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Europe, Africa and the Americas, 1500-1830


Wim Klooster (Clark University) Benjamin Schmidt (University of Washington)









Cover illustration: Cristóbal de Villalpando, St. Teresa Interceding for Souls in Purgatory. 1708, Church of Santiago, Tuxpan, Michoacán, Mexico.

This book is printed on acid-free paper.

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

A C.I.P. record for this book is available from the Library of Congress.


ISBN-13: 978-90-04-15392-9 ISBN-10: 90-04-15392-6


© Copyright 2007 by Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands Koninklijke Brill NV incorporates the imprints Brill, Hotei Publishing, IDC Publishers, Martinus Nijhoff Publishers and VSP.

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Acknowledgments List of Illustrations

Introduction Kellen Kee McIntyre







Chapter One. The Queen of Heaven Reigns in New Spain: The Triumph of Eternity in the Casa del Deán Murals Penny C. Morrill

Chapter Two. Aections of the Heart: Female Imagery and the Notion of Nation in Nineteenth-Century Mexico Magali M. Carrera

Chapter Three. The Virgin of the Andes: Inka Queen and Christian Goddess Carol Damian

Chapter Four. Women and Men as Cosmic Co-Bearers at Oaxtepec, Mexico, about 1553 Richard E. Phillips









Chapter Five. Abused and Battered: Printed Images and the Female Body in Viceregal New Spain K. Donahue-Wallace


Chapter Six. Reclaiming Tlatilco’s Figurines from Biased Analysis María Elena Bernal-García


Chapter Seven. El encuentro de Cortés y Moctezuma:

The Betrothal of Two Worlds in Eighteenth-Century New Spain Ray Hernández-Durán


Chapter Eight. Nurture and Inconformity: Arrieta’s Images of Women, Food, and Beverage Jenny O. Ramírez




Chapter Nine. Clothing Women: The Female Body in Pre- and Post-Contact Aztec Art Lori Boornazian Diel


Chapter Ten. Savage Breast/Salvaged Breast:

Allegory, Colonization, and Wet-Nursing in Peru,



Carolyn Dean

Chapter Eleven. Emblems of Virtue in Eighteenth-Century New Spain Michael J. Schreer




Chapter Twelve. The Figure of Mary as the Cloister in Mexican Mendicant Art Richard E. Phillips





Chapter Thirteen. Convents, Art, and Creole Identity in Late Viceregal New Spain Elizabeth Perry


Chapter Fourteen. The Sweeping of the Way:

Rethinking the Mexican Ochpaniztli Festival Catherine R. DiCesare


Chapter Fifteen. Exploring a Female Legacy: Beatriz Álvarez de Herrera and the Façade of the Casa de Montejo



Cody Barteet

Chapter Sixteen. Isabel de Cisneros in Her Own Role




Chapter Seventeen. From Mujercilla to Conquistadora:


St. Teresa of Ávila’s Missionary Identity in Mexican Colonial Art Christopher C. Wilson





I extend my heartfelt thanks to all of our contributors who were

prompt, patient, and generous in their support of this project. I am indebted to all of the wonderful people at Brill Academic Publishers who worked so hard to bring this book to press. Among them: Julian Deahl who immediately understood the value of this project; our editors Marcella Mulder, Boris van Gool, Tanja Cowall, and Gera van Bedaf, who were patient and supportive to a fault; and the type- setters and designers who did such a beautiful job with the layout of the book. My writing partner, Richard E. Phillips, has been a delight to work with. The breadth and depth of his knowledge about Viceregal Latin American art and architecture continue to amaze me. And nally, I dedicate this book to my talented, funny, and wonderful husband, Eric F. Lane, whose support in this and every- thing else that I do is boundless.

Kellen Kee McIntyre

I would like to thank Dr. Nancy Moyer, Prof. Reynaldo Santiago,

and Prof. Richard N. Hyslin, successive Chairs of the Art Department of the University of Texas—Pan American, and Dr. Wallace Tucker, Interim Dean of the College of Arts and Humanities, for their sup- port of my ocial workload reduction for research purposes. Without this reduction, I could not have contributed to this book. I also thank the Association for Latin American Art and the Lozano Long Institute for Latin American Studies of the University of Texas at Austin for permitting us to post an announcement calling for contributors in their listserv and their weekly calendar, respectively. I thank the staof Brill Publishers for their constant guidance and encouragement of our project. I am most grateful to my co-editor Dr. Kellen Kee McIntyre for inventing the concept behind this book, for dening its theme, and for recruiting me to assist her with this project. I also thank Eric Lane for his assistance and encouragement in complet- ing this book. And I am grateful to Canek, Citlalli, and Alicia for their love and support. I dedicate my eorts on this volume to the memory of my parents, Frank and Marguerite Phillips.

Richard E. Phillips


Penny C. Morrill

Fig. 1.1 The Triumph of Love. Mural painting in the Casa del Deán, Puebla, Mexico. ca. 1580. Photo by Jorge Pérez de Lara. Fig. 1.2 The Triumph of Eternity/Ecclesia. Mural painting in the Casa del Deán, Puebla, Mexico. ca. 1580. Photo by Jorge Pérez de Lara. Fig. 1.3 Juno. An engraving from Francis Pomey, Pantheum mythicum, seu, Fabulosa deorum historia. Amsterdam: Ex Ocina Schou- teniana; Apud J. J. a Poolsum, 1757. Courtesy of the Chapin Library Collection, Williams College, Williamstown, Massachusetts.

Magali M. Carrera

Fig. 2.1 Patricio Súarez de Peredo, Alegoría de las autoridades españo- las e indígenas (Allegory of the Spanish and Indigenous Authorities). 1809, oil, approx. 170 × 90 cm. Museo Nacional del Virreinato, Mexico. Reproduction authorized by the Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia, Consejo Nacional de la Cultura (CONACULTA.-INAH.-MEX), Mexico. Fig. 2.2 Anon., Alegoría de la Independencia. 1834, oil, approx. 169 × 196 cm., Museo Casa de Hidalgo, Centro INAH-Guana- juato, Dolores Hidalgo, Mexico. Reproduction authorized by the Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia, Consejo Nacional de la Cultura (CONACULTA.-INAH.- MEX), Mexico. Fig. 2.3 Louis Charles Routte and Jacques-Louis Copia, after Louis- Marie Sicardi, La Liberté, Patrone des Français, after Louis- Simon Boizot. 1795, etching, S.P. Avery Collection, Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs, The New York Public Library, Astor, Lenox, and Tilden Foundations. Fig. 2.4 Petronilo Monroy, Constitución de 1857. Exhibited 1869, oil, approx. 170 × 90 cm., Museo Nacional de Arte, Mexico


list of illustrations

City. Reproduction authorized by the Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia, Consejo Nacional de la Cultura (CONACULTA.-INAH.-MEX), Mexico.

Fig. 2.5 Frontispiece. Color lithograph. In Vicente Riva Palacio,

vol. I (México City:

ed., México a través de los siglos Ballescá, 1887–1889), n.p.

Carol Damian

Fig. 3.1

Anon., School of Cuzco, Coya or Ñusta. 18th c., oil on can-

Fig. 3.2

vas, 75” × 47”, Museo Arqueológico, Cuzco, Peru. Anon., School of Cuzco, Virgin of the Rosary of Pomata. 18th

Fig. 3.3

c., oil on canvas, 78” × 51”, Museo Pedro de Osma, Lima, Peru. Anon., Alto Perú, La Virgen María con el cerro de Potosí (The

Fig. 3.4

Virgin Mary with the Mountain of Potasiama). 18th c., oil on canvas, 53” × 41 ½”, Casa Nacional de Moneda, Potosí, Bolivia. Luis Nino, Alto Perú, Our Lady of the Victory of Málaga. Ca.

1735, oil on canvas, 59 ½× 43 ¾”, Denver Art Museum, Denver, Colorado. Fig. 3.5 Anon., School of Cuzco, Virgin of the Candlestick of Tenerife with Tunic of Feathers. Ca. 1680–1700, oil on canvas, 61” × 45”, Museo Pedro de Osma, Lima, Peru.

Richard E. Phillips

Fig. 4.1

Schematic iconographical diagram, rst oor of the clois-

Fig. 4.2

ter, Dominican monastery of Oaxtepec, State of Morelos, Mexico, ca. 1553. Drawing courtesy of Prof. James Dutre- maine. Dominican monastery of Oaxtepec, rst oor of the clois-

ter. View toward the east down the south cloister walk, with the mural paintings of Sts. Paul and Catherine of Alexandria on the southwest pier. Photo by the author. Fig. 4.3 Christ Blessing the Loaves and the Fishes. Dominican monastery of Oaxtepec, rst oor. West end wall of the refectory, south side. Photo by the author.

list of illustrations


Fig. 4.4 St. Peter. Dominican monastery of Oaxtepec, rst oor of the cloister. First image of the pier cycle. Photo by the author. Fig. 4.5 Blessed Osanna Andreasi. Dominican monastery of Oaxtepec, rst oor of the cloister. Ninth pier face of the cloister arcade cycle, south cloister walk. Photo by the author.

K. Donahue-Wallace

Fig. 5.1 Manuel López López, Fue muerta y destrozada

ing. Courtesy of the Nettie Lee Benson Latin American Collection, University of Texas, Austin. Photo by the author. Fig. 5.2 José Mota, Madre Gerónima de la Asunción. 1713, engraving. Courtesy of The Lilly Library, Indiana University, Blooming- ton, Indiana. Photo by the author. Fig. 5.3 José Morales, Sor Sebastiana de la Santísima Trinidad. 1765, engraving. Courtesy of The Lilly Library, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana. Fig. 5.4 Manuel López López, Desalines (sic). 1806, etching. Courtesy of the Nettie Lee Benson Latin American Collection, University of Texas, Austin. Photo by the author. Fig. 5.5 José Morales, The Virgin of Guadalupe. 18th c., engraving. Courtesy of the Archivo General de la Nación, Mexico City.

1806, etch-

María Elena Bernal-García

Fig. 6.1 Diego Rivera. The Theatre in Mexico, a Popular History. Mosaic, 12.85 × 42.79 m., 1951–1953, Teatro de los Insurgentes, Mexico City. Detail. Drawing by the author at the site. Fig. 6.2 Tlatilco. Type D1 Female and Male Figurines. Clay with paint, 1500–300 B.C.E. Drawing by the author after Thomson (1971), Fig. 14. Fig. 6.3 Tlatilco. Pair of Female Figurines. Clay, 15.5 cm. high, 1500–300 B.C.E. Drawing by the author from the origi- nals in the Museo Nacional de Antropología e Historia, Mexico City.


list of illustrations

Fig. 6.4

Tlatilco. Whirling Type D1 Female Figurine. Clay with

Ray Hernández-Durán

Fig. 6.5

red, white, and yellow paint, ca. 11 cm. high. Drawing by the author from the original in the Museo Nacional de Antropología e Historia, Mexico City. Zacatenco. Burial 19. Drawing by the author after George

C. Vaillant (1931) “Excavations at Zacatenco,” Anthropological Papers of the American Museum of Natural History 32 (New York: 1931) 189.

Fig. 7.1

Anon., El encuentro de Cortés y Moctezuma, fragment. 18th c.,

Lori Boornazian Diel

Fig. 7.2

oil on canvas, Priv. Col. Sebastián López de Arteaga, Los desposorios de la Virgen,

Fig. 7.3

17th c., oil on canvas, Museo Nacional de Arte, Mexico City. Luis de Mena, Cuadro de Castas con la Virgen de Guadalupe.

Ca. 1750, oil on canvas, Museo de América de Madrid.

Fig. 9.1

Capture and Sacrice of Huitzilihuitl and his Daughter,

Fig. 9.2

Tira de Tepechpan (after Aubin 1848–1851). Capture of Huitzilihuitl and his Daughters, Codex Azcatitlán.

Fig. 9.3

Photo courtesy of the Bibliothèque Nationale de France, Paris. Presentation of Huitzilihuitl and his Daughters, Codex

Fig. 9.4

Azcatitlán. Photo courtesy of the Bibliothèque Nationale de France, Paris. Cihuateteo (Pasztory 1998: plate 186).

Fig. 9.5

The Cihuateteo on the Day 1 Eagle, Florentine Codex (after Sahagún 1950–82 4: Figs. 78–82).

Carolyn Dean

list of illustrations


Colonies). Ca. 1780, oil on canvas, 32” by 23 ½”, Cuzco, Peru. Priv. Col. Photo courtesy of the Frick Art Reference Library. Fig. 10.2 Johannus Stradanus. Discovery of America: Vespucci Landing in America. 16th c., pen and ink on paper. Courtesy the Metropolitan Museum of Art [Gift of the Estate of James Hazen Hyde, 1959 (1974.205)]. Fig. 10.3 Anon., (circle of Mauricio García), The Virgin of Mercy with Three Saints (Francis of Paola, Anthony of Padua, Gertrudis). Mid-18th c., oil on canvas, 37 × 26 ”, Cuzco, Peru. Courtesy of the Brooklyn Museum [41.1275.181]. Fig. 10.4 Anon., La Virgen de la Leche. Sculpture for sale in Cuzco, Peru, 2001. Photo by the author.

Michael J. Schreer

NOTE: Figures 11.1.–11.5. are photographs of sections of “The Richmond Screen,” a folding screen or biombo from New Spain, late eight-

eenth or early nineteenth century. These sections of the original screen are in the Virginia Historical Society Collection, Richmond, cata- logue number 1948.W.1108. The plates are provided as a cour- tesy by the Virginia Historical Society. Fig. 11.1 Section with the emblems “Love Virtue for Itself” (Ama la virtud por si misma) and “Virtue is Steadfast” (La virtud es immovible [sic]).

Fig. 11.2

Section with the emblems “Virtue Consists in the Mean”

Fig. 11.3

(La virtud consiste en el medio) and “Virtue is the Target of Envy” (La virtud es el blanco de la emvidia [sic]). Detail: The emblem “Love Virtue for Itself” (Ama la vir-

tud por si misma). Fig. 11.4 Detail: The emblem “Virtue is Steadfast” (La virtud es immovible [sic]). Fig. 11.5 Detail: The emblem “Virtue Consists in the Mean” (La virtud consiste en el medio).


list of illustrations

Richard E. Phillips

Fig. 12.1 The Annunciation. 1570s or ’80s, mural painting, rst oor, cloister of the Franciscan monastery of Cuauhtinchán, Puebla. Photo by the author. Fig. 12.2 The Death and Coronation of the Virgin. Ca. 1563, mural painting, rst oor, cloister of the Augustinian monastery of Epazoyucan, Hidalgo. Photo by the author.

Fig. 12.3

The Immaculate Conception of the Litanies with Saints Thomas Aquinas and Duns Scotus. Ca. 1558, mural painting, rst oor, cloister of the Franciscan monastery of Huejotzingo, Puebla. Photo by the author. Schematic iconographical diagram of the rst cloister of the Augustinian monastery of Acolman, State of Mexico, built after 1539, mural painted ca. 1560. Drawing cour- tesy of Prof. Reynaldo Santiago. The Annunciation Witnessed by Sts. Augustine and John of Sahagún. Highly damaged mural painted ca. 1560, rst cloister, Augustinian monastery of Acolman, State of Mexico. Photo by the author.

Fig. 12.4

Fig. 12.5

Fig, 13.1

Fig. 13.2

Fig. 13.3

Elizabeth Perry

Unknown Mexican artist, Virgin and Child with Saints. 17th c., Philadelphia Museum of Art, The Dr. Robert H. Lamborn Collection. Unknown Mexican artist, Coronation of the Virgin with Saints. Ca. 1770–90, Denver Art Museum, Collection of Jan and Frederick R. Mayer. Andrés López, Sister Pudenciana. 1782, Olana State Historic Site, New York State Oce of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation.

Fig. 14.1

Catherine R. DiCesare

Ochpaniztli, fol. 21r, Codex Tudela. Reproduction by per- mission of the Museo de América de Madrid.

list of illustrations


Fig. 14.2 Ochpaniztli. Reprinted from Elizabeth Hill Boone, The Codex Magliabechiano and the Lost Prototype of the Magliabechiano Group (Berkeley: 1983), fol. 39r, by permission of the University of California Press. Fig. 14.3 Ochpaniztli, fol. 3r, Codex Telleriano-Remensis. Reproduced by permission of the Bibliothèque Nationale de France. Fig. 14.4 Ochpaniztli. Reprinted from Diego Durán, Book of the Gods and Rites of the Ancient Calendar, eds. Fernando Horcasitas and Doris Heyden (Norman: 1971) Pl. 24. © 1971 by the University of Oklahoma Press. Fig. 14.5 Ochpaniztli, plate IX of the Tovar Calendar. Reproduced by permission of The John Carter Brown Library at Brown University.

