The Virgin of Guadalupe is one of the most important sacred images in Spanish America. In this painting, the artist has included four scenes from the story of the Virgin Mary’s miraculous appearances near Mexico City in 1531, when she asked an indigenous man named Juan Diego for a shrine to be built in her honor. When the Spanish bishop refused to believe that such a message had been entrusted to an Indian, the Virgin made flowers grow on the site and imprinted her likeness on Juan Diego’s cloak. The figure of Mary on his cloak, depicted in the center of the canvas, is the miracle-working image still venerated in the shrine dedicated to the Virgin of Guadalupe in Mexico City. Probably painted for a devotee in Spain, works like this one helped to spread the cult of Guadalupe throughout the Spanish-speaking world.
In the possession of the Aguilar Galindo family, Marchena, Seville, since the 18th century; (Manuel Piñanes, Madrid); purchased by the Indianapolis Museum of Art in 2008 (2008.361).