Nuestra Señora del Carmen (Our Lady of Mount Carmel)

Maker and role
Artist: Arroyo Hondo Santero, New Mexican, active ca. 1825-40

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Water soluble paint on panel
24 7/8 x 15 1/2in (63.2 x 39.4cm)
Credit line
Bequest of Marion Koogler McNay
Accession number
Object type
Further information
Nuestra Señora del Carmen, a title given to the Virgin Mary in her role as patroness of the religious community called the Carmelite Order, is shown holding the Christ Child. Her right hand carries her attribute, a scapular (badge) bearing the emblem of the Order. She is said to offer her badge to souls in purgatory, providing for them a means of salvation.

The stylized scallop shape on top of the retablo, a common design in Hispanic New Mexican religious works, is associated with Apostle Saint James and his shrine at Santiago de Compostela in Galicia, Spain. The shrine has been considered a great center of Christian pilgrimage since the eleventh century, next in importance to Jerusalem and Rome.


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