C. Cody Barteet

Fig. 15.1 Casa de Montejo, Mérida, Yucatán. Ca. 1542–1549. Photo by the author. Fig. 15.2 Detail: Right Tondo Bust, Lower Façade, Casa de Montejo, Mérida, Yucatán. Ca. 1542–1549. Photo by the author. Fig. 15.3 Detail: Coat of Arms, Upper Façade, Casa de Montejo, Mérida, Yucatán. Ca. 1542–1549. Photo by the author. Fig. 15.4 Detail: Left Jamb Bust, Lower Façade, Casa de Montejo, Mérida, Yucatán. Ca. 1542–1549. Photo by the author. Fig. 15.5 Detail: Left Jamb Bust, Lower Façade, Casa de Montejo, Mérida, Yucatán. Ca. 1542–1549. Photo by the author.

A. Lepage

Fig. 16.1 [Copy of ] Portrait of Juana de Jesús, original: Isabel de Cisneros. Ca. 1703, Convent of Santa Clara, Quito, Eduador. Fig. 16.2 Miguel de Santiago, Castigo de la Virgen a Francisco Romo y su hijo. Ca. 1699–1706, Santuario de Nuestra Señora de Guápulo, Quito, Ecuador. Fig. 16.3 Detail of the retable of La Virgen de la Nube. Previously attributed to Isabel de Cisneros and currently attributed


list of illustrations

to Miguel de Santiago. Late 17th c., Santuario de Nuestra Señora de Guápulo, Quito, Ecuador. Fig. 16.4 Archangel St Michael. Previously attributed to Isabel de Cisneros and presently without attribution. Early 18th c., Monastery of San Agustín, Quito, Ecuador.

Christopher C. Wilson

Fig. 17.1

Luis Juárez, St. Teresa Praying for the Release of a Soul from

Fig. 17.2

Purgatory. First half 17th c., Museo Nacional del Virreinato, Tepotzotlán, Mexico. Cristóbal de Villalpando, St. Teresa Interceding for Souls in Purgatory. 1708, Church of Santiago, Tuxpan, Michoacán,

Mexico. Fig. 17.3 Cristóbal de Villalpando, St. Teresa in Penitence. Late 17th–early 18th c., Sacristy of former Discalced Carmelite Monastery (today Museo de El Carmen), San Ángel, Mexico.

Adriaen Collaert and Cornelis Galle, St. Teresa in Penitence.

Fig. 17.4

1613, The Carmelitana Collection of Whitefriars Hall, Washington, D.C. Fig. 17.5 Andrés López, Emblematic Portrayal of St. Teresa of Ávila. Second half 18th c.


Kellen Kee McIntyre

The impetus for the present volume developed out of basic need. Several years ago, armed with a broad background in both feminist and viceregal 1 period art historical theory and practice, I determined to construct a graduate seminar on the representation of women in early modern Latin American art. At rst I believed materials appro- priate for the course would be relatively easy to come by, but I was seriously mistaken. Fortunately, I had recently heard a lecture by Richard E. Phillips in which he analyzed images of female saints on the piers of the sixteenth-century cloister at Oaxtepec, Morelos. 2 Over the next couple of years, Richard and I shared insights into the topic and I was nally able to oer the course for the rst time. Our collaboration resulted in a College Art Association Conference session titled “Image, Icon, Identity: Constructions of Femininity in Viceregal Latin American Art and Architecture,” held in Los Angeles in 1999. Reception by audience members suggested to us that there were other early modern Latin Americanists who were also inter- ested in the subject. Since that time, we have made a concerted

1 The editors of this book have avoided the terms “Spanish colonial” or “colo- nial” art. These terms pre-condition the spectator to expect that the artistic and social forms of the colonized countries are largely derivative or imposed with regard to those of the colonizing polity. This is not the case with the tremendous creativity of local traditions developed by the regions subjected to Spanish control in the New World. The cultural contributions of Spain and the rest of Western Civilization to Latin America were of course fundamental, but they were not slavishly imitated nor monolithically imposed without great originality in their reinterpretation, nego- tiation, and redirection by the New World inhabitants. So instead of the outmoded terms “Spanish Colonial” or “colonial,” we follow the example of the great scholar of Mexican architectural history Robert Mullen, who titled his seminal 1997 book Architecture and its Sculpture in Viceregal Mexico without further elaborating on his choice of the word “viceregal” in his text. The adjective “viceregal” refers to the viceroys appointed by the Spanish kings to rule over their New World dominions and is therefore a preferable and historically correct substitute for such terms as “Spanish Colonial.”

2 See Ch. 4 in the present volume.


kellen kee mcintyre

eort to seek out research and collect essays that deal with various facets of the topic; our eorts are revealed in this volume. As we worked on the project, we noted with some surprise that although feminist art history had expanded exponentially from its inception in the 1970s with regard to ancient and European artis- tic traditions, not a single essay on the art and architecture of the early modern period in Latin America had made its way into the many feminist art historical publications on the period. The various essays in this publication, selected from a variety of sources, begin to correct that omission. They combine feminist approaches with interdisciplinary methodologies to expand our contemporary under- standing of the art and architecture of the viceregal epoch. Feminist art historians have identied ve basic methodologies, called ‘feminist interventions,’ with which to reappraise traditional art historical practice. 3 I begin with the rst four interventions and defer the fth to a later position in this introduction. Of primary importance over the past three decades has been the reconstruction of the contributions of both (1) female artists and (2) patrons, and (3) the inclusion of a signicant number of both in the standard art history survey texts. The feminist approach also (4) seeks to identify the institutionalized strictures that have traditionally hindered the ability of women artists to become professionals as they were his- torically limited or denied access to the artistically and economically nurturing environments of art guilds and academies. These four feminist interventions were identied by convention- ally trained art historians with primary expertise in Western Euro- pean traditions. The arts of the past century or so aside, these four approaches have not been applied systematically to the historical visual art production of cultures outside or on the periphery of this tradition. The example of Latin America, particularly during the early mod- ern or viceregal period, is a case in point. This exclusion of vicere- gal Latin America from the feminist art historical discourse—that is, the identication of women artists and patrons, their inclusion in standard art historical texts, and their limited or denied access to training—runs counter to Latin American scholarship in other human- ist disciplines. Groundbreaking work by researchers such as Silvia



Marina Arrom, Luis Martín, Elizabeth Salas, Verónica Salles-Reese and Irene Silverblatt, to name only a few, in the disciplines of vicere- gal history, literature, and anthropology, have produced signicant feminist texts over the last twenty years. 4 Many of these scholars, especially the historians, have begun to reconstruct the contributions of specic women to viceregal history and culture, yet no art histo- rian—with the important exception of those concerned with convents of nuns throughout Latin America 5 and some forms of portraiture— had published a text on the contribution of women to the develop- ment of viceregal art. It is probable that the contribution of women in general and women artists in particular during the viceregal period will never be understood fully due to the dearth of direct archival material. Indeed, as A. Lepage argues in the present volume, it is equally impossible at this stage to tease out the individual contribu- tions of artists, male or female, in many parts of Latin America—in her study, Quito—due to the collective corporate practices of period artists. Nevertheless, few studies have combed the archival material for encoded words and practices that suggest institutionalized artis- tic bias toward women. The work by Kelly Donahue-Wallace in the area of women and prints remains one of the notable exceptions. As has been clearly shown in studies of Dutch, Italian, and English guild and workshop records, these documents can be as telling for what they do not say as for what they do. In addition, research into women as patrons of the arts in the viceregal period has been scant save for the studies on conventual nuns, as in Elizabeth Perry’s essay on the Mexico City Conceptionists in this volume. Historical research by Martín and others has shown, however, that individual wealthy women with considerable control over vast estates were inuential in the development of other aspects of viceregal culture, such as ani- mal husbandry and agriculture. The essay in the present volume by Cody Barteet begins to address the artistic leverage of high status female patrons, while that of Phillips on the monastery at Oaxtepec suggests that powerful native women, too, could aect period prac- tice. Still, a more complete picture remains to be written.

4 Arrom (1985); Martín (1989); Morant (2006); Salas (1995); Salles-Reese; and Silverblatt (1987). 5 For an introduction to the literature on this topic, consult the bibliography by E. Perry, ch. 13, this volume.


kellen kee mcintyre

Why has viceregal art history lagged so far behind comparable humanistic disciplines in the adoption of feminist methodologies? Part of the reason lies in the bias against ‘peripheral’ art by feminist art historians trained in the Western European tradition, as mentioned above. A second factor is the comparatively tardy development of a general feminist consciousness in many contemporary Latin American countries. This is apparent yet today, where the reappraisal of the artistic contribution of women even in this past century is only begin- ning to emerge. And third, as Cecilia F. Klein noted just a few years ago, there had been reluctance on the part of Latin American art historians, no matter their country of origin, to apply contemporary theory purposefully to the study of viceregal art. 6 Klein mentioned resistance theory and semiotics, to name only two; to her list I add most feminist art historical theory. (The situation has improved markedly since her observation, as is clearly evinced in this anthology in which feminist concerns merge with other critical theoretical methodologies.) I intentionally qualify that statement with the word ‘most,’ for it is only with the fth feminist intervention that one can nd some exception to the general observation that Latin American art histo- rians had, until the last ve years or so, tended to ignore feminist theory in the analysis of viceregal art. This fth intervention centers on the visual representation of woman: the social and cultural con- struction and denition of female identity through the art document. For the sake of argument and due to the paucity of research to the contrary, let us assume that a good number of representations of women in the viceregal period were created by male artists primar- ily under male patronage. Yet, what can these primarily male artis- tic productions say about the status of women in viceregal Latin America? The editors of the present volume take the position, and it is borne out in many of the essays included herein, that Latin American artists in this period were collectively aware of a vocabu- lary of gender that could be tailored to deliver varying messages about the position of women vis-à-vis viceregal culture and society. Viceregal images of women can be divided into two broad cate- gories: Secular and religious. In the secular realm are allegory and history painting, portraiture, and various forms of genre. In the reli-

6 Klein (1999).



gious realm are Marian devotions, depictions of female saints, and several types of portraits of nuns. Marian devotions arrived in the New World with Columbus. 7 He was a devotee of the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe at a monastery near Cáceres in the province of Extremadura, Spain (not to be con- fused with the sixteenth-century Mexican Guadalupe). This monastery was a favored pilgrimage site and place of retreat for the Crown of Castile. Many early conquistadors, most notably Cortés and several of his followers, who arrived on the Mexican coast in 1519, were from Extremadura. As such, they were adherents of the Extremaduran Guadalupe, which by that time was a popular image venerated throughout the Crown of Castille. This eleventh or twelfth-century(?), 18” high wooden statue, attributed with many miracles, depicts a fully frontal seated Virgin who holds the Christ child on her right and a scepter in her left hand. She is dark skinned. There are a number of these in Spain, and they will multiply in the Spanish colonies; most are credited with miraculous, often healing, powers. This particular image is among the most, if not the most, potent of the type in Spain. Besides the devotion to the Extremaduran Guadalupe, Cortés brought at least two more Marian devotions with him to New Spain. He introduced the military processional banner, a medieval survival, in two variants: One displayed an image of the Crowned Virgin, the Cross on its reverse. A second banner oered an image of the Virgin, identied by Manuel Toussaint as an abbreviated image of the Immaculate Conception, an avocation of the Virgin popularized in the late fteenth century and the one championed by the Francis- cans. 8 Through them this guise of the Virgin became a special Crown devotion. It was thus politically advantageous for Cortés and his fol- lowers to devote themselves to the Immaculate Conception (he made the formal request that would bring the Franciscans, the rst friars, to Mexico) and to the Extremaduran Guadalupe, devotions both favored by the Crown. The third image, the Virgen de los Remedios, brought by one of Cortés’s men, became the one most closely associated with the Spanish

7 This paragraph and the next build upon research by Brading (2001); Taylor (1999); Poole (1995); Peterson (1992); Rodríguez (1995); and Dunnington (1999).

8 Cortés’s banner is mentioned by Díaz del Castillo (1956), Ch. 27, and repro- duced in Toussaint (1965), pl. 14.


kellen kee mcintyre

conquest of Mexico. This small, sculpted Virgin, which stands about

10 1/2” high, sustains a scepter in one hand. In the other she holds an infant Christ, an obvious reference to her role as peaceful nur- turer. Spanish conquistadors credited an apparition of this miracu- lous image with the nal vanquishing of the Mexica (or Aztecs) in

1521. 9

That the Virgen de los Remedios is associated with war is not

unusual in Catholic devotion. From at least the sixth century, if not before, the Virgin Militant functioned as one of the most important protectors of Christian armies claiming triumph under her care. By the late 1400s, as Rose Demir convincingly argues, various images of the Virgin that stand on the crescent moon functioned as “pro- tagonist and protector against foreign Islamic presence in Spain. Considering the anti-Muslim sentiments throughout Spain in the

the crescent moon, which by then had become a

well-recognized symbol of Islam, beneath the feet of the Virgin, was

sign of the conquest [of Christian Spain over] Islam.” 10

For the Spaniards in the New World in the following century, the Virgin continued in her dual role as patroness of both war and peace. At the same time, for many native populations she assumed the principal divine position over a pantheon of pre-contact female deities with similar dual natures. The most frequently cited example of the dual nature of Mary in Latin America is, of course, the Mexican Virgin of Guadalupe. She shares this name with the Extremaduran Guadalupe. The reasons for this coincidence have long been the subject of conjecture. Many scholars believe that soon after conquest of the Valley of Mexico, Spaniards, perhaps Cortés himself, attached the name “Guadalupe” to a hill, called Tepeyacac in the pre-contact period (now Tepeyac), just three miles northwest of the main plaza in Mexico City. It was a crucial pre-contact entry point into the Valley, sited at the cross- ing of three major causeways into the city, and it continued as an important entry under Spanish rule. That it was Cortés or his fol- lowers who renamed the site “Guadalupe” is plausible; it could only have served to curry royal favor. Viceroys and other Spanish author-

fteenth century

seen as a

9 Salazar Monroy (1973). 10 Demir (2005) 20.



ities entering the city for the rst time traditionally stopped here to refresh and to apprise local authorities of their imminent entrance into the city. Tepeyac also had pre-contact ritual signicance: an important female earth deity, Tonantzín, was associated with the site. She was both a war goddess and an earth mother gure, a nur- turer. 11 With the Extremaduran Guadalupe, the Tepeyac Guadalupe shares her miraculous appearance. Unlike the former, however, the Tepeyac Guadalupe, a painted image nearly ve feet high, does not hold the Christ child. Her body sways in an s-curve, her head bends to the right and, like the Apocalyptic Woman of Revelation 12:1, the Tepeyac Guadalupe is “clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars.” She stands on an upturned crescent moon; the sun’s rays frame her in an almond-shaped mandorla. Surrounding her head are the twelve stars; they multiply and scatter over her blue mantle. An angel (a later addition), a reference to the Virgin’s Assumption, upholds the composition. In European images of the Virgin of the Apocalypse, she often stands on the vanquished apocalyptic serpent, a metaphor for the ultimate glorious victory in the battle of good over evil, the holy war. In the Tepeyac Guadalupe the serpent is absent, which on the surface might suggest that this Virgin does not refer to Mary as patroness of war. But in pre-contact cultures, especially in the Valley of Mexico, the serpent, venerated as a deity, was associated with the moon, depicted beneath the Virgin of Guadalupe’s feet. Perhaps the moon was enough for native devotees to recognize the Tepeyac Guadalupe as triumphant over the serpent. In that case, this Virgin symbolizes both the conquest in general, but also specically the Valley of Mexico: its pre-contact insignia was an eagle with a serpent in its talons or beak, perched atop a nopal cactus, as depicted in the often-reproduced frontispiece from the Codex Mendoza of the 1540s. This emblem became the coat of arms of Cortés’s Mexico City. In a print from the seventeenth century, the Tepeyac Guadalupe actually stands atop the coat of arms. 12 If she is the personication of victory in war, the Tepeyac Guadalupe is also the purveyor of peace and humility. Her head tilts right, her

11 The information in this paragraph is the result of my interpretation of research contained in Taylor (1999) and Brading (2001).

