) by AnónimoAmparo Museum

The Virgin of Guadalupe with the Four Apparitions

This image is an example of one of the most widespread forms of representation of the devotion to the Virgin of Guadalupe: the Virgin in the center with the four apparitions on shields in each corner, and floral ornaments surrounding her. The colorful flowers are rich, and shades of blue are used, which are not present in the original Guadalupana, to generate volume in the cloak. This type of painting, therefore, is a very clear example of how the worship of the Virgin of Guadalupe resulted in, and probably also caused, the reproduction of the miraculous image by adapting it to particular tastes and formats. 

Virgen de Guadalupe con las cuatro apariciones (1700/1800) by AnónimoAmparo Museum

The Virgin of Guadalupe with the Four Apparitions

Virgen de Guadalupe (1700/1800) by AnónimoAmparo Museum

Virgin Guadalupe

Everything seems to indicate that it is a sculpture from the eighteenth century with glass eyes, carved in polychrome and estofada wood, whose imperial crown was added in the nineteenth century, perhaps substituting a royal crown that matched with a perhaps more ancient radiance. 

Virgen de Guadalupe (1700/1800) by AnónimoAmparo Museum

Virgin Guadalupe

Virgen de Guadalupe con donantes indígenas (1700/1800) by AnónimoAmparo Museum

Virgin of Guadalupe with Indigenous Donors

This piece is a representation in the local style of the Virgin of Guadalupe; not a precise one as if a "true copy"  but one that includes all of her distinguishing features to preserve her  identity. In this case the Guadalupana is represented as if the painter had seen her image or copied it from a print, with no help other than his own ability.

Virgen de Guadalupe con donantes indígenas (1700/1800) by AnónimoAmparo Museum

Virgin of Guadalupe with Indigenous Donors

Virgen de Guadalupe con el Santuario (1700/1725) by AnónimoAmparo Museum

The Virgin of Guadalupe with the Shrine

This painting is of great iconographic interest, despite its state of preservation and the more local execution. It is associated with the representations of the Virgin of Guadalupe that are surrounded by flowers, as well as the four apparitions similar  to the way they were engraved by Matías de Arteaga y Alfaro (1685).

Virgen de Guadalupe con el Santuario (1700/1725) by AnónimoAmparo Museum

The Virgin of Guadalupe with the Shrine

Escultura de San Juan Nepomuceno (1700) by AnónimoAmparo Museum

Saint Juan Nepomuceno

Saint Juan Nepomuceno, patron saint of confessors, is presented in this piece dressed in canon, cassock, surplice, hood, and devoid of symbols, although for the arrangement of the hands he must have been holding them originally.  With a serene, calm and self-centered expression, it shows a balance of proportions and volumes.

Escultura de San Juan Nepomuceno (1700) by AnónimoAmparo Museum

Saint Juan Nepomuceno

San Juan Nepomuceno (1700/1800) by José de PáezAmparo Museum

Saint Juan Nepomuceno

One of the renowned artists in the field of worship painting of the 18th century in the capital of the Vice-royalty was Jose de Paez, who painted high quality works.  Paez chose to represent Saint Juan Nepomuceno in an intimate moment of prayer instead of his martyrdom, highlighting the peace of his acts. This simple and convincing piece meets its objective by presenting the saint in a direct and human way, but with a divine softness.

San Juan Nepomuceno (1700/1800) by José de PáezAmparo Museum

Saint Juan Nepomuceno

San Juan Nepomuceno con escenas de su vida, martirio y muerte (1805) by AnónimoAmparo Museum

Saint John of Nepomuk with Scenes from his Life

 This work, from the beginning of the 19th century with a slightly more traditional and regional execution, represents Saint John of Nepomuk inside a room with a burst of glory, surrounded by boxes with scenes from his life, martyrdom and death, framed with serpentine golden lines. In the center, the saint appears dressed as a university student with his four capes, each one with the color of the faculty from which he received a doctorate, as well as a cap with tassels of the same colors.

San Juan Nepomuceno con escenas de su vida, martirio y muerte (1805) by AnónimoAmparo Museum

Saint John of Nepomuk with scenes from his Life, Martyrdom and Death

San Juan Nepomuceno (1700/1800) by Miguel CabreraAmparo Museum

Saint John of Nepomuk  

San Juan Nepomuceno (1700/1800) by Miguel CabreraAmparo Museum

Saint John of Nepomuk

In the Collection of Religious Art of the Amparo Museum there are several paintings and some sculptures representing St. John of Nepomuk, which reflect the popularity of the saint in the 18th century. The painting by Miguel Cabrera, which depicts him praying before a crucifix, is without a doubt a subtle, restrained, and at the same effective piece because it shows a moment of intimate reflection in tune with the turn that painting had taken during the mid-18th century.  

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