Virgin of Immaculate Conception with Franciscan Saints

circa 1675; Birth Date Death Date: 1627-1675

Object

Artist

Diego Quispe Tito, Quechua, 1611-1681
Born: Cuzco, Peru
Work Locations: Cuzco, Peru

Locale

Country

Object Info

Object: painting
Not currently on view
Object ID: 1969.344

Medium/Technique

Oil paint on canvas

Credit

Gift of John Critcher Freyer for the Frank Barrows Freyer Collection

More Info

Dimensions

height: 64 in, 162.5600 cm; width: 48 in, 121.9200 cm

Department

New World

Collection

New World-Spanish Colonial

Known Provenance

Gifted 24 October 1969 to the Denver Art Museum by Mr. and Mrs. John C. Freyer. Provenance research is on-going at the Denver Art Museum. Please e-mail provenance@denverartmuseum.org, if you have questions, or if you have additional information to share with us.

Extended Info

The most well known artist in 17th-century Cuzco, Peru was Diego Quispe Tito (1611-1681), a Quechua Indian of noble Inca ancestry. Here Quispe Tito, likely working from a European engraving as was common artistic practice, painted the Virgin Mary, the mother of Jesus, surrounded by symbols of her purity including but not limited to flowers, water and a mirror. She stands on a silver cresent moon, a symbol of her immaculate conception, while a dove, the symbol of the holy spirit, hovers over her head.
     While at first glance this might look to be a European style religious painting there are some elements that make it uniquely Peruvian. The extraordinary use of gold stamping to create the pattern on the cloth is exclusive to Cuzco and the surrounding highland areas, including Bolivia. Also, the red and blue wings and drapery on the angels is interesting to note as red and blue feathers were sacred to the Inca and were symbols of nobility. Although Lima became the political capital of colonial Peru, Cuzco remained its artistic capital, as it had been in Inca times.
--Julie Wilson Frick & Donna Pierce, 2015