12 Peterson (1992) 39–47.


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eyes cast down, her hands press together in prayer. She is submis- sive and obedient, the perfect woman as dened by medieval men- dicant texts. Marina Warner, in Alone of All Her Sex: The Myth and Cult of the Virgin Mary, writes:

Although Jesus and Mary exemplied the virtues of poverty, humility and obedience in equal measure, and although Christians of both sexes were exhorted to imitate them, the characteristics of these virtues— gentleness, docility, forbearance—are immediately classiable as femi- nine, especially in Mediterranean countries. The more fervently religious the country—Spain, for instance—the more men folk swagger and command, the more women submit and withdraw and are praised for their Christian goodness. Machismo, ironically enough, is the sweet and gentle Virgin’s other face. 13

Since, like her Extremaduran counterpart, the Tepeyac Guadalupe is dark skinned, and because her physiognomy has commonly been characterized as Indian, she entreats native women to submit to the will of their husbands while admonishing the indigenous peoples to surrender, like good wives, to the will of Spanish religious and sec- ular authorities. The Tepeyac Guadalupe and the Virgen de los Remedios, as his- torian William B. Taylor has pointed out, are but two of the more than sixty images of the Virgin venerated in the Valley of Mexico alone; there are hundreds of revered images scattered throughout Mexico in both Spanish villas and native villages. 14 Many of these have probable connections with pre-contact goddesses and all speak to the position of women in viceregal society. Images of the Virgin with dual natures were also pervasive in the Andean region. A case in point, as Carol Damian describes in this volume, is the Virgin in the bell-shaped gown, an image intimately linked with the landscape and with concepts of fecundity and maternity, but also with war. 15 Let us now turn to depictions of female saints in early modern Latin America, specically as they are posed in Mexican retablos, or altarpieces, intended for mission churches in native villages, the pueb- los. Retablos intended for main altars were famous for their elabo- rately carved, gilded frames and complex hagiographic programs. Characteristically, they rise to the height of the church and ll the

13 Warner (1976) 183.

14 Taylor (1999).

15 Damian (1995) 51–2.



apse wall. No sixteenth-century missions were dedicated to female saints, therefore none turn up in the central and most prominent position of the retablo, although the image of the Virgin Mary usu- ally assumes an important place. Images of male saints, including groups of apostles, dominate retablo iconography; less than twenty percent of the images found on late-sixteenth and seventeenth-cen- tury apse altarpieces are of female saints. Each retablo employs images of female saints for specic purposes, but there seems to be no standard placement of them. Yet, they more commonly show up in positions of lesser import—at the sides or base or as diminutive images—and are thus marginalized, rarely assuming prominence over male saints. No female saint ever stands alone; each is paired on the opposite side of the retablo with another female saint of similar legend or mystical quality, or less commonly, with a male saint who shares certain traits. 16 The main retablo of St. Dominic at Yanhuitlán, in Oaxaca, is a case in point. Originally constructed in 1575, its paintings are attrib- uted to the important Spanish painter Andrés de la Concha, active in Mexico from 1568 to 1612. This fty-foot-high, screen-fold retablo was updated in the late seventeenth century with baroque spiraling columns. In this construction, women appear at two levels. Small round panels of the Dominican St. Catherine of Siena (left) and the martyr Catherine of Alexandria (right) ank the center depiction of Christ’s Descent from the Cross on the upper level. They are predictably paired: the fourth-century Alexandrian Catherine was the namesake of the Sienese Catherine, who died in 1380. Both virgins were known for their piety, wisdom, and physical suering; both experienced mys- tical marriages to Christ. The intent of their placement here high in the retablo was to inspire piety and devotion in worshippers, par- ticularly women. 17 Their relative small size, however, diminishes their import. In addition, both of these female saints were proselytizers of the faith. Catherine of Alexandria, of royal birth, was a converted Christian, highly educated and erudite. In debate she converted to Christianity fty pagan philosophers; for this she was eventually beheaded. She was the perfect model for native women from the cacique class, the Indian petty nobility. Friars educated cacique children,

16 May (1996) 16.

17 Ibid., 10.


kellen kee mcintyre

primarily boys, but there are references to the education of cacique- class girls as well, for whom the Alexandrian Catherine would have been the perfect model. 18 Catherine of Siena, on the other hand, was a Christian mystic who devoted her life to the care of the sick and needy. She served as an exemplar for native women of all classes who were shouldered with the burden of caring for the many sick and dying Indians—primarily children, the aged, and men—who succumbed to the waves of disease brought by Europeans to the New World in the sixteenth century. Below, in the banco or predella of this Dominican retablo, the fth- century ascetic Mary of Egypt, dressed in a white robe, reclines, her hands clasped to her breast. She pairs with St. Jerome; both saints were recognized for penitence, bodily mortication, and worldly renunciation. In the right panel next to him is Mary Magdalene. She and Mary of Egypt were revered as penitent whores. They were often paired together in retablos intended for native churches at a time when the mendicant friars battled what they considered the wanton sexuality of the Indians: It was key in the spiritual conquest of the New World to discourage sex outside marriage. At the same time, mendicant orders from the medieval period onward viewed woman as seductress—Eve—but through penance and prayer, she could be reborn in grace. The message is clear. The penitent Marys below represent redemption, the best of reality, the virginal Catherines above the ideal. Any native woman viewing this retablo was reas- sured that she could achieve an intimate spiritual association with Christ no matter what her situation or social position. The third and nal type of religious female image from the vicere- gal period is the nun’s portrait. The two presentational modalities for the nuns’ likenesses—the feminine and the masculine—have been dened by Kirsten Hammer. Mexican artists developed the rst type, collectively called monjas coronadas (crowned nuns), in the eighteenth century. While the type has no direct European antecedent, its sources are found in Spanish practice, in death portraits of nuns who some- times wear crowns that symbolize their spiritual marriage to Christ and their profession, and in the established iconography of the Virgin

18 A famed illustration by the Franciscan Fray Diego de Valadés depicts Franciscans teaching catechism to four groups of Indians separated by gender and age in the four posas of a convento atrio, Rhetórica Christiana (1989 [1579]).



Mary, especially as the Immaculate Conception and the Queen of Heaven. 19 In addition, these portraits depict young women who are the cream of creole society, daughters of wealthy European families

at the top of the viceregal ladder. These feminized images of the monjas coronadas contrast with the ‘masculine-style’ portraits of nuns who have distinguished themselves through work accomplishments. “Writers, performers, mystics, abbesses: their images were commis- sioned not because an accident of birth unites them to Mary but because their strength of will makes them more like men in the framework of colonial culture.” 20 This type of nuns’ portrait derives from the portraits of accomplished men, both secular and religious, who are depicted surrounded by references to worldly and spirit- ual accomplishments—books, symbols of military prowess, familial lineage This brief overview of three types of religious images of women provides evidence that colonial artists were collectively aware of a lexicon of gender. The representations of the Virgin, the most per- vasive female type in viceregal art, could be read simultaneously by both Spaniard and Indian as the goddess of war and peace, of con- quest and nature. She represented the unattainable ideal. Egies of female saints, particularly those included in retablos intended for indigenous worship, icons marginalized by virtue of their place- ment and their relatively infrequent inclusion in the retablo, oered practical role models for Indian women in their communities. The two types of nun’s portraits—the ‘masculine’ and the ‘feminine’— provided specic messages about the character of the individual creole sitter. “When fortitude, education, and accomplishment through determination and labor were called for, a masculine model was


as female.” 21 The present volume, which expands our understand- ing of the religious constructs of women in this period and also addresses women’s position in the religious and domestic realms, will revamp our contemporary understanding of the role of women in

the society and culture of early modern Latin America. At this point it is necessary to explain why the title of our anthol-

ogy ends

.; while purity, virginity, and privilege were formulated

in Early Modern Latin America. Why was the term “early

19 Hammer (1999).

20 Ibid.

21 Ibid.


kellen kee mcintyre

modern” chosen instead of the word “viceregal”? The editors of this anthology wanted to enhance its breadth and ensure its success by including contributions from feminist scholars of Latin American nineteenth-century art. The term “viceregal” is only appropriate as a replacement for the term “Spanish colonial,” which can only cover the period of Spanish hegemony in the New World, excepting Cuba and Puerto Rico, from 1492 until the nal defeat of the Spanish armies in Peru in 1825. 22 But we are as committed to the study of the female presence in the nineteenth-century art of the newly ‘inde- pendent’ Spanish American nations as much as to that of the era of Hispanic dominion. Like the viceregal period, the Spanish American nineteenth century was an inchoate epoch pregnant with implications for our time, a eld like the viceregal one that is ripe and begging for feminist analysis of its artistic expressions. We cannot understand the present without deconstructing the past. Also, the Latin American nineteenth century continued many of the patterns of viceregal develop- ment, including relative subjugation to the tutelage of more powerful external polities and the economics perpetrated by their corporations, with the consequent socio-cultural distortions that this caused. Inclusion of the nineteenth century illuminates and strengthens our grasp of viceregal developments and their destiny rather than distracting from them. The term ‘early modern’ is suciently exible to accommo- date both the viceregal and nineteenth-century periods of Latin American history in one vehicle. In the event, the essays that we include on nineteenth-century art, by Carrera and Ramírez, concern only art in Mexico, but are of an excellence that illuminates under- standing of the congruent expression of the feminine in art through- out Latin America and indeed, western civilization. 23 The organization of this volume is determined not by the pre- dictable linear framework, by periods and centuries, but rather by the realization that in the early years of the conquest, and indeed throughout much of the early modern period, Spanish authorities, chroniclers, and others envisaged the Spanish colonies of the Americas in gendered terms. Proered as the female body, the ‘New’ (virginal by implication) World was at diering times adored, pursued, courted,

22 The use of the term “viceregal” is justied in footnote 1.

23 On women artists in nineteenth-century Mexico see Widdield (2006).



seduced, deled, exploited, reviled, and denounced by those (males) who encountered ‘her.’ This mentality is born out in the various forms of representations of women that are discussed in this volume, from the earliest days of the conquest through the burgeoning of Republican Mexico. Great improvisation, inaccuracy, and errors occurred in the rst era of exploration and colonization, suggested in the title of Part I:

“Reconnaissance: Marking and Mapping the New World with the Female Body.” The Spanish conquistadors strove to understand the land in terms of the chivalric literature of knighthood—in it love remained unrequited—that induced them to give names like ‘California’ to the landscape they encountered. They invaded the river basin in South America where they saw female warriors ght alongside the men; their only frame of reference was in Greek mythology’s Amazon women, and so they named the world’s greatest river the Río Ama- zonas. This rst era is clumsy, groping, fantastic: Mistaken ways of trying to digest this daunting New World experience plagued the endeavor. The conquerors were to a certain extent purposefully igno- rant in order to deny the indigenous peoples and the indigenous landscapes their true denition. They sought to undermine the price- less identity of each native civilization by simply lumping the folk under one disrespectful category, indios, a term that did not even remotely correspond to them, only to peoples living half a world away. Very few Spaniards sought to correct Columbus’s original mis- apprehension that he had found the inhabitants of India, and by failing to do so they acquiesced in the enterprise of devaluing the natives by alienating them from their diverse heritages. As a result, Spanish denitions became the conventional ones. In Penny Morrill’s essay, the very foreign imagery of the Casa del Deán comes straight out of European ideals of womanhood and as such it lacks a New World consciousness. Outside the probable indigenous execution of the murals and a few modest references to native motifs, most likely selected by the patron, it denies indigenous symbolism or meaning. This phenomenon continued throughout the viceregal period and into the early phase of nation building. A case in point, Magali M. Carrera’s essay underscores the very foreign and very European practice of allegorizing the nation as the female body, whereas, in an attempt to mark, map, and dene the New World terrene, as described by Damian, the image of Mary is inscribed by native artists within the native landscape: She is the Great Goddess Earth Mother


kellen kee mcintyre

presented in the form of a sacred mountain. And nally in this sec- tion, Phillips analyzes the depictions of saints on cloister piers in the Dominican convento of Oaxtepec. The friars not surprisingly employed these images of saints—saints who never lived in Mexico or the New World—to imprint the New World landscape with foreign, alien signiers in order to try to digest and exploit it. The beginning of the assimilation of this foreign imprint into a new conguration of an independent, de-colonized Latin American civilization is indicated, however, by the fact that the indigenous women at Oaxtepec encour- aged the adoption of a pattern that uncharacteristically included a high number of female saints in privileged positions, which is more in accord with the power of female deities and of women in pre- Columbian Mesoamerican civilization. This becomes even more obvi- ous when the advantageous placement of female egies in the Oaxtepec cloister cycle is compared to their marginalization in con- temporaneous Mexican monastic retablos as studied by Julia May and discussed earlier in this Introduction. Part II, “Taking Possession: Appropriations of the New World/ Female Body,” is more vigorous, more aggressive; in it actors try to force the reality of the New World to conform to male suppositions about the nature of the land and of women. During the rst period, ‘reconnaissance,’ outposts were established in Santo Domingo and Cuba, both places where Cortés lived for several years prior to his Mexican campaign, providing the framework for later and much grander conquests. 24 Cortés learned the ropes here, how to marshal resources for grander ambitions, and to put together a more com- prehensive colonial system. 25 His experience was mirrored in Pizarro’s early ventures in Panama that primed him for his brutally exploitive ‘successes’ in Peru. 26 This escalating aggressiveness is explored espe- cially in Donahue-Wallace’s essay, an analysis of how physical bat- tery, abuse, and rape of women were appropriated and utilized in

24 For the Caribbean and especially its islands of Española and Cuba, colonized during the rst, reconnaissance, period and serving as the hemispheric bases for the second period of consolidation in the grander realms of the mainland, see McAlister (1984), 100, and Parry (1964) 179.

25 López de Gómara (1966) 7–11; MacLachlan and Rodríguez (1980) 67–69; Gibson (1967) 26–27.

26 For Pizarro’s early career as a bridge between the rst and second phases of colonization, see Kirkpatrick (1967) 47–59 and 143–46.



period prints to achieve the political aims of the dominant classes. In the second essay Mariá Elena Bernal-García describes how male anthropologists and scholars aggressively distorted and transformed the intended meanings and usages of the Tlatilco female gurines to t their own sexist view of the world in the early to mid-20th century. Bernal-García ‘reclaim(s) that body’ or corpus of Tlatilco female gurines from the traditional biased interpretation that has been applied to it. It might be argued that Bernal-García’s essay is beyond the chronological purview that was set by this anthology’s title. The editors’ response is that Bernal-García addresses the phe- nomenon of misidentication and misappropriation endemic to the western enterprise in early modern Latin America and its continued pathology into the twentieth century, enlightening and liberating us vis-à-vis its whole line of development. Similarly, Ray Hernández- Durán presents the aggressively distorted application of visual con- structs traditionally associated with women and marriage to the encounter between Cortés and Moctezuma as depicted in an eigh- teenth-century painting as “part of an emergent American, particu- larly creole, (proto) national awareness and agency.” Part II ends with Jenny Ramírez’s essay on the forceful and outspoken way that painter José Agustín Arrieta appropriated the female gure to fash- ion allegorical and cultural statements about men’s perceptions of female associations with food, beverage, nourishment, nurture, and feeding. Part III, “Consolidation: The Qualifying and Taming of the New World/Female Body with Signieds,” deals with attempts to com- prehend and manage the New World reality in terms comparatively more sophisticated than the more primal and aggressive tactics con- sidered in Part II. Just as a territory must be physically conquered and consolidated, its inhabitants must also be intellectually subju- gated and controlled. Those enacting the consolidation must make some cognitive sense out of it all so that a plan of action can be elaborated and life can be lived with some sense of logic and order. Consolidation also involves the integration of New World and native aspects with European ones into the discourse as understanding of the New World reality becomes clearer. This section opens with Lori Boornazian Diel’s essay on negotiation over the meaning of the Female Body and its use in subjugating the environment between its prior pre-Columbian interpretation and its later postcontact rep- resentation in Aztec art. Negotiation on how to qualify and dene


kellen kee mcintyre

the female anatomy between the indigenous and the European polar- ities continues in Carolyn Dean’s essay. With Michael Schreer and the ourishing of the Mexican screen or biombo, which likewise has New World meanings and addresses the European/New World in- between cultural identity of the criollos, we have another instance of such consolidation and qualication that involves a sophisticated alle- gorical and moralizing strategy, no longer primitive or improvised as it was in the essays from the previous section. Phillips’ essay on “Mary as the Cloister” nishes oPart III with the magical conse- cration of specic pieces of the New World land, the cloisters, as the body of Mary. In this way the New World landscape is sewn with the identity of Mary to co-opt and redirect, in a way benecial to the Catholic power elite, the non-Christian indigenous tendencies to revere and adore the female principle inherent to the land. It also paradoxically exalts the feminine principle while denigrating the actual living and breathing human animal female, because no woman can live up to the impossible standard set by Mary, who is a virgin and a mother at the same time. Mary: Immaculately conceived in the mind of God at the beginning of time as the vessel for his salvation of humanity, free of sin, unlike all other females. So in Mary men (and women, self-destructively) can adore the feminine principle and fantasize about an ideal lover, and at the same time despise real women and their supposed vulnerability. 27 And nally, in Part IV, “Fulllment: The Extension and Expression of the Female Body in the New World,” the female identity pow- erfully and proactively asserts itself to dene the land and the cul- ture of the New World partly or fully on its own terms. Female creativity or female institutions thrive. Elizabeth Perry’s essay on nuns and their particularized forms of cultural display emphatically underscores the emergence of a “distinctly creole sacred identity.” Catherine R. DiCesare’s essay deals with the projection and display as a talisman of the body of the actual skinned and mutilated female victim, perceived by pre-Columbian worshippers as the denition and protector of the land that ensures its fecundity. It follows, then, that it is obviously perceived by the believers as “the extension and expression of the female body” to ensure survival and the discomture of enemies. It can be seen as a metaphor for the projection of fem-



inine power inherent in the remaining essays of Part IV. In them women or the feminine principle do not let themselves be fully con- strained or contained by men. Rather, either they themselves, or society, stand up for and express the full-throated defense and dec- laration of the feminine principle. In the essay by Cody Barteet, Beatriz Álvarez de Herrera is neither content to linger in anonymity nor let her dynasty be dened architecturally without references to herself and to her lineage. On the other hand, although the artistic production of the Ecuadoran painter Isabel de Cisneros, as described by A. Lepage, cannot be determined, the fact that her life has been the subject of nationalistic ction attests to her contributions to the art of the period. And nally the aggressive proactive dissemination of the missionary identity of the Spanish mystic Saint Teresa of Avila across the Latin American landscape is voiced by Christopher Wilson. The editors of Woman and Art in Early Modern Latin America see this volume not as a denitive collection on the subject, but as a vehi- cle from which to explore further the position in society of women and the contributions made by them to the arts and architecture of early modern Latin America.


