Anonymous, Cuzco School, Peru
The Virgin of the Pilgrims and Child
18th century
Oil on canvas
71.3 x 57.5 cm
The Arthur and Madeleine Chalette Lejwa Collection, bequeathed by Madeleine Chalette Lejwa, New York, to American Friends of the Israel Museum
Accession number: B00.0131

The Virgin Mary was a popular subject among Cuzco artists. In this depiction of the Virgin of the Pilgrims, both mother and child wear the travelerís broad-brimmed hat (montera), indicating that this was a processional image. The triangular form of the Virginís spectacular gold-stamped dress alludes to the shape of a mountain, a manifestation of Pachamama, the Andean Earth Mother and symbol of the earthís fertility. Thus, she is not only a Christian symbol, but also a representation of ancestral, Precolumbian beliefs.

From the Israel Museum publications:
Apter-Gabriel, Ruth (Ed.), The Arthur and Madeleine Chalette Lejwa Collection in the Israel Museum, The Israel Museum, Jerusalem, 2005
Artists' Choices, The Israel Museum, Jerusalem, 2010

Artists' Choices - Yinka Shonibare: Earth, Wind, Fire, and Water, Israel Museum, Jerusalem, 26/07/2010 - 08/01/2011

Digital presentation of this object was made possible by: The Ridgefield Foundation, New York, in memory of Henry J. and Erna D. Leir

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