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Panel: The Divine Shepherdess

Panel: The Divine Shepherdess

№ inv.: CE1/01503

This tiling depicts the Virgin Mary as a robust shepherdess. She is dressed in a loose tunic and a tight-fitting rustic leather shirt. She holds a shepherd’s crook in her left hand and wears a straw hat, decorated with ribbons and a rose. The blue cloak and halo indicate that this is the Virgin Mary. The Christ child is also dressed as a shepherd, in a woollen tunic and a hat similar to that of Mary. He is feeding a rose to a sheep.

In the foreground, the archangel Michael, dressed as an ancient Roman, carries a blazing sword, ready to deliver a fatal blow to the devil, whom he holds by a thick chain. The adoration of La Divina Pastora (The Divine Shepherdess) dates from the beginning of the 18th century. A banner with the image of the Virgin Mary as a shepherdess was shown in 1703 during the evening procession of the Rosary in Seville. It received a resounding welcome from the congregation and the Franciscans took charge of promoting this new name. This type of image was easier to relate to in the 18th century Rococo period than previous Baroque religious images. As a result, the pastoral theme became fashionable in the 18th century among the aristocracy and the courts. Ladies, such as the French Queen Marie Antoinette, enjoyed dressing up as shepherdesses. An appreciation of nature and rural life also developed in this century.

On display in the Oratory, first floor.


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