Alarcón, R., et al. (1996) Pintura Novohispana: Museo Nacional del Virreinato, Tepotzotlán. Vol III, Pt. 2 (Mexico City: 1996). Arrom, S. M. (1995) The Women of Mexico City, 1790–1857 (Stanford: 1985). Brading, D. A. (2001) Mexican Phoenix: Our Lady of Guadalupe: Image and Tradition across Five Centuries (Cambridge, UK: 2001). Damian, C. (1995) The Virgin of the Andes: Art and Ritual in Colonial Cuzco (Miami Beach: 1995). Demir, R. “Redening the Crescent Moon: Symbolic Resonance in Muslim Spanish and Indo-Christian Art” (MA, University of Texas at San Antonio, 2005). Díaz del Castillo, B. (1956) The Discovery and Conquest of Mexico, trans. A. P. Maudslay (New York: 1956). Gibson, C. (1967) Spain in America (New York: 1967). Hammer, K. (1999) “Brides of Christ and God’s Laborers: Diering Gender Constructions in Colonial Portraits of Nuns,” College Art Association, Los Angeles, California, Feb. 13, 1999. Kirkpatrick, F. A. (1967) The Spanish Conquistadores (Cleveland: 1967 [1934]). Klein, C. F. (1999) “Introductory Remarks: Indigenous Artists and European Intruders:

Visual Strategies of Empowerment in Colonial Mexico,” College Art Association, Los Angeles, California, Feb. 13, 1999. López de Gómara, F. (1966) Cortés: The Life of the Conqueror by His Secretary (trans., ed. Simpson (Berkeley: 1966 [1552]). MacLachlan, C. M., and J. E. Rodríguez O. (1980) The Forging of the Cosmic Race (Berkeley: 1980).


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Martín, L. (1989) Daughters of the Conquistadores (Dallas: 1989). May, J. S. (1996) “Female Saints on Mexican Retables of the Early Colonial Period” Unpublished research paper written under the direction of R. E. Phillips, Virginia Commonwealth University, 1996. McAlister, L. N. (1984) Spain and Portugal in the New World 1492–1700 (Minneapolis:


Monroy, S. (1973) La Conquistadora de Hernán Cortés (Puebla: 1973). Morant, Isabel, et al., eds. (2006) Historia de las mujéres en España y América Latina (Madrid: 2006) O’Neill, J. P., ed. (1990) Mexico: Splendors of Thirty Centuries (New York: 1990). Parry, J. H. (1964) The Age of Reconnaissance (New York: 1964). Peterson, J. F. (1992) “The Virgin of Guadalupe: Symbol of Conquest or Liberation?” Art Journal 51, no. 4 (Winter 1992) 39–47. Pollock, G. (1988) “Feminist Interventions in the History of Art: An Introduction,” in Vision and Dierence: Femininity, Feminism and the History of Art (London: 1988)


Poole, S. (1995) Our Lady of Guadalupe: The Origins and Sources of a Mexican National Symbol, 1531–1797 (Tucson: 1995). Rodríguez, J. (1994) Our Lady of Guadalupe: Faith and Empowerment among Mexican- American Women (Austin: 1994). Salas, E. (1990) Soldaderas in the Mexican Military (Austin: 1990). Salles-Reese, V. (1997) From Viracocha to the Virgin of Copacabana (Austin: 1997). Silverblatt, I. (1987) Moon, Sun, and Witches (Princeton: 1987). Taylor, W. B. (1999) “Our Lady of Guadalupe and Friends: The Virgin Mary in Colonial Mexico,” San Antonio Museum of Art, San Antonio, Texas, March 14,


Toussaint, M. (1965) Pintura Colonial en México (Mexico City: 1965). Warner, M. (1976) Alone of All Her Sex: The Myth and Cult of the Virgin Mary (New York: 1976). Widdield, S. G. (2006) “The Spaces of Nineteenth-Century Mexican Women Artists,” in D. Cherry and J. Helland, eds. Studio, Space and Sociality: New Narratives of Nineteenth-Century Women Artists (London: 2006). Valadés, Fr. D. de (1989) Rhetórica Christiana (Mexico City: 1989).






Penny C. Morrill


An extensive mural cycle has emerged from beneath layers of white- wash in two formal second-storey rooms of the Casa del Deán in Puebla, Mexico (Figs. 1.1 and 1.2). The murals, painted by an indige- nous artist with assistants, today look much as they would have appeared when painted around 1580, the year carved in stone on the house’s fragmentary façade. 1 It clings perilously to the side of a massive rectangular movie theatre that replaced most of the resi- dence. This remaining façade and the two decorated formal rooms on the interior are signicant works in the history of early modern art and culture. The patron, Don Tomás de la Plaza, had come to New Spain (roughly coterminous with the modern nation of Mexico) from Alburquerque in Spain’s Extremadura province. He had served as a secular priest in Mexico’s southern Oaxaca province before becom- ing Dean of Puebla’s Cathedral in 1564. 2 Founded in 1533, the city of Puebla was strategically centered on the Camino Real between Mexico City and the viceroyalty’s principal port at Veracruz. 3 In 1537 the Cabildo (city council) of Puebla successfully petitioned that the Cathedral of the Tlaxcala diocese be moved from Tlaxcala to Puebla. The rst bishop to reside in Puebla with the king’s autho- rization was Fray Sarmiento de Ojocastro, who served from 1547 to 1557. 4 Thus by the time of Don Tomás’s tenure as Dean, Puebla

1 Kropnger von Kügelgen (1979) 211.

2 Schwaller (1987) 32–33.

3 Fernández Echeverría y Veytia (1931) I, 308–309.

4 Leicht (1986) 139.


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had recently become not only a manufacturing, agricultural, and commercial center, but also the ecclesiastical hub of the Puebla- Tlaxcala region. Don Tomás’s residence was fashioned after the urban palaces that were built in Spain at Seville, Salamanca, and in Extremadura dur- ing the rst half of the sixteenth century. The formal rooms with their elaborately conceived mural cycle reected the Dean’s inter- ests: His humanist theology, Spanish ancestry, and experiences as a priest in New Spain. Under his patronage, as demonstrated here, indigenous artists found their models for this mural program in books and prints published in the mid-sixteenth century at Antwerp or Lyons. 5 This article proposes that the theme for this wall-painted sequence is built upon pre-guration in the Room of the Sibyls and upon fulllment in the Room of the Triumphs. The nal female allegor- ical gure in the cycle, Eternity/Ecclesia, is the focus of this essay. Embodying eternity, she escapes the connes of earth and triumphs over Time and Death. As the personication of the Church, she is the keeper of the Sacraments. Eternity and Ecclesia are conated in her because redemption through the Church’s sacraments is seen as the key to the soul’s eternal life. She is simultaneously endowed with the identities of the Virgin Mother, Queen of Heaven, and Juno. It is argued that this gure constitutes a break in the European sym- bolic tradition that had almost always represented the Triumph of Eternity with the Christian Trinity. The essay ends with a discus- sion of the possible precedents for this new iconography. The multiple identities embodied in the Casa del Deán’s gure of the Triumph of Eternity were, I believe, a familiar concept for both the indigenous artists and their European patron. An appreciation for

5 Proof that such trade in prints from Europe was occurring around the time that the Casa del Deán’s murals were created is provided by a 1572 inventory for a shipment of books from Spain to Veracruz’s port at San Juan de Ulúa. It included 210 dibujos large and small. The modern translation of the Spanish word dibujo into English is “drawing” while the word grabado is commonly used to refer to a print. There was no known market in colonial Mexico for master drawings, so the term dibujo in the 1572 inventory must refer to prints; see Fernández del Castillo (1982) 360–362 and 470–471. See also De Marchi and Van Miegroet (2000) 81–112.

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the queen of heaven reigns in new spain 23 Fig. 1.1 The Triumph of Love .

Fig. 1.1

The Triumph of Love. Mural painting in the Casa del Deán, Puebla, Mexico. ca. 1580. Photo by Jorge Pérez de Lara.

, Puebla, Mexico. ca. 1580. Photo by Jorge Pérez de Lara. Fig. 1.2 The Triumph of


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woman as allegory is evident in the Last Judgment play written in Náhuatl by Fray Andrés de Olmos about 1540, a colloquy among allegorical gures that I compare to the Casa del Deán murals.

Description of the Murals

In the foreground of the rst mural, set before a continuous land- scape, twelve young women, each elaborately costumed and carry- ing her own standard, parade in order on horseback. The rst is identied as Synagoga, the personication of the Old Testament, blindfolded and riding on a mule. She is followed by eleven Sibyls whose prophetic gifts led to their association with Old Testament prophecies and with specic events in the life of Christ. The artist or artists wrote directly on the wall near each Sibyl, announcing not only her name but also the book and chapter num- bers for the related biblical passages. These citations were taken from Old Testament prophets, the Psalms, the Gospels, or the Book of Revelation. The interplay of the printed biblical references, which replace the traditional depiction of the prophet or evangelist to embody such texts, the Sibyls on horseback, and the oating roundels that contain scenes from Christ’s life, all contribute to a rendering of space that reiterates rather than dees the two-dimensional sur- face. This patterned eect is reminiscent of prints from Antwerp that were ultimately derived from books like the Speculum humanae salva- tionis with its multiple correspondences. The landscape with the Sibyls on procession is framed by rinceaux in the friezes. Among the leaves and large blossoms are entwined putti and several rather unique versions of childlike centaurs. The artist also depicted monkeys wearing jade bracelets and earrings that playfully interlace their long tails. The most telling feature of these anthropomorphic gures is the pre-Columbian sound scroll that issues from their mouths. The lower half of the rst room’s lowest register appears to have been painted out, raising questions concerning its original appear- ance and meaning. Seraphim wearing jade pendants occupy the span- drels and, in the arched openings, knights in armor, shown only as heads in prole, alternate with large bunches of owers that once may have been depicted in vases or in a miniature landscape.

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The murals in the second room of the Casa del Deán almost defy description. Based on the Triumphs of Petrarch, the frescoes repre- sent the patron’s immersion in Christian humanism. The person- ications of Love, Chastity, Death, Fame, Time, and Eternity, taken from Petrarch’s poem to Laura, are usually shown riding triumphantly in noble chariots, with Eternity as the victor over the human con- dition that demands death. Petrarch’s poetic expression of earthly love converges with the ultimate realization of Christian redemption, that is, the gift of eternal life. 6 In this second room of the Dean’s house, Don Tomás and the indigenous artist or artists whom he commissioned broke with tradition and depicted only ve of the six Triumphs, and in a dierent order than is found in Petrarch’s orig- inal text. The allegorical personages in their chariots and those whom they have conquered occupy a rocky foreground save the gure of Eternity whose chariot oats above the clouds. As a setting for the Triumphs the landscape is not continuous, suggesting that the scenes that unfold behind each of the victorious protagonists were meant to contribute greater meaning to the specic gure. Above and below the Triumphs are friezes of rinceaux in which putti display cartouches containing images of animals involved in activities that are anthropomorphic (Figs. 1.1 and 1.2). Each animal and the related emblems that surround it seem to be connected to the Triumph nearest the cartouche. It is in this portion of the mural cycle in both rooms that elements of pre-Columbian imagery are especially evident and where it is likely that some form of cultural symbiosis took place.

Petrarch’s Triumphs and Spectacle Literacy

The Triumphs, the ingenious rhetorical invention or concetto devised by Petrarch, greatly inuenced poets and artists for several centuries. As each temporarily triumphant or ascendant aspect of the human life span is in turn vanquished, Petrarch establishes for the specta- tor (or reader) a conceptualization of the victory of Christian faith over death that is palpable and sensual. The poem emerges from


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the classical Roman imperial tradition of the conquering general’s heroic entry, accompanied by his retinue, into the capital. 7 The mil- itary quality of conquest and the notion of a ruler’s victorious entry provide a note of irony in the poem. In ve of the triumphs that take place on earth, all of humanity is subject to defeat, a result of the ephemeral nature of life itself. In the end all are oered the ulti- mate triumph over death:

Five of these Triumphs on the earth below We have beheld, and at the end, the sixth, God willing, we shall see in heaven above. 8

Several biblical passages can be considered as sources for the iconog- raphy of the Triumphs. 9 Ezekiel’s chariot is in concordance with the triumphant appearance to St. John of the “King of kings and Lord of lords” in the Book of Revelation. The four beasts that draw the prophet Ezekiel’s chariot and appear again in Revelation became the symbols of the four Evangelists. The most powerful biblical description of a chariot is in the Second Book of Kings when Elijah turns his power of the spirit over to Elisha:

And as they still went on and talked, behold, a chariot of re and horses of re separated the two of them. And Elijah went up by a whirwind into heaven. And Elisha saw it and cried, “My father, my father! The chariots of Israel and its horsemen!” and saw him no more. 10

These ‘historical’ precedents, both classical and biblical, were equally seductive for Petrarch’s early fourteenth-century contemporary Dante. In his Purgatorio section of the Divine Comedy, Dante recounts a mirac- ulous vision that is considered to be the personied Church Triumphant in a chariot surrounded by the four beasts described by Ezekiel and by St. John the Evangelist. 11 Petrarch’s concept of triumph was elab-

7 Strong (1984) 44.

8 Petrarca (1962) 112.

9 Knipping (1974) 55. 10 Ezekiel 1:4–28; Revelation 4:6–8 and 19:11–16; and 2 Kings 2:9–12. The Bible edition employed for this essay is The New Oxford Annotated Bible with the Apocrypha (New York: 1977). In the sixteenth-century Franciscan monasteries of Cholula, Huejotzingo, and Tecali, all near Puebla, are mural representations of St. Francis in a chariot of re. St. Francis is thus being identied as the new Elijah. According to Montes Bardo (1998) 287–289, Elijah prophesies the salvation of the pagans and the Last Judgment.

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orated in the Hypnerotomachia Poliphili by Francesco Colonna, pub- lished in 1499. This exotic novel, with its vivid descriptions and illus- trations, inuenced the development and appearance of public processions and representations of triumphs. 12 Another powerful lit- erary generator of artistic imagery was Savonarola’s Triumphus Crucis, published in 1497. Christ, the Man of Sorrows, rides in a chariot and displays his wounds, surrounded by the instruments of the Passion. Erwin Panofsky asserted that “Savonarola seems indeed to be the rst to have visualized Christ in person as a triumphator ‘all’antica.’” 13 The Triumphs entered popular culture through public religious pro- cessions and triumphal entries of kings and princes. In 1443 King Alfonso of Catalonia arrived in Naples in a gilded chariot drawn by white horses and shaded by a cloth of gold. The Florentines in Naples contributed a chariot in which rode the personication of Fortuna, accompanied by the Seven Virtues on horseback. The Catalans followed, “with mock horses fastened in front and behind them, ghting a mock battle with mock Turks.” 14 The sequence of triumphs devised by Petrarch evokes the dynamic of the procession itself as not only highly symbolic but also with nar- rative qualities. The parade passes before the viewers in the same way that the triumphs follow an order expressive of Petrarch’s loss and mourning. In a recent essay Domenico Pietropaolo has turned his attention to formal aspects of the reception of spectacles and how they might be applied to scholarly investigation of literary descrip- tions like Petrarch’s Triumphs.

Spectacular literacy is that species of the phenomenon in which the

signs are units of spectacular discourse rather than

matics of processional discourse concerns

a community of observers and not an encounter mediated by poetic language. In the context of Petrarch’s Triumphs, which are linguistic representations of spectacle rather than spectacle itself, the observer is not external but internal to the text and ultimately coincides with the narrative voice. 15

a direct encounter with

The prag-

11 Dante (1950) 365–367. Bocaccio’s Amorosa Visione of the mid-fourteenth cen- tury describes a triumph based on classical sources; see Knipping (1974) 55.

