The Virgin of the Immaculate Conception

Engraver James McArdell Irish
After Bartolomé Estebán Murillo Spanish

Not on view

McArdell's print is based on a painting by Murillo, a Spanish artist known for painting several versions of The Immaculate Conception. We are shown the Virgin Mary in a heavenly setting, standing on a cloud supported by cherubs carrying lilies, roses and palms, a crescent moon beneath her feet. Her hair loose, the figure looks up to the left while folding her hands over her breast. The image conveys the idea that Mary was born free from original sin, a doctrine debated by medieval theologians that did not became an official part of Catholic dogma until 1854.

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