Visual images of the Virgin Mary were instrumental in the spread of Catholicism in the wake of the Spanish invasion and conquest of Peru. Statues of the Virgin were the objects of pious appeals for divine intervention, and their power was rooted in the belief that the reverence shown to them extended to Mother of God herself. Paintings of those statues allowed devotees to honor the Virgin in places other than churches and chapels, creating the illusion of a sculptural conduit to the divine in domestic settings. Devotional practices centered on those pictures demonstrate a belief in the spiritual potency of visual imagery and, at the same time, attest to an abiding faith in the power of painting itself. Join us for more on this topic in a lecture delivered by Michael Schreffler, associate professor in the Department of Art, Art History, and Design and guest curator of Divine Illusions: Statue Painting in Colonial South America.
After the lecture, join Schreffler in the exhibition galleries for questions and to look more closely at these statue paintings. The lecture will also be immediately followed by a reception celebrating the exhibition sponsored by the Friends of the Snite Museum of Art.