12 Strong (1984) 45–6. The Library of Congress Rare Book Room has a 1499 imprint of the Hypnerotomachia

13 Scribner III (1982) 66–67; and Panofsky (1969) 59.

14 Hughes (1997) 101.

15 Pietropaolo (1987) 359.


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Pietropaolo confronts the relationship of time and space by setting forth what he terms the “three temporal dimensions of the present moment”: actuality, recollection, and expectation. As the procession moves through the street, what is past and what is anticipated are perceived simultaneously. 16 Thus, when time and space intersect, the act of observing involves the construction of narrative. The single most telling aspect of the Casa del Deán murals is that all of the gures are shown on procession. The Sibyls on horseback and allegorical gures riding in chariots could have been participants in a triumphal parade or religious pageant in any major city in six- teenth-century Western Europe. Festivals and triumphal entries served social, political, and religious purposes, as in the case of Charles V, the Holy Roman Emperor styled as the ‘Champion of Christianity,’ who employed them on a grand scale. “By the time of his abdica- tion in 1556, every educated person within Europe must have been familiar with the rhetoric and imagery of Sacred Empire.” 17 Love of pageantry extended to the New World, an aspect of both cultures that could be shared. In 1585 the citizens of Tlaxcala, the original seat of the bishopric that had moved twenty-four miles to Puebla, prepared for a formal visit from the viceroy. As Cathedral Dean of the bishopric of Tlaxcala-Puebla, Don Tomás de la Plaza could very well have been in attendance.

Prior to [the viceroy’s] arrival the people constructed a wooden castle of several stories with quarters and vantage points for simulated war- fare. Their plan was to dress as Spaniards, Tlaxcalans, and Chichimecs and to present a battle scene. When the viceroy came, they oered him the keys and requested the preservation of their fueros [rights and privileges]. An army of Indians dressed as Spaniards and Tlaxcalans accompanied this entrance. Finally, four old men, garbed as the four “kings” of conquest times [i.e. the chiefs of the four quarters of the pre-Hispanic Tlaxcalan polity] with crowns on their heads, addressed sonnets to him in Spanish. 18

Every year of his tenure as Dean, for eight days in late spring, Don Tomás de la Plaza was responsible for the celebration of the feast of Corpus Christi, when the Holy Sacrament was carried through the streets in procession. All the citizens of Puebla were involved,

16 Ibid., 361.

17 Strong (1984) 74–75, 80.

18 Gibson (1952) 147.

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sweeping and preparing altars at each street intersection. The city’s Cabildo and confraternities provided nancial contributions and marched in the procession, carrying torches and banners with their insignia and coats of arms. The procession began and ended at the Cathedral, where dances and comedies were performed. 19 Consequently it can be asserted with little doubt that the Dean was intimately familiar with all aspects of Christian processional lore as he proved in the mural cycle that he commissioned for his home. At a much later date, but related to Don Tomas’s deanship, was the festive dedication of the Cathedral of Puebla upon its comple- tion in 1649, presided by Bishop Don Juan Palafox y Mendoza:

This afternoon, festivities planned by the Noblest of Cities began, for which the principal plaza was enclosed with scaolding and in the center was built a Castle in which fought various troops, attacking and defending, dressed as Spaniards and Indians of various Nations, some wearing animal skins and their costumes adorned with feathers accord- ing to their tradition, who executed with skill the various skirmishes and attacks. Then two costumed troops entered on horseback, dressed as Christians and Moors with a large number of attendants on foot, all richly dressed, who performed with equal skill the team events, games, and tourneys and having concluded, a Triumphal Chariot entered the plaza, dedicated to the Virgin of the Immaculate Conception, whose sacred image was placed in the upper section and at whose feet was a choir of musicians, very well-dressed, that, to the sound of a large group of instruments, sang elegies to the sacred Mystery [i.e., the mystery embodied in God’s Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary], moving around the plaza until after nightfall, when the cos- tumed troops entered for a second time carrying lighted torches and with these held in their hands, began to execute the various drills and movements, which delighted the gathering far into the night. 20

Petrarch’s Triumphs were especially beguiling for artists as variations on the theme abounded: Triumphs of the Seasons, the Virtues, and of Old Testament heroes. The transmutation from image to pageant

19 Actas de Cabildo de Puebla (1996), Ficha no. 09451, Vol. 0012, Document 056, Asunto 04, 30 April 1586, fol. 0047v:

Pregon para que en la procesion de Corpus Christi y su ochavario de este año, todos los obrajeros salgan con su pendon y candelas y que los ociales de todos los ocios salgan en ella, so pena de 50 pesos de oro comun. Que se nombren a los veedores de los obrajeros para que participen en la proce- sion. Ademas, se indico que se aderecen las casas y puertas y que en las encru- cijadas se coloquen los altares como es costumbre.

20 Translation by the author from Fernández Echeverría y Veytia (1931) II, 79–80.


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and back to image reached its height in the sixteenth century. Tapestries, frescoed walls, pottery, stained glass, marble, bronze, and ivory sculpture, books, woodcuts, and engravings provided perma- nence for what had been ephemeral events. 21 The festival organiz- ers consulted the Biblia pauperum, emblem books, and humanist and classical writings to devise the complex layers of meanings that pub- licly unfolded in what Émile Mâle has called “a miraculous conti- nuity of revelation.” 22 The rst edition of Petrarch’s Triumphs in Castilian, the language now commonly known as ‘Spanish,’ translated from the Italian by Antonio de Obregón, was published in 1512 in Logroño, Spain. Hernando de Hozes’s Spanish translation, published in 1581 in Salamanca, was shipped to the New World in 1586. Several edi- tions of the Triumphs are on the Inquisition lists because of perceived heretical statements made in the commentaries. The 1541 Valladolid edition was banned in Mexico. For the Seville version of the Obregón translation, the ocer of the Inquisition provided the specic folio on which the oending text could be found. 23 While the above evidence proves that there were printed book versions of the Triumphs in the New World, it seems more likely that Don Tomás and his artists found inspiration in a prints series from Antwerp. After looking at numerous versions of the Triumphs pub- lished between 1512 and 1581, it is hard to imagine that any of these illustrated editions inuenced the poblano murals. The iconog- raphy of the images in most of the sixteenth-century book editions of the Triumphs is dependent upon early Italian models, while the variations evident in the Casa del Deán seem to derive from a north- ern European tradition. Several Triumphs prints series, not from books, were produced around the time of the Puebla mural cycle, including those by Georg Pencz and Martin van Heemskerck. At the Augustinian monastery at Metztitlán, north of Mexico City, the sixteenth-century artists did wall paintings of a Triumph of Chastity and a Triumph of Patience, both

21 Massena (1902) 127.

22 Mâle (1986) 233.

23 A copy of the 1512 Obregón edition is in the Hispanic Society in New York. See Kropnger von Kügelgen (1973) 81; and Fernández Echeverría y Veytia (1931) 246, 323, 486–487, 501.

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taken directly from prints by van Heemskerck. 24 Although the murals in the Casa del Deán do not resemble the work of Pencz or van Heemskerck stylistically, the strongest argument that they were based upon a series of prints rather than on book illustrations is the fact that Don Tomás changed the order of the Triumphs and excluded Fame, making it more likely that the images were viewed separately from text.

Triumphs Leading to Eternity

Launching the Casa del Deán mural cycle, the personication of Love is clothed in a simple white robe and seated in a chariot pulled by two spirited horses “whiter than whitest snow” as specied by Petrarch (Fig. 1.1). 25 Love’s chariot glides across the rocky terrain, leaving for dead those whom she has conquered—a king, a soldier, a friar, and a young woman. The serene pastoral landscape, with its atmospheric blues and greens and soft linear transitions, provides a sharp con- trast to the rock-strewn hard earth of the foreground. In representations of the Triumphs, the steeds for each of the char- iots had become traditional: White horses for Love; unicorns for Chastity; oxen for Death; elephants for Fame; stags for Time; and the symbolic animals of the four Evangelists for Eternity. As will become evident, Don Tomás followed literary and visual traditions when they adhered to the statement he wished to make. While Cupid blindfolded played the role of Love Triumphant in many of the illus- trated editions, in the poblano cycle Cupid makes his appearance instead as a tiny gure perched on the chariot behind the personied gure of Love (Fig. 1.1). The nude winged gure of Cupid is masked and armed, “a cruel youth with bow in hand and arrows at his side.” 26 According to

24 Palm (1973). Palm discovered the connection between the Metztitlán murals and the van Heemskerck prints. He also opined that the Heemskerck series pro- vided the program for the murals of the Casa del Deán: “El libro de Hadrianus Junius, médico de la cabecera del príncipe de Orania, proporciona además una segunda clave. Al reunir epigramas sobre los Triunfos de Petrarca con otros sobre las Virtudes cristianas, revela ser la fuente de Contrarreforma que sirve de pro- grama común para los murales de Metztitlán y la Casa del Deán.”

25 Petrarca (1962) 5–6.

26 Petrarca (1962) 6.


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Panofsky, the ubiquitous personication of Love in Italian Renaissance art and poetry acquired the blindfold as an attribute, and “[a] major-

ity of Renaissance artists

Seeing Cupid almost at random. In the illustrations of Petrarch’s Triumphs both types appear indiscriminately.” However, he contin- ues, within the context of the Counter-Reformation—the epoch of our Mexican sequence—a distinction was made between the Blind Cupid, who represented profane, sensual love, and the Seeing Cupid, who signied that which is sacred. 27 Because the Cupid in the Casa del Deán is masked rather than blindfolded, I would suggest that he represents love of the sacred. The dual nature of love enters into the question of the female gure’s identity as Venus. 28 A century earlier the Florentine Marsilio Ficino, attempting to integrate the ‘pagan’ philosophy of Plato with Christian theology, conceived of love as the essential aspect of God’s interaction with humanity. “According to Ficino, amore is only another name for that self-reverting current (circuitus spiritualis) from God to the world and from the world to God. The loving individual inserts himself into this mystical current.” 29 In the Neo-Platonic scheme envisioned by Ficino, the desire for a higher understanding of the sublime leads to a love that manifests itself in beauty. This beauty exists on earth as two aspects, symbol- ized as the “Twin Venuses,” as love that can be celestial or natural as originally identied and discussed in Plato’s Symposium. 30 This Neo- Platonic conceptualization of the nature of love was a guiding prin- ciple in the development of the meaning of the gure of Love Triumphant in the Casa del Deán painting. In Titian’s Sacred and Profane Love, dated 1515, it is the nude Venus who represents love of the sublime as she gestures ‘heavenward’ with a aming vase. 31 The clothed Venus in Puebla holds a scepter in her right hand; in her left is a aming heart, symbol of impassioned spirituality, which she raises toward the empyrean. 32 This perception of love’s dual nature led in 1544 to the prohibi- tion in Mexico of any sort of costumed dancing during the festival

began to use the Blind Cupid and the

27 Panofsky (1967) 103, 121–128.

28 Sebastián (1992) 110.

29 Panofsky (1967) 141.

30 Panofsky (1967) 142–143.

31 Panofsky (1969) 115.

32 Ferguson (1974) 48–49; and Hall (1979) 146.

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of Corpus Christi. Archbishop Juan de Zumárraga set forth a trea- tise on the proper and reverential manner of celebrating this devo- tional event, including the following codicil:

And something of great irreverence and shamelessness, it seems that, before the Most Holy Sacrament, men in disguise and in women’s costumes go dancing and leaping about, swaying in an immodest and lascivious manner, making a din that drowns out the church choirs, representing profane triumphs, like that of the God of Love, so immodest, and even to those persons without modesty, so shameful to see. 33

In our Puebla murals, a hillside marks the transition to the next alle- gory, introduced by a group of female gures depicted at the cor- ner of the room. These are the Virtues who assist Chastity in her triumph over Love, following Petrarch:

With her, and arméd, was the glorious host Of all the radiant virtues that were hers, Hands held in hands that clasped them, two by two. Honor and Modesty were in the van, A noble pair of virtues excellent, That set her high above all other women; Prudence and Moderation were near by, Benignity and Gladness of Heart— Glory and Perseverance in the rear; Foresight and Graciousness were at the sides, And Courtesy therewith, and Purity, Desire for Honor, and Fear of Shame. A Thoughtfulness mature in spite of Youth, And, in concord rarely to be found, Beauty supreme at one with Chastity. 34

Chastity carries a palm in her right hand in recognition of the vir-

gin martyrs. The chariot is drawn by a pair of unicorns, an allu- sion to female chastity. 35 Like the personication of Love, “she wore,

.” In this very personal interpretation

that day, a gown of white

33 My italics. García Icazbalceta (1968) II, 349, quoting Archbishop Zumárraga, 1544, this author’s translation:

Y cosa de gran desacato y desvergüenza parece que ante el Santísimo Sacramento vayan los hombres con máscaras y en hábitos de mujeres, danzando y saltando con meneos deshonestos y lascivos, haciendo estruendo, estorbando los cantos de la Iglesia, representando profanos triunfos, como el del Dios del Amor, tan deshonesto, y aun á las personas no honestas, tan vergonzoso de mirar

34 Petrarca (1962) 42.

35 Hall (1979) 231–232, 327–328.


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of the Triumphs by Don Tomás de la Plaza, Chastity is that “Virtue,

that never doth forsake the good

pure desires within the heart,” 36 is the sacred vow of the priest, that

he might overcome earthly appetites to enact his spiritual calling. The narrative of the procession in the Casa del Deán does not involve the conquest of each of the personied aspects of life, as in many of the other representations of the series. In the poblano mural Chastity does not trample Sublime Love, as is usually the case, but continues the quest for a higher spiritual and intellectual plane. The focus of this iconographic program is on the drama of life’s choices and demands, always with the promise of ultimate victory over death. Time is represented by the winged gure of Saturn with his hour- glass at his side. He uses a cane to support himself while he holds up his son in the horrifying act of devouring him. As Panofsky has written, “Petrarch’s Time was not an abstract philosophical princi- ple but a concrete alarming power.” 37 In his description of the Triumph of Time Petrarch writes of Phoebus in his quadriga (chariot) with his ‘four good steeds’ moving with great speed, a reminder of the brevity of life. In the mural the chariot of Time is drawn by stags, known for their swiftness. The destructive force of personied Time is represented by his advanced age and crippled body. The cannibalistic act is the consumption of all that is created. 38 From destruction comes the revelation of Truth. The eeting pas- sage of time forces the rejection of all that is vain. By placing Time before Death, Don Tomás has characterized life before its end. In his version of the Triumphs, Fame does not vanquish Death nor give meaning to life. It is nothing more than ‘arrant vanity’ or human pride: “The Sun, victorious o’er the human mind, / Will still revolve, and Fame will fade away.” 39 Rather, it is Time that qualies life, admonishing and uninchingly pointing toward the truth of Salvation. The frightening skeletal apparition of Death holds his scythe aloft as he drives his team of oxen. As his chariot rolls forward, Death indiscriminately brings an end to life for people of all ages, from the poor and powerless to those who have enjoyed earthly success. The

.” This virtue, which “kindles

36 Petrarca (1962) 41, 44, 46.

37 Panofsky (1967) 79–80.

38 Ibid., 76–77.

39 Petrarca (1962) 96 and 99.

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Three Fates—Clotho, Lachesis, and Atropos—determine each per- son’s destiny and life span by cutting the thread of life from the spindle on its dista. 40 In a village set into the middle ground, a funerary cortege moves toward a circular walled enclosure. In the center of the back wall rises a tall tower embellished with signs of the cross on either side of the doorway. This tower is reminiscent of those that were constructed in the mid-sixteenth century in the towns of Tlaxcala and Tepeaca, both within close proximity to the city of Puebla, at the behest of Don Francisco Verdugo. 41 These towers served as symbols of royal justice and power.

