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Madonnas in Latin American Art

Our Lady of Valvanera, 1762, by Miguel Cabrera

Paintings of the Virgin Mary, or Madonnas, have been a staple of Latin American art since the arrival of Spanish missionaries in the 1500s. While European engravings inform the iconography of these paintings, they are also in dialogue with the painted and gilded sculptures that adorned Spanish churches, and sometimes even depict famous sculptures of the Virgin. Latin American Madonnas also often reflect the culture and traditions of specific local populations, both Spanish and Indigenous.