Roger Thayer Stone Center For Latin American Studies

Tulane University

Talk by Luisa Elena Alcalá

January 28th, 2010
6:30 PM

Location
Newcomb Art Department
210 Woldenberg Art Center

“Guadalupe’s Others: Rethinking Marian Devotion in Colonial Mexico”

Luisa Elena Alcalá is a Professor of Art History at the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid. This event is being sponsored by the Department of Spanish and Portuguese, Newcomb Art Department, Stone Center for Latin American Studies and the Newcomb College Institute. Admission is free and open to the public. Reception immediately following. For more information please contact Laura Richens at 504.314.2228 or at http://carrollgallery.tulane.edu.

Abstract:
The Virgin of Guadalupe´s history has largely been written as a triumphalist narrative in which the miraculous origin story of the image – first recorded in 1648 – gained widespread following due largely to creole Mexican support. This sector of the population saw the devotion as a powerful marker of a local Mexican (as opposed to Spanish or European) identity because the image had reportedly appeared in Tepeyac to a Christianized Indian by the name of Juan Diego. The culmination of the project to elevate the status of the Virgin of Guadalupe came in 1737 when she was named patron of the city and in 1746, patron of the entire viceroyalty. While Guadalupe´s rising star is unquestionable, the Marian landscape of urban Mexico was rich and complex, and a number of additional miracle-working images of the Virgin competed for the limelight during this same period. This paper will discuss Guadalupe in terms of the iconographic innovations that this community of Marian images sparked. I focus especially on the way in which these same creoles (many of them Jesuits) promoted the cult to the Virgin of Loreto and her image housed in the Society of Jesus´s church for the indigenous population in Mexico City, San Gregorio.

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