The Triumph of Eternity/Ecclesia

The allegorical gure of Eternity/Ecclesia displays a queenly man- ner (Fig. 1.2). Her scepter in her right hand, she gestures a com- mand to the peacocks to draw her aloft into the clouds. Behind her, as part of the chariot, lighted torches are set upon Solomonic columns. The bird’s eye view of the landscape allows the observer the same perspective as that of Eternity. Clouds barely rise above the grass- covered mountain in the foreground, while in the middle distance villages can be seen in the valley below. The mountains in the far distance are lost in a blue atmospheric haze. For centuries the Virgin as Queen of Heaven was envisioned simul- taneously as the Church Triumphant. An early example of this is provided by the twelfth-century Hortus Deliciarum, in which the Virgin appears as both Ecclesia and the Queen of Heaven, surrounded by a hierarchy of bishops, friars, kings, and prophets. 42 In a thirteenth- century mosaic in Rome’s church of Santa Maria Maggiore, Christ crowns the Virgin with His right hand and holds a book in His left in which is written Veni, Electa mia, et ponam te in thronum meum. The River Jordan ows through the foreground of the scene, “symbol of baptism and regeneration; on its shore stands the hart, the emblem of religious aspiration.” 43

40 Hall (1979) 302.

41 Weckmann (1992) 370, 457, 594.

42 Schiller (1971–) I, 288–299. See also Panofsky (1966) 145–146.

43 Jameson (1895) 106–110.


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Panofsky interprets a work that illustrates the complexity of Late Gothic Mariological symbolism, Jan van Eyck’s painting of the Madonna in the Church:

In order to lend artistic expression to this mysterious and many-lev- eled identity of Virgin and Mother, Mother and Daughter, Daughter and Bride, Queen of Heaven and Church on Earth, an image had been devised which may be described as “the Virgin Mary in a church and as the Church.” [On her hem appear the following words:] It [meaning Divine Wisdom as diused in the Universal Church and embodied in the Virgin Mary] is more beautiful than the sun and above the whole order (dispositio) of the stars. Being compared with the [natural] light, she is found before it. She is the brightness of eternal light, and the awless mirror of God’s majesty. 44

Building upon this visual heritage of the identication of the Virgin Mary with the Church, a tapestry from Chaumont in the Loire Valley, datable to the period 1500–10 and now in the Cleveland Museum of Art, provides the closest known iconographic antecedent to Mary as the Triumph of Eternity/Ecclesia as used in the Casa del Deán. The tapestry displays two angels who crown the Virgin as she sits enthroned in the Garden of Paradise, surrounded by a group of angelic musicians. According to the inscription on the banner in the upper right corner of the tapestry, Mary as Ecclesia has unmistak- ably been endowed with the additional identity of the Triumph of Eternity.

Nothing triumphs by right authority Unless it is conducted by Eternity. Nothing is permanent beneath the rmament, But above us triumphs Eternity. 45

Despite this iconographic development toward the Virgin as the simultaneous embodiment of the Triumph of Eternity and of the Church, in the illustrated editions of Petrarch’s Triumphs and in most depictions of the subject on cassoni or in print series, the Triumph of Eternity is evoked by the image of the Trinity or of Christ in Majesty. Contemporaneously, Titian painted a fresco in his residence of the Triumph of Faith and subsequently produced a woodcut based on the painting in 1511. Rather than casting Christ as the Man of

44 Panofsky (1966) 145–148. This author’s brackets.

45 Shepherd (1961) 158–159 and 172–173.

the queen of heaven reigns in new spain


Sorrows, as in Savonarola’s Triumphus Crucis, Titian has Him riding

in majesty, carrying a scepter and seated on a celestial orb, as the Eternal Christ. 46 While this representation has its origins in Italy and is possibly reective of the inuence of Titian’s print, its use was widespread throughout Europe in the rst half of the sixteenth cen- tury. Thus Dorothy G. Shepherd could arm that the crowned Virgin as the Triumph of Eternity in the Chaumont tapestry of ca. 1500–10 is without precedent. 47 This conceit, as Sheperd states, may have been unprecedented before the turn of the fteenth century, but this essay asserts that it was reprised around 1580 in the murals of the Casa del Deán. It is now necessary to settle the identity of this female personication in the poblano cycle. Should she be considered the Triumph of Eternity as in Petrarch’s poem, or has she taken on another role or guise in the iconographic program of Don Tomás de la Plaza? The answer lies in visual clues, the most important being the Solomonic columns that are part of the chariot. The twelve Antique twisted columns that were placed in Old St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome were, according to legend, brought from the Temple of Solomon by the Emperor Constantine. Solomon’s Temple was the prototype for the universal Catholic Church and, on another level, was the “pre-guration of the Heavenly Jerusalem.” Solomonic or Eucharistic architecture signies the establishment of the Heavenly Jerusalem on earth at the end of time. The Council of Trent reinforced this view of the Eucharist, administered by the Church, bringing the faithful on earth ever closer to heaven. As Nora de Poorter observed on the symbolism embodied by the Solomonic columns, “The church itself thus becomes a forecourt of

paradise. Through the power of the Eucharist

to see and experience in advance the blessedness that he is destined to enjoy forever.” 48 Consequently, the use of the Solomonic columns in her chariot proves that the Puebla gure, besides embodying the more common Petrarchist signicance of Eternity, is also meant to be seen as the simultaneous personication of Ecclesia. It could be no other way for a cleric such as Don Tomás: Eternity, Eternal Life

the believer is able

46 Scribner (1982) 67; and Panofsky (1969) 59.

47 Shepherd (1961) 172–173, cites one other related example, a manuscript illus- trated with ink drawings, number 5066 in the Bibliothèque de l’Arsenal, Paris.

48 De Poorter (1978) 171–176.


penny c. morrill

is achieved by the otherwise ephemeral human being only by join-

ing with the body of the Church, so they are tantamount and indis- tinguishable. And Mary is the gure for the body of the Church. This allegorical gure, Eternity/Ecclesia, triumphs over Death and Time. Her role as Mary, Queen of Heaven is validated by specic classicizing symbolic references that pervade other murals in the Room of Triumphs. She is dened by the peacocks, which draw her

chariot, by the crown she wears, and by the scepter she carries. This imagery simultaneously identies this syncretistic gure as Juno, identied by the Renaissance as the preeminent queen goddess of heaven in Antiquity and thus a trope for Mary (cf. Fig. 1.3). 49 In her study of the Triumph of the Eucharist tapestries by Rubens, de Poorter emphasizes that in the Lowlands “preference was given

at an early stage to Triumphs of a more didactic kind, in line with

the somewhat austere allegories of the Rhetoricians. Abstract ideas, clad in allegorical forms, are seen in procession in triumphal cars,

but the original idea of victory is to a large extent lost.” 50 This same characterization can be applied to the Triumph murals in the Casa del Deán. The emblematic approach to this specic subject is apparent in the works that were precedents for Rubens’s tapestry designs and that happen to have been contemporaneous with the poblano cycle.

A drawing attributed to Jan van der Straet, in the collection of the

Metropolitan Museum of Art and dated ca. 1590–1595, is entitled The Triumph of the Holy Scriptures and the Church. Following tradition,

the chariot is drawn by the four animal symbols of the Evangelists, but the triumphal gure is a female personication of the Church,

as in Puebla. 51 Commissioned in 1590 by Albert and Isabella in Brussels, Otto van Veen painted six panels representing the Triumph of the Catholic Church. Ecclesia is a female personication common to all of the

49 Hall (1979) 182, 238; and Seyert (1961) 337. On the early modern syn- chronization of history whereby themes from pre-Christian Antiquity are given bib- lical orientation, see Tanner (1993) 33–34, 54, 119–121; and Strong (1984) 68. According to de la Maza, (1968) 33, the birds in Puebla identied here as pea- cocks are instead geese. However, the artist who worked on the 1955 renovation of the Casa del Deán murals assured me that they represent peacocks.

50 De Poorter (1978) 199.

51 Jan van der Straet was also known as Johannes Stradanus or Giovanni Stradano.

the queen of heaven reigns in new spain


Fig. 1.3 Juno. Apud An engraving from Francis Pantheum mythicum, Fabulosa Collection, deorum historia. Amsterdam:
Fig. 1.3
Juno. Apud
An engraving
from Francis
Fabulosa Collection,
deorum historia.
J. J. a Poolsum,
1757. Pomey,
of Massachusetts.
Chapin seu, Library
College, Ex Williams-


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paintings. In the Triumph of Verbum Dei and Ecclesia, also known as Christ’s Investiture of the Church, the apocalyptic double-edged sword extends from the mouth of Christ as he places a book representing the Word of the Lord into the lap of Ecclesia, the crowned Queen of Heaven. Surrounded by the four writers of the Epistles—Peter, Paul, James, and John the Evangelist—Ecclesia’s chariot is drawn by the animal symbols of the four Gospel authors. 52 None of these works had a direct inuence on the poblano murals, but their development of symbolic references to the Church Tri- umphant and to the Eucharist as the essential path to redemption is reective of the Counter-Reformation rhetoric that they share with the Dean’s opus. Among the decrees of the Council of Trent was the designation of the feast of Corpus Christi as an appropriate and solemn veneration of the Sacred Sacrament. It was also envisioned as the celebration of truth, the unique property of the universal Church in its triumph over falsehood and heresy. 53 The triumphal gure in the Casa del Deán can be considered an example of a new allegorical model for Ecclesia, whose creation in the Spanish Nether- lands in the mid-sixteenth century led to Rubens’s Triumph of the Eucharist. Prints of his composition were enormously inuential in New Spain in the mid-seventeenth century as can be attested by the large renditions, virtually replicas, of Rubens’s work still hanging in the Cathedrals of Mexico City and Puebla. 54 An illuminating text for the interpretation of the murals in the Room of the Triumphs is a Last Judgment in Náhuatl, the predomi- nant Indian language of central Mexico at the time of the Spanish

52 Sutton (1993) 14–15. De Poorter (1978) publishes an image of a lost tapestry, Plate 76, described on page 201, dated c. 1520–30, entitled The Triumph of Faith, in which the Virgin Mary is enthroned, holding in her right hand a model of a church and in her left the cross of the Resurrection. Church equals Ecclesia and Resurrection equals Eternity, Eternal Life, foretelling the poblano personication. For the six van Veen panels, see de Poorter (1978) 199–200. De Poorter switched the titles for the Triumphs in Plates 71 and 72. For the van Veen cycle, see also Vogl (1987); and Knipping (1974) 57. For the biblical references to the sword, Revelation 1:16; 2:12, 16.

53 De Poorter (1978) 165.

54 Burke (1982) 59–63; and Toussaint (1967) 238–241. Baltasar Echave Rioja’s version of the Triumph of the Eucharist, dated 1675, is in Puebla Cathedral’s sacristy. Cristóbal de Villalpando painted another for the Cathedral of Mexico City in 1685, followed by Nicolás Rodríguez Juárez’s rendition in 1695 for the Church of El Carmen in the city of Celaya in the present Mexican State of Guanajuato.

the queen of heaven reigns in new spain


conquest and through the colonial period. Dating before 1550, this play, now in the Library of Congress, has been attributed to the Franciscan Andrés de Olmos. Ricard states that

The famous polyglot Fray Andrés de Olmos wrote

It was staged in the chapel of San José de los

Naturales [in Mexico City] before Viceroy Mendoza, who arrived in 1535, and before [Archbishop] Zumárraga, who died in 1548. According to Las Casas, some eight hundred actors and supernumeraries partic- ipated in it and played their parts to perfection. 55

an auto entitled

El Juicio

One of those parts is spoken by the Holy Church, and this alle- gorical gure’s lines, along with those of Time and Death, are worth relating to the meaning of their plastic counterparts in the Room of the Triumphs. The play begins with the sound of trumpets as the Heavens open and St. Michael appears:

Michael: Be in deadly fear! For the Day of Judgment will descend upon you, fearful, dreadful, frightful, paralyzing! Take warning and lead a proper life. The Day of Judgment is at hand.

The trumpets sound again and Penitence, Time, the Holy Church, Confession, and Death appear onstage. As they speak about the Judgment that is imminent, the dialogue provides a closely related parallel to the iconographic program in the Room of the Triumphs.

Time: I am Time. I am he who continues ever-questioning people. Our Lord God sent and established me to keep them, care for them, warn them, remind them day and night. Never do I stop speaking! I am continually shouting in their ears so that they may remember their Creator, their Maker, the Lord God. I take care that they cry out to Him; that they bless Him; that they serve Him; that they do as their Lord our God wishes. I urge them to go to His house and to praise Him; to ask for His Divine Grace.

Holy Church: I am the ever-merciful mother. My beloved Son Jesus Christ has established me here for the people of the earth. I am always weeping for them, especially when some of them die. For when I shed tears, I pray to my beloved Mother, the sacred fountain of Joy, to

My heart is

sad for them. Would that they might pray to be pardoned; that they might weep and repent of their shortcomings and sins!

have pity on her creatures and to give light to

55 Ricard (1966) 47–48, 195. The play’s actual combined Spanish-Náhuatl title is Nexcuitilmachiotl Motenhua Juicio Final.


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Penitence: Oh mother of complete faith, all that you say is quite true!

Death: I am the ocer of the law, the appointed one, the messenger empowered by heaven. Here on earth the power spreads forth to the uttermost limits as the rays of the sun shining forth in the heavens, and over the whole earth. Let the people of the earth remember that soon the beloved Son of God will come down to judge the quick and the dead

Holy Church: I am the divine light of the only faith. I enlighten and give spiritual vision to all Christians that they may come so that I may cleanse them; for they are dizzy and stupid with sin. If they weep and are sad, then my beloved Youth, Jesus Christ, will pardon them and give them the kingdom of heaven.

The Judgment proceeds and the play ends with the entrance of the priest.

The Day of Judgment is coming soon. Pray to our Lord

Jesus Christ and to the Virgin Mary, that She may entreat Her beloved Son Jesus Christ that you might merit and deserve the joy of Heaven— that eternal glory! Amen. 56

Andrés de Olmos has cast the Holy Church not only as Mother of God but as the embodiment of “the divine light of the only faith.” The Mater Ecclesia is the ever-merciful mother whose “beloved Son Jesus Christ” has established Her, the Church, on this earth for all people. At the same time that the Holy Church takes the part of the mother who weeps for her children, the Holy Church prays to the beloved Mother. In this interweaving of roles and identities, we are reminded of Jan van Eyck’s Madonna in the Church, in which Mary is depicted in the church and as the Church. In both the painting and in Olmos’s play, the Virgin Mary shines with the radiance of divine light: “She is the brightness of eternal light, and the awless mirror of God’s majesty.” 57 And at the last it is the Virgin in Her role as Queen of Heaven and Bride of Christ who is intercessor on the Day of Judgment.


56 Ravicz (1970) 141–156.

57 Panofsky (1966) 145–148. Dotson (1979) 427, in her denitive interpretation of Michelangelo’s mural cycle in the Sistine Chapel, points out that the Sibyls in their oracles acknowledge the central role of the Virgin who as Mother of Christ simultaneously becomes the Church, “which feeds her children, whose lap is a refuge, in whose womb is the model of life.”

the queen of heaven reigns in new spain



The narrative of the processions that make their way through the two rooms of the Casa del Deán ends in serenity and peace. What began with blindfolded Synagoga reaches its culmination in the Triumph of Eternity/Ecclesia. Panofsky wrote of this duality with its eschatological implications that “The conversion of the Synagogue was the precondition of the nal triumph of Christianity which was ushered in by the Last Judgment and found fulllment in what St. Augustine calls the ‘Eternal Beatitude of the City of God.’” 58 The theme for the mural cycle is built upon the concepts of pre- guration in the Room of the Sibyls and of fulllment in the Room of the Triumphs. 59 The knowledge of the future beyond human expe- rience involves a conception of history as divinely determined. An eschatological and apocalyptic view of God’s plan can only be com- municated through a ‘celestial mediator’ and then written down by the visionary who has received the divine revelation. This concept of a predetermined history can be characterized as teleological, a “drama of conict between good and evil leading toward a denitive conclusion, an end that gives meaning to the whole.” 60 The theme that unies the mural cycle is the fulllment of prophecy in the Triumph of the Church. In the rst room of the Casa del Deán, the Sibyls foretell the events of Christ’s life on earth, ending with the Resurrection. As predicted, Christ took on human form to live and die and live again. Through His suering and death Christ became the last sacrice, the propitiation for the sins of humanity. Like the pagan believers who heard the Sibyls’ prophecies, the indigenous people of New Spain, following this dialectic, accepted the true God and His promise of redemption. This promise is fullled in the Triumph of the Church. The unity of Christ with the Mater Ecclesia is built upon the central sacramental responsibilities of the Church: the administration of Baptism and the ongoing celebration of Christ’s sacricial omnipresence in the Eucharist. As the only true agent of redemptive grace, the post-Reformation Church Triumphant appears in the Casa del Deán mural as the Queen of Heaven in Her syncretistic guise as the Triumph of Eternity.

58 Panofsky (1969) 65.

59 Dotson (1979) 409.

60 McGinn (1985) 51–53.


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The culmination of the poblano mural sequence in the Triumph of Eternity/Ecclesia reveals a shared conceptualization on the part of Don Tomás de la Plaza and the native artist to the eect that they were participants in an unfolding cosmic drama. The Church Triumphant was seen as the earthly agent that could bring the hope of redemption to Spaniard and Amerindian alike, as tortillas became sacred esh, and wine, the sacred blood of Christ.


