The Virgin Mary in the Art of Latin America 1520 - 1820

May 8, 2021
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Free and open to the public. This event will be held online through Zoom (registration required) and live-streamed to YouTube. This event is co-presented with the Harvard Catholic Forum and co-sponsored by the Saint Benedict Institute, the Nova Forum, the Institute for Advanced Catholic Studies, the Ars Vivendi Arts Initiative of the Collegium Institute, the St. Paul’s Catholic Center, the St. Lawrence Institute for Faith and Culture, and the New England Chapter of the Patron of the Arts Vatican Museums.

Latin Americans in colonial times had an abounding love for the Virgin Mary. During these 300 years, devotions to Mary proliferated widely, particularly among Amerindian groups who identified with her compassion, and her role as an intercessor and mother. The Virgin of Guadalupe is still the most important religious image in Latin America, but many other local devotions sprouted as well, each with distinctive imagery, in large cities and tiny villages, alike from Quito (present-day Ecuador) to Chiloé (Chilean Patagonia). This talk will explore how artists of every background and walk of life transformed imported European images of the Virgin to make her a truly Latin American saint.