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Fray Alonso Lopez De Herrera

DE HERRERA FRAY ALONSO LOPEZ Immaculate Conception
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Fray Alonso Lopez De Herrera - Immaculate Conception

Fray Alonso Lopez De Herrera - Immaculate Conception

Original 1640
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Gross Price
Lot number: 31
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Description:
Oil on copper printing plate

signed and dated
1640
lower left

The doctrine of the Immaculate Conception states that the Virgin Mary was conceived without taint of original sin by her parents, SS. Anne and Joachim. This belief was widely held among Catholics from the fifteenth century but not declared dogma until the First Vatican Council, 1869-70. Devotion to the Virgin Immaculate was especially prevalent in Spain and Latin America. Indeed, in spite of a tendency among Dominicans internationally to reject the doctrine, Hispanic Dominicans such as Fray Alonso typically embraced it, as the present example attests.

The primary source for images of the Immaculate Conception was the Book of Revelation (Chapter 12), in which a woman, menaced by a dragon, appears
amicta sole
, "clothed with the sun,? and is said to have ?the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars." Associated with this narrative in the Litanies of the Virgin were a group of metaphors from the Song of Solomon, including "a rose of Sharon ... a lily among brambles" (at the bottom of the picture), "the tower of David" (taking the form of a famous monument in Seville), "a locked garden," "a sealed fountain ... a well of living water," "fair as the moon, bright as the sun" (at the top on each side), "stately as a palm tree," and, from the Psalms and medieval liturgies, a "mirror without a spot," "star of the sea," "stairway to heaven" (at lower left), and "safe haven" (the ship offshore). To these, López de Herrera adds irises, a sword-shaped flower representing the sorrows of the Virgin at the Passion of Christ.

This piece is painted on a copper plate that was originally used to print holy cards. On the reverse, 55 stamps representing the Litany of the Saints are engraved, with the Jesuit emblem in the center.

PROVENANCE

Acquired in Mexico,
circa
1890
Fred Forrester Sr. (1878-1941), Los Angeles
Fred Forrester Jr. (1910-2004), Los Angeles
Thence by descent to the present owner

FRAY ALONSO LOPEZ DE HERRERA
(C.1580-AFTER 1648)
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