Actas de Cabildo de los siglos XVI y XVII de la muy noble y muy leal Ciudad de la Puebla de los Ángeles, CD-rom (Puebla: 1996). Burke, M. (1992) Pintura y escultura en Nueva España: El Barroco (Mexico: 1992). Colonna, F. (1499) Hypnerotomachia Poliphili, ubi humana omnia non nisi somnium esse docet (Venice: 1499). Dante Alighieri (1950) The Comedy of Dante Alighieri, trans. D. L. Sayers (Harmondsworth, Middlesex, England: 1950). De La Maza, F. (1968) La mitología clásica en el arte colonial de México (Mexico City:


De Marchi, N., and H. J. Van Miegroet (2000) “Exploring Markets for Netherlandish Painting in Spain and Nueva España,” Nederlands Kunsthistorisch Jaarboek 50 (2000)


De Poorter, N. (1978) The Eucharist Series. Corpus Rubenianum Ludwig Burchard, part 2, 2 vols. (London: 1978). Dotson, E. G. (1979) “An Augustinian Interpretation of Michelangelo’s Sistine

Chapel,” Art Bulletin 61, nos. 2–3 ( June–September 1979). Ferguson, G. (1974) Signs and Symbols in Christian Art (Oxford: 1974). Fernández del Castillo, F. (1914) Libros y libreros en el siglo XVI, rpt. (Mexico City:

1982 [1914]). Fernández Echeverría y Veytia, M. (1931) Historia de la fundación de la Ciudad de la Puebla de los Ángeles en la Nueva España: Su descripción y presente estado, 2 vols. (Puebla:


Gibson, C. (1952) Tlaxcala in the Sixteenth Century (New Haven, CT: 1952). Hall, J. (1979) Dictionary of Subjects and Symbols in Art, rev. ed. (New York: 1979). Hughes, G. (1997) Renaissance Cassoni, Masterpieces of Early Italian Art: Painted Marriage Chests, 1400–1500 (London: 1997). Jameson, A. (1895) Legends of the Madonna as Represented in the Fine Arts (Boston: 1895). Knipping, J. B. (1974) Iconography of the Counter-Reformation in the Netherlands: Heaven on Earth, 2 vols. (Nieuwkoop, The Netherlands: 1974). Kropnger von Kügelgen, H. (1979) “Aspectos iconológicos en los murales de la Casa del Deán de Puebla,” Comunicaciones de la Fundación Alemana para la Investigación Cientíca 16 (1979). ——, (1973) Exportación de libros europeos de Sevilla a la Nueva España en el año de 1586 (Wiesbaden: 1973). Leicht, H. (1934) Las calles de Puebla, rpt. (Puebla: 1986 [1934]). Mâle, É. (1986) Religious Art in France: The Late Middle Ages, H. Bober, ed., and M. Matthews, trans. (Princeton: 1986).

Massena, V., Prince d’Essling (1902) Petrarche: Ses études d’art

(Paris: 1902).

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McGinn, B. (1985) The Calabrian Abbot: Joachim of Fiore in the History of Western Thought (New York: 1985). Montes Bardo, J. (1998) Arte y espiritualidad franciscana en la Nueva España, siglo XVI:

Iconología en la Provincia del Santo Evangelio ( Jaén, Spain: 1998). The New Oxford Annotated Bible with the Apocrypha. Revised Standard Edition. H. G. May and B. M. Metzger, eds. (New York: 1977). Palm, E. W. (1973) “Los murales del convento agustino de Metztitlán.” Comunicaciones (Puebla: 1973). Panofsky, E. (1966) Early Netherlandish Painting: Its Origins and Character, 2 vols. (Cambridge, MA: 1966). ——, (1969) Problems in Titian, Mostly Iconographic (New York: 1969). ——, (1967) Studies in Iconology: Humanistic Themes in the Art of the Renaissance (New York: 1967). Petrarca, F. (1962) The Triumphs of Petrarch, trans. E. H. Wilkins (Chicago: 1962). Pietropaolo, D. (1987) “Spectacular Literacy and the Topology of Signicance: The Processional Mode,” in Petrarch’s Triumphs: Allegory and Spectacle, K. Eisenbichler and A. A. Iannucci, eds. (Toronto: 1987). Pomey, F. (1757) Pantheum mythicum, seu, Fabulosa deorum historia (Amsterdam: 1757). Ravicz, M. E. (1970) Early Colonial Religious Drama in Mexico: From Tzompantli to Golgotha (Washington, D.C.: 1970). Ricard, R. (1966) The Spiritual Conquest of Mexico, ed. L. B. Simpson (Berkeley: 1966). Schiller, G. (1971–) Iconography of Christian Art, J. Seligman, trans. (Greenwich, CT:

1971–). Two volumes of the translation have appeared so far. Schwaller, J. F. (1987) The Church and Clergy in Sixteenth-Century Mexico (Albuquerque:


Scribner III, C. (1982) The Triumph of the Eucharist Tapestries Designed by Rubens (Ann Arbor, MI: 1982). Sebastián, S. (1992) Iconografía e iconología del arte novohispano (Mexico: 1992). Seigel, J. (1968) Rhetoric and Philosophy in Renaissance Humanism: The Union of Eloquence and Wisdom, Petrarch to Valla (Princeton: 1968). Seyert, O. (1961) Dictionary of Classical Antiquities, eds. H. Nettleship and J. E. Sandys (Cleveland: 1961). Shepherd, D. G. (1961) “Three Tapestries from Chaumont,” Bulletin, Cleveland Museum of Art, 48, 7 (September 1961). Strong, R. C. Art and Power: Renaissance Festivals, 1450–1650 (Woodbridge, Suolk:


Tanner, M. (1993) The Last Descendant of Aeneas: The Hapsburgs and the Mythic Image of the Emperor (New Haven, CT: 1993). Toussaint, M. (1967) Colonial Art in Mexico, trans. and ed. E. W. Weismann (Austin:


Vogl, A. (1987) Der Bilderzyklus “Der Triumph der Kirche” von Otto van Veen (Munich:


Weckmann, L. (1992) The Medieval Heritage of Mexico (New York: 1992).




Magali M. Carrera

Nationalism is not the awakening of nations to self-consciousness; it invents nations where they do not exist.

Benedict Anderson

Women contribute most particularly to the happiness of the State

her bosom man begins to exist, in her lap he grows, is nourished and acquires his rst notions of Good and Evil. Semanario Económico de México, 1813


“A nation is nothing more than a great family, and in order for it to be stable and strong it means that all of its members must be closely united with ties of interest and aections of the heart.” 1 With these words, written in 1847, Mariano Otero, a young Mexican politician, reminded his countrymen that they must put aside their dierences and come together through love of country in order to overcome Mexico’s tumultuous political, social, and economic disar- ray in the mid-nineteenth century. Otero’s use of the metaphor of family is important because it implies the concept of ‘nation’ as an intricate web of aective relationships promoting a common good. Indeed, the theme of love of country constantly echoed across visual and written texts as the kingdom of New Spain, with its emphasis on la patria, motherland (also fatherland), in service to the sover- eignty of the king, became the Republic of Mexico, with its focus on la nación, “nation,” in service to the sovereignty of the people. This essay examines the gendered imagery that was associated with such aections. As Mexico attempted to dene and constitute

1 Otero (1975) [1847] 45. Otero’s essay was originally published anonymously and is generally attributed to him. Dennis E. Berge (1975), an historian, believes that the authors were Mariano Otero and, possibly, Juan Bautista Morales, also a political essayist.


magali m. carrera

itself as a nation, sovereignty, represented by the imagery of the king’s body, was replaced by a changing set of female images. Throughout the nineteenth century, this new corporeal imagery marked the shifting of the signifying site of sovereignty and represented an ongoing search to give visual focus to nationalist aections of the heart.

The Body of the Sovereign

“Vivan Nuestros Amados Soberanos Carlos Quarto [sic] y María Luisa de Borbón,” “Long Live Our Beloved Sovereigns Carlos the Fourth and María Luisa of Bourbon.” These words, supported by large wooden props, appeared on the central plaza of Mexico City in December 1796 as part of a three-day celebration to mark both the birthday of the Queen, María Luisa de Borbón, and the installation of a statue of King Carlos IV. As one would expect of this opulent and luxurious capital of New Spain, the city was elaborately decorated with banners and its numerous public and private buildings were lit with over 20,000 lights. In summarizing the event, the Gaceta de México, a monthly publication, went so far as to state: “It oered a spectacle that sweeps the imagination.” 2 The culmination of the celebration, however, was the unveiling of a massive statue of Carlos IV in the city’s central plaza that pre- sented the king, his right arm extended, riding a great prancing horse. In inaugurating this sculptural project, Viceroy Branciforte asserted that the magnicent metropolis of Mexico City had enjoyed many benets of royal patronage and now possessed what it had previously lacked—a great image of the king placed in the center of the capital that illustrated his virtues. 3 Closer examination of the circumstances of the statue, however, exposes an obvious but unexplored fact about the historical context of this equestrian visage: It was initially dedicated about three years after the King of France, Louis XIV, had been beheaded and the French monarchical system—guratively and literally—had been dis-

2 Gaceta de México (9 December 1796) 231.

3 Documentos varios para la historia de la Ciudad de México a nes de la época colonial (1769–1815) (1983) nos. 1–16, “Descripción de las estas,” 1.

affections of the heart


membered by the French Revolution. In New Spain there was great dismay over the French Revolution and its implications as is evident in a December 1794 sermon, delivered by Fray Servando Teresa de Mier in Mexico City, which censored the treacherous ideas of Rousseau and the horror of the Jacobin regicide. 4 Within this political con- text, the equestrian statue may be understood as a reication of the paramount trope of the ancien régime: The body of the Spanish king was assembled in New Spain as the sovereign body of the French king was disassembled. At the beginning of the nineteenth century there was continued awareness of the conceptual destruction of monarchy caused by French political thinking. This view is conrmed by the fact that in August 1801 the Gaceta de México announced that the book Histoire philosophique de la révolution de France by Antoine Fantin Desodoards [sic] had been banned because it “emanated an implacable hatred towards monarchical government, kingship, [and] the Catholic .” 5 In addition, Inquisition records indicate that French political writings were in circulation in eighteenth-century New Spain and a list of prohibited books was regularly announced. Various indi- viduals were denounced for owning or reading books by writers such as Voltaire and Rousseau. 6 In December 1803 the commission for the equestrian statue of Charles IV was completed when a bronze version was installed that replaced the temporary wooden one which had been used for the 1796 celebration. On this momentous occasion, Viceroy Iturrigaray,

4 Brading (2001) 201.

5 Gaceta de México (29 August 1801) n. p. Further research indicates that the Gaceta notice is probably referring to the book by Antoine Étienne Nicolas Fantin des

Odoards [1738–1820], Histoire de la République française

an. VI [1798]). Also, late eighteenth-century New Spanish Inquisition records con-

tain numerous proclamations listing banned books and pamphlets. Books by Rousseau, Voltaire, and other French philosophers were repeatedly placed on these lists.

6 Two examples for the time period under discussion include: “El Sr Inquisidor scal de este santo ocio contra el Fr. D. José Pastor Morales, clerigo de ordenes

menores de este arzobispado

(leia libros de Voltaire, Rousseau, etc, era afecto a las maximas de


Por Proposiciones. Resulta contra Morelle, Durrey,

(Paris: A. J. Dugour [etc.]

Francia y a su revolución, etc.),” AGN-202749, Inquisición, 1795, vol. 1361, Exp. 1 fols. 1–184 and “Relación de la causa seguida contra Dn, Antonio Castro y


Soltero. Por proposiciones hereticas, lectura de libros prohibidos, defen-

sor de Rousseau, etc.” AGN-204162. Inquisición 1803 vol. 1414, Exp. 2, fols. 280–289,


magali m. carrera

Branciforte’s successor, expounded eusively on the importance of this monument by writing

In an instant, the place [central plaza] was lled with people of all classes. Their faces reected the enjoyment they felt in their souls. They had no words to respectfully express their sincere gratitude for their great fortune. As they gazed at the statue—at his paternal smile, his tender looks—the people expressed reverent comments to each other. 7

As in 1796, ostensibly the purpose of the permanent statue was to honor the king and bring his physical presence to New Spain and into the hearts and minds of New Spanish subjects. The viceroy’s words emphasized New Spanish loyalty and aection for the king. We might wonder, however, why, after more than two-and-one- half centuries of Spanish rule, was there a need to produce such corporeal imagery of the king’s body in New Spain? In earlier cen- turies, the person of the viceroy was considered to embody the king’s presence in New Spain while verbal edicts and proclamations regu- larly declared and assured the king’s oversight. 8 An examination of this reproduction of the king’s body in the context of the republi- can ideas spawned by the French revolution provides possible answers to this question. In his excellent study of the ancien régime’s notion of the body of the king, Antoine de Baecque asserts that the trope of the body was derived from Enlightenment thinking that selected the human body as the “proper matter for their studies and experiments, in order to calibrate the grid through which to read the microcosm and the macrocosm.” Baecque points out that “one single body per- petuated itself from Bourbon king to king, embodying the continu- ity of the state, a body in which all subjects could recognize themselves and in which everyone recognized their sovereign.” French revolu- tionary rhetoric was derived from this scientic viewpoint and polit- ical understanding as “corporeal images were at the very center of

En un instante se llenó de personas de todas classes, en cuyos semblantes se veía la ena- genacion de sus almas, que llenas de regocijo no les cabian en el pecho; y que, creyéndose en la presencia de su mismo adorado Monarca, manifestaban con respetuosos palabras su justa sincera gratitud á tanta fortuna. Las dulces miradas, la sonrisa lial, la afectuosa reverencia y lo que

de la Ciudad de México a nes de la época colonial (1769–1815) (1983): XIV, nos. 1–12, 9.

(1803) Documentos varios para la historia


unos á otras se decian mirando á la Estatua,

8 See Cañeque (1999).

affections of the heart


the metaphoric language used to describe the revolution in progress.”

Old Regime imagery had emphasized the body of the king, while revolutionary visual and written rhetoric used corporeal imagery such as the congenital deformity of the aristocrats and the impotence of

the king. As a result, the king’s body was deconsecrated, represented

as a sick, impotent entity that, literally and physically, had to be torn apart. 9 Considered as part of a broader corporeal discourse of the ancien régime, the production of the massive equestrian statue of Charles

IV may be seen as an attempt to propose absolutist stability and

continuity in New Spain at a time when the conceptual tenet of the king’s body as a sign of sovereignty was highly unstable in Europe

and its continuity in jeopardy. This latent discourse on sovereignty was manifested through this late-eighteenth-century equestrian imagery of Spain’s Bourbon king. More importantly, in the next century, cor- poreal imagery would be continued in the metaphorical visual lan- guage of Mexican nation-building. In the rst decades of the nineteenth century, New Spain saw dra- matic political changes as the French Revolution’s purging of the ancien régime trope spread to Spain when Napoleon Bonaparte occupied Spain and forced the abdication of King Charles IV, the renunciation and captivity of his successor, Ferdinand VII, and the appointment of Joseph Napoleon to the Spanish throne in 1807. In the period 1807–1821, elites in New Spain protested the Spanish king’s forced connement and moved initially to be autonomous from Spain and, eventually, independent. During this time, New Spain had to confront radical questions about the denition and imagery of sovereignty: If sovereignty was no longer located in the body of

the king, where was it to be located and how would it be visual-

ized? How were loyal aections to be directed? Alegoría de las autoridades españolas e indígenas by Patricio Suárez de Peredo, an 1809 oil painting, reects these early nineteenth-century events (Fig. 2.1). In this panel, three oval-shaped medallions and two groups of gures surround the central image of Ferdinand VII, a captive of the French. An image of the Virgin of Guadalupe oats in a white cloud above the king; the medallion to the right of the king bears the Spanish crest of Castile y León, while that to the


magali m. carrera

52 magali m. carrera Fig. 2.1 Patricio Súarez de Peredo, Alegoría de las autoridades españolas e

Fig. 2.1 Patricio Súarez de Peredo, Alegoría de las autoridades españolas e indígenas (Alle- gory of the Spanish and Indigenous Authorities). 1809, oil, approx. 170 × 90 cm. Museo Nacional del Virreinato, Mexico. Reproduction authorized by the Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia, Consejo Nacional de la Cultura (CONACULTA.- INAH.-MEX), Mexico.

affections of the heart


king’s left illustrates the insignia of Mexico City. The abraded leg-

end in the lower section of the panel begins with “Long Live the

King” and identies the standing gure as José Ramírez, a Spaniard


a delegate of the king. He is surrounded by Spanish soldiers


Don Juan Felipe M., an elaborately dressed Indian corregidor, or

“ocial,” of the town of San Cristóbal Ecatepec. Don Juan stands with another unnamed gure and a third partially dressed person-

age who wears the feathered dress associated with the traditional

indigenous costume. Overall, the painting both verbally and visually states New Spain’s continued loyalty to the conned king. 10 While the painting emphasizes loyalty to the captive king, its imagery de-emphasizes the person of the king. It emphatically situ-


the body of the king within a new constellation of references


do not come from the absolutist vision of sovereignty. Ferdinand


does not emerge as a singular, powerful gure. Instead he is

protected by a bulwark of emblems that, with the exception of the Castile y León standard, emphasize New Spanish identity. Further,

new sets of bodies are also put in this constellation with that of the

King. These include Spanish and Indian subjects. Nevertheless, par-

ticularly striking, and not mentioned in the legend, is the presence of the Virgin of Guadalupe: This female body, larger in scale than

that of the king, hovers over him. This leads us to question: Why

is the image of the Virgin depicted in this painting and how does she relate to issues of sovereignty that New Spain was facing at this time?

