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7.9a.4 Detail of Frontispiece and Aparicion, Our Lady of Guadalupe
Woodcut title vignette of Our Lady of Guadalupe.
In a church in Tepeyacac (near Mexico City), there is a cloth imprinted with this image (in color). According to the Catholic Church and this text, Mary, the mother of Jesus (called the Virgin Mary, Our Lady, and Saint Mary by European Christians) created the image by a miracle when she appeared to Juan Diego in 1531. There are many copies of this image, and this is one of the earliest. The image is a woodblock print that appeared on the title page of a book in 1649, a little more than 100 years after the original miracle. Look carefully at this image and write down features of its iconography (the things Mary wears and carries, the way she stands, and the things that are around her). You will analyze color images later in this source set.
Students should understand that some people believe that the image was created miraculously and some do not. In the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, many more people would have believed in this type of miracle than do today. However, this miracle is accepted by the Catholic Church, which recently canonized Juan Diego as a saint. Students should list all the iconographic features of the image: the inclined head, the praying hands, the crown, the long dress, the veil covered with stars, the necklace or clasp with a cross in the background representing the light of the sun, the sun rays around her figure, the horns she stands on (representing the moon), and the angel who holds her up.
Huei tlamahuiçoltica omonexiti in ilhuicac tlatóca Çihuapilli Santa Maria Totlaçònantzin Guadalupe in nican huei altepenahuac Mexico itocayocan tepeyacac
Impreffo con licencia en MEXICO : en la Imprenta de luan Ruyz
Ano de 1649
Translation of title:
BY A GREAT MIRACLE APPEARED
THE HEAVENLY QUEEN SAINT MARY, OUR PRECIOUS MOTHER OF GUADALUPE
HERE NEAR THE GREAT ALTEPETL OF MEXICO, AT A PLACE CALLED TEPEYACAC.