The Apparition of the Virgin of El Pilar to St. James

Nicolás Enríquez Mexican

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 626

This painting depicts the appearance of the Virgin Mary to Saint James and his followers on the bank of the Ebro River, outside the city walls of Zaragoza, Spain. According to tradition, the Virgin, who appeared on top of a stone pillar, was conveyed from Jerusalem by angels to encourage the saint in his evangelization of the Roman province of Hispania. The saint is accompanied by seven disciples, among them a man whose features may be those of the painting’s owner, Juan Bautista Echeverría.

Recognized as patron of Aragon in 1678, the Virgin of El Pilar was revered throughout the Spanish world. In Mexico City the devotion is associated with the convent church known as the Enseñanza, where an ivory replica of the Zaragoza Virgin was venerated.

The Apparition of the Virgin of El Pilar to St. James, Nicolás Enríquez (Mexican, 1704–1790), Oil on copper, Mexican

Due to rights restrictions, this image cannot be enlarged, viewed at full screen, or downloaded.

Open Access

As part of the Met's Open Access policy, you can freely copy, modify and distribute this image, even for commercial purposes.


Public domain data for this object can also be accessed using the Met's Open Access API.