The Virgin of Guadalupe - Research leads to symbolic unveiling

Essay by bouldergirlUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, November 2014

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Art History Research Paper: The Virgin of Guadalupe-Symbolic Discourse/Art History Analysis

Veronica Millman

Nov. 20, 2013

Sarah Zankownski 1PM Fri REC

Senora Carlson was my elementary school Spanish teacher. I attended a small private school where language was mandatory and we had Spanish class every day. My favorite day of the week was "día de cultura jueves" meaning culture day-Thursday. Every Thursday I would come to class excited for story-time, Senora Carlson had the best tales and got so into it with her facial expressions and voices, even props! As she spoke her legends, we (the students) would color in together a giant picture pertaining to the theme or symbol of the story. She taught us about everything from sir Cristofer Columbus, Hernan Cortez the Spanish conquistador, the Aztecs and Incas, and the sacred Valley of Toluca and the Virgin of Guadalupe. I remember the day I walked in with a beautiful big picture outline of the Virgin Mary in the middle of my table with coloring pencils surrounding it.

That day she told us about Juan Diego and the apparition of the Virgin of Guadalupe.

The Virgin of Guadalupe is displayed on a piece of fabric called a tilma. The image is almost identical to the famous picture of the Virgin Mary bowing her head in prayer with a light aura behind her only the skin is darker and the colors vary slightly. There isn't much color variation; it is pretty standard except the blue of her robe stands out a lot. According to research, the tilma contains no pigment source at all, indicating there was no traceable medium to produce the image therefore we call it an apparition or an acheiropoieton, "meaning some inevitably figurative artifact literally 'made without the [human] hand.'" (28, Moffitt...