A painting of an image of the Virgin Mary from the 1750s made an apparition at this auction.
Mexican School of the Maravilla Americana, The Virgin of Guadalupe, c. 1750, oil on canvas, 209 x 123 cm/82.28 x 48.42 in.
Ever since the Virgin Mary appeared on a hill in Mexico in 1531 to Juan, a young Aztec converted to Catholicism by Spanish missionaries, she has been worshipped across the country as Our Lady of Guadalupe or the Virgin of Guadalupe. Her image is said to have been miraculously imprinted on the boy’s coat as proof of her apparitions to him, as he was offering Spanish roses to the bishop of the city. After a long process led by the Catholic Church, she was proclaimed Queen of Mexico and Empress of the Americas. During Mexico's war of independence, she was considered a national symbol.
Since the 17th century, Mexican artists have depicted the Virgin Mary according to a seldom-varying canon: lost in contemplation, her head bowed in prayer framed by a sunburst mandorla. Only the settings change. Here, she is surrounded by cherubs and bouquets of roses evoking the primordial moment of her apparition. The large painting (209 x 123 cm/ 82.28 x 48.42) fetched €72,390.