The Body of the Patria

“Long live religion! Long live our most holy Mother of Guadalupe! Long live Ferdinand VII! Long Live America and death to bad gov- ernment!” These insurgent words, pronounced on September 16, 1810, by Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla, a parish priest of the town of Dolores, elucidate the context of the Suárez painting. Spoken seven years after the inauguration of the bronze equestrian statue, the words called for a revolution from the Napoleonic tyranny that had beset Spain.


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Hidalgo reinforced his Grito de Dolores, as it is known, by adopt- ing a standard emblazoned with the image of the Virgin of Guadalupe. Thus, although the Grito de Dolores demanded Ferdinand’s freedom from captivity, Hidalgo did not call on the imagery of the absolutist body of the king to visualize his declaration; rather, he called on a female image—an image unique to New Spain. Hidalgo’s use of Guadalupana imagery may be derived from two dimensions of the Virgin Mary: First, the broader historical associations of the Virgin and, secondly, her specic meanings in New Spain. In researching the wider cultural implications of the gure of Mary, Amy Remen- snyder, a historian of medieval Europe, has argued that the general scholarly perception of her as a gure of nurturing and benevolence is an incomplete assessment of the iconographic constellation of the Virgin. Mary was associated directly with the twelfth-century Christian campaigns against Islam, conrmed by the fact that medieval man- uscripts illustrate crusaders going into battle carrying banners that display her image. Mary, in fact, could be quite a wrathful woman, as is found in various New Testament texts. Remensnyder, con- cluding that this vengeful side of Mary has been less acknowledged by scholars, suggests that Mary is better understood as a boundary gure who, as described in visual and written media, triumphs over the ‘other.’ 11 The Virgin had this conquest/triumphant role in the subjugation of the Aztec-Mexica, as Hernán Cortés is said to have placed an image of Our Lady of Los Remedios, a renowned Marian icon in Spain, on the altar of the main Aztec-Mexica temple of Tenochtitlán to embody Spanish conquest. Eventually, Our Lady of Los Remedios would be designated patron of Mexico City, the capital of New Spain, and would become an important cult gure for the Spanish- born population. 12 In the context of these broad and very deep mean- ings of the imagery of the Virgin and her association with aggression, it is appropriate then that this insurgent priest of Dolores, steeped in church history, chose the image of Mary to launch a revolution. Along with the conquest associations of the Virgin Mary, Hidalgo’s use of her image in the form of the Guadalupe has a second dimen- sion that is specic to her appearance in the Americas. The tradi-

11 Remensnyder (2003).

12 Brading (2001) 46–47.

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tion and cult of the Virgin of Guadalupe marked a profound change in New Spain’s understanding of itself because, unlike Our Lady of Los Remedios, Guadalupe was considered indigenous to New Spain. To understand this signicance, it is important to review the simple story of the Guadalupe’s apparition. On December 9, 1531, Juan Diego, a converted Indian, was walking across a barren hill called Tepeyac. Suddenly, he heard music and was blinded by a light as before him appeared a dark-skinned woman who identied herself as the Virgin Mary, the mother of Jesus Christ. She directed Juan Diego to tell Bishop Juan de Zumárraga that she wished to have a church built on the hill in her honor. Hearing Juan Diego’s request, the unbelieving Bishop asked for proof of the validity of the appari- tion. Three days later, on December 12th, the Virgin reappeared to Juan Diego and directed him to pick roses from a nearby bush and take them to Zumárraga. Juan Diego obeyed, placed the roses in his cloak and carried them to the Bishop. When he opened his cloak to present the owers, an image of the Virgin was miraculously imprinted on Juan Diego’s mantle. Now a believer, the Bishop had a small church built on the site of the apparition. While the basic elements of this story are well known, the origins and uses of this tale are convoluted and, perhaps, more interesting than the story itself. The simple fact is that Bishop Zumárraga did not provide any written description or certication of the apparition and, in reality, there are no existing primary sources from the time of the apparition. In his book The Mexican Phoenix, D. A. Brading makes his way through a maze of secondary sources—especially ser- mons—that started to appear more than one hundred years after the apparition supposedly occurred and from which the generally accepted story of Guadalupe is derived. Although the circuitous details of the evolution of this Virgin’s story cannot be presented here, it is important to recognize that in the seventeenth century there was an explosion of interest in this apparition that continued through subsequent centuries. Over these centuries, written sources would tie together religion and patriotism associated with the growth of a criollo, that is American-born Spaniard, sense of a New Spanish rather than an Iberian patria. For exam- ple, seventeenth-century writers would emphasize that, unlike Our Lady of Remedios, “Mary and the Mexican patria were united in the enduring imagery of Guadalupe.” Others remarked that her image stirred “that natural aection which inclines so powerfully,


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often without feeling it, and moves us with even more vehemence on everything that is of the mother country.” In fact, by the last quarter of the seventeenth century, the words “non facit taliter omni natione,” “It was not done thus to all nations,” taken from Psalm 147, appeared in reproductions of the image of the Guadalupe. This phrase indicated the belief that New Spain held a privileged place in the supposedly special way that it was favored by this particular apparition and vocation of the Virgin over other nations. 13 Such dis- plays of exceptionalism are central stratagems of nationalism and the development of a national consciousness. By the eighteenth century the cult of the Virgin of Guadalupe gained ocial status. In 1737 she would be named patron of Mexico City and the kingdom of New Spain by the city council, and in 1754 Pope Benedict XIV would approve the Guadalupe as the patron of New Spain. Brading concludes that the nal eighteenth-century

emergence of the ‘nation’ in the discourse of these [Guadalupana] ser- mons, no matter how distant from any social reality, testied to the

fervent patriotism

from the start, the inner meaning of the Apparition story was that the Mother of God had come to Mexico, and in a special way had cho- sen to remain in Mexico, acting as its patron. 14


which helped inspire the cult of

Thus, in adopting the imagery of the Guadalupe on his standard, along with Her medieval associations of violence, Hidalgo was also associating his revolutionary ideas with the aections for the patria that in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries came to be associ- ated with the Virgin. It is clear then, that Hidalgo could not have called upon the image of Ferdinand VII to endorse his proclamation because the ancién regime’s body was weakened and unable to represent potent sover- eignty. Similarly, in the painting Alegoría de las autoridades españolas e indígenas, we see the king positioned not singularly but in the com- pany of the Virgin’s female body and New Spanish subjects for the same reason (Fig. 2.1). Along with Her association with the conquest tradition and Her ties to the construct of patria, Hidalgo’s use of the image of the Virgin of Guadalupe signies the new relationship of New Spanish subjects to Spain at a time when this nexus was

13 Brading (2001) 69, 111.

14 Brading (2001) 125, 132, 168.

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being radically restructured. The body of the Virgin of Guadalupe signies a new process in the formation of the nación. Her use in nationalist iconography also initiates the sequence of corporeal imagery of females to mark the shifting of the signifying site of sovereignty from the body of the king to a new body. Napoleon’s actions in Spain marked the transition in that coun- try’s political culture from the ancien régime, where legitimacy of the state was based in the corporate institutions and their pact with the king, to modernity, where the legitimacy of the state is predi- cated on the individual and her/his contract with the nation. 15 In New Spain this transition was certied in September 1813 when José María Morelos, a priest and student of Hidalgo as well as a promi- nent military leader of the Mexican revolution, would convoke a Constitutional Congress at Chilpancingo, Guerrero, and declare Mexico’s independence from Spain. His declaration emphatically stated that sovereignty springs from the people and established that the “twelfth of December be celebrated in all villages in honor of the patroness of our liberty, the Most Holy Mary of Guadalupe.” 16 In sum, as New Spain became Mexico, the presence of the Virgin of Guadalupe in early nationalist verbal and visual discourse marked the presence of a boundary between the old regime and modernity as aections of the heart were directed away from the king toward the Virgin. This use of female imagery specied an altogether new relationship of the subject to the patria. If the male body represented the old regime, then the use of the female body may be seen as helping to undermine the icon and symbol of the absolutist state. The Virgin of Guadalupe now elicited the loyal aection toward the patria previously educed by the king. While introducing new imagery for the incipient stages of Mexican independence, the Virgin of Guadalupe, however, would not and could not become the central signier of the Mexican nation in sub- sequent decades. By the late 1820s a new set of female entities make their appearance in the discourse of nationalist painting.

15 Anna (1998) 53–54.

16 Morelos (2002) [1813] 189–190.


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The Sovereign Body of the Nation

At the beginning of the third decade of the nineteenth century, Mexico gained its independence from Spain through the Treaty of Córdoba and established itself as an independent state through the Plan de Iguala. The Plan de Iguala attempted to bring together diverse groups—liberal and conservative, rebels and royalists, criollos and Spaniards—into an uneasy union and declared all inhabitants of Mexico citizens. 17 Establishing the founding principles of Religion, Independence, and Union, the Plan called for a constitutional monar- chy in hopes that Ferdinand VII or another aristocrat would rule the Mexican empire. When it became evident that a European royal would not ascend the Mexican throne, Agustín Iturbide, a hero of the war of independence, was proclaimed Emperor Agustín I of Mexico in May 1822. Iturbide attempted “to preserve the best features of the social administrative structure of the Bourbon monarchy, believing that national unity required centralism. In claiming his role as emperor, he reverted to the imagery of the ancien régime focused on his male body as the center of national pageantry and imagery. Iturbide would be forced to abdicate in March 1823, however, because he had tried to impose this centralized system on an empire that was in fact an aggregate of provinces that sought signicant autonomy and sepa- ration from centralized government. In the end, the Congress claimed that Iturbide did not possess the right to exercise authority because sovereignty belonged to the Congress as representative of the regional states. 18 As Mexico moved from the independence struggle toward the cre- ation of nation, female bodies continued to represent the shifting understanding of sovereignty. In particular, a new female gure emerged to refocus the changing relationship of the citizen to the nation, rooting it in the arousal of patriotic aection. Seen in the oil painting Alegoría de la Independencia (1834), this young and some- what frail seated female gure is identied as Mexico through her crown of red, white, and green feathers marking Mexico’s national colors (Fig. 2.2). She wears a quiver, a reference to indigenous culture,

17 Anna (1998) 81–82.

18 Anna (1998) 95–97.

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de la Cultura





de Hidalgo,

Museo Casa e Historia,

de Antropología


× 196 cm.,


169 Nacional


oil, the approx.




la Independencia.

Alegoría de Reproduction

Anon., Mexico.

2.2 Hidalgo,



the approx. by authorized 1834, la Independencia . Alegoría de Reproduction Anon., Mexico. 2.2 Hidalgo, Dolores


magali m. carrera

60 magali m. carrera Fig. 2.3 Louis Charles Routte and Jacques-Louis Copia, after Louis-Marie Sicardi, La

Fig. 2.3 Louis Charles Routte and Jacques-Louis Copia, after Louis-Marie Sicardi, La Liberté, Patrone des Français, after Louis-Simon Boizot. 1795, etching, S.P. Avery Collection, Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs, The New York Public Library, Astor, Lenox, and Tilden Foundations.

affections of the heart


and she holds the Phrygian cap on a stick, which signies liberty through its reference to the hat worn by French insurgents that became a symbol of the French revolution. The metropolitan model for this allegorical gure of Mexico is exemplied by La Liberté Patrone des Français (Fig. 2.3). This 1795 French etching illustrates Liberty dressed in a simple tunic wearing the Phrygian cap and a French revolutionary tricolor sash around her waist. 19 Allegorical Mexico, unlike our French example, is seated between two male gures:

Miguel Hidalgo, who crowns her with a laurel wreath representing victory, and Agustín Iturbide, who clutches broken chains repre- senting the break from Spain and subjugation. Such metaphorical images of Mexico as an elaborately bedecked female would be repeated in other paintings and prints throughout the early part of the century as independence from Spain became a reality. 20 Always dressed in owing robes, these gures are also often associated with a bow and arrow and a cornucopia that overows with fruits and vegetables, denoting the natural fecundity of the land, along with tri-colored feathered costume elements such as skirts and headpieces. An eagle, a ag, drums, and an indigenous weapon, which refer to dierent aspects of Mexican independence as cata- lysts of national identity, sometimes surround the gure as well. No longer referent to the body of the Virgin of Guadalupe, these alle- gorical gures indicate instead that a new phase of Mexican corpo- real imagery has dawned. What is particularly distinctive about these new female bodies is the seductive, somewhat erotic, dimension to their presentation. In her research on the female body in the iconography of the era of revolution and the erotic dimension of patriotism, Joan Landes oers important insights into the signicance of this early nineteenth- century female imagery in Mexico. Landes explains that with the dissolution of the ancien régime in France, female representations of Liberty, derived from ancient Greek and Roman goddesses, appeared

19 I am not suggesting that this particular print was available in Mexico during this period. A comprehensive scholarly study of foreign prints available in Mexico during the nineteenth century is not available. Given the fact that banned French writings were circulating in late eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century Mexico, however, it is likely that European or French prints like the one represented in Fig. 2.3 were available. 20 Such allegorical images were derived from colonial period imagery of the Americas; see Acevedo (2003).


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in opposition to the older order of authority, the king’s body. “[By] physically depicting incorporeal values, female imagery helped to consolidate French citizens’ loyalties to their nation and to discrim- inate against those considered outside the body of the Republic.” As such, the female gure of Liberty was not opposed to male politics but set against historically tainted forms of the old body politic. Liberty anchored the nation’s legitimacy, operating as a metaphor for the sovereignty of the people. 21 The female virtue inherent in these images was linked to the female role in the republican family, a passive one that emphasized mod- esty, propriety, and respectable silence. In this domestic association, females were to be under the care of males, fathers and husbands, and, most importantly, capable of producing republican citizens. By analogy the very role of the male republican citizen was the care, maintenance, and reproduction of the nation. The female body of the nation, therefore, became an object of desire. The “repetitive presence of a seductive (metaphorical) female in the imaginary place of the nation may lure men to attach deep romantic longings to the state.” Landes concludes that the deployment of the female body was aimed at creating “new aective solidarities and political publics to express popular energies or to anticipate and forestall political dissent.” 22 Republican citizenship oers men a role as guardian of the alle- gorical body of the nation as it incites and conceals the seduction of patriotic love. And this is the very role we see in the Alegoría de la Independencia as the guardian gures of Mexico, Hidalgo, and Iturbide crush her enemies, free her from Spanish chains, and crown her. The seductive attraction of this metaphorical image of Mexico, the need for protection of Alegoría/Mexico, are essential qualities needed to lure citizens to love, protect, and even give up their lives for the nation. In contrast, the Virgin of Guadalupe, as a sacrosanct gure, was not able to play this role. She could not take on the human traits needed to allegorize the love of nation; that is, while she might represent the construct of patria, she could not give rise to the sexual allure required for nationalist patriotism. And as a vir- gin, she could not be associated with allegorical Mexico’s most impor-

21 Landes (2001) 18, 32, 81.

22 Landes (2001) 22, 38, 110.

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tant role: giving birth to citizens. The Virgin of Guadalupe marked

the process of independence but she did not and could not have the requisite qualities to represent nation. Thus, female corporeal imagery was a critical element of expanding nationalist imagery in the early nineteenth century. However, while the Virgin of Guadalupe marked

a transitional boundary, as New Spain becomes Mexico, the alle-

gorical gures of Mexico marked the transformation of Mexico into

a nation.

Locating the National Body

In the following decades, as Mexico continued to experience the social, economic, and political turmoil of nationalist construction, there was an ongoing search to come to terms with the meaning of sovereignty and nation and, as a result, the image of Mexico also changed. In 1847, Mariano Otero wrote

In Mexico there has not been, nor could there have been, a national

[because a] nation is nothing more

than a great family, and in order for it to be stable and strong it means that all of its members must be closely united with ties of inter- est and aections of the heart. 23

Otero’s words, which introduced this essay, certify the continuing focus on the seductive power of national aection. His words also express the extreme frustration of this young liberal politician and political theorist with the inability of Mexico, thirty-seven years after Hidalgo’s Grito de Dolores, to stabilize itself politically and economi- cally. While Hidalgo was attempting to gather the power of senti- ment for nation for his cause against bad government, Otero recognized that independence did not automatically result in nation and that a political regeneration of the society was required. To promote these reforms the Congress proclaimed a new Constitution on February 5, 1857. Mexico was once again organized as a federal republic under a document that specied freedom of education and the press and the guarantee of individual and judicial rights. Due to contin- ued political struggles and the subsequent French intervention to

spirit, for there is no nation


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impose the regime of Emperor Maximilian, it would be another deca