This devotional painting is by Miguel Cabrera, one of the most acclaimed painters in Mexico in the eighteenth century. Depictions of the Virgin as shepherdess originated in Spain in the early eighteenth century and subsequently became popular in Spanish America. According to legend, the Virgin, dressed as a shepherdess, appeared to the Capuchin monk Isidore of Seville (1662–1750). The monk commissioned a painting, giving precise instructions to the artist: the Virgin was to be seated on a rock; wearing a red gown, a blue mantle, and a hat appropriate for a shepherdess; and feeding roses to her flock.
Ilona Katzew, 2008