Nun’s Badge with the Virgin of the Apocalypse and Saints (Medallón de monja con la Virgen de la Apocalipsis y santos)

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Nun’s Badge with the Virgin of the Apocalypse and Saints (Medallón de monja con la Virgen de la Apocalipsis y santos)

Mexico, circa 1760
Paintings
Oil on copper
Diameter: 7 in. (17.8 cm)
Purchased with funds provided by the Bernard and Edith Lewin Collection of Mexican Art Deaccession Fund (M.2018.177.2)
Currently on public view:
Resnick Pavilion, floor 1 MAP IT
Resnick Pavilion, floor 1

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Provenance

Private collection, New York; David Smernoff Fine Art, New Haven, Connecticut, 2010s; Osuna Art & Antiques Ltd....
Private collection, New York; David Smernoff Fine Art, New Haven, Connecticut, 2010s; Osuna Art & Antiques Ltd. (Ramón Osuna), Washington, DC, 2010s; Peyton Wright Gallery, Santa Fe, New Mexico, 2018; LACMA, 2018.
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Label

In Mexico, badges were a central ornament of a nun’s habit, especially on her day of profession.

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In Mexico, badges were a central ornament of a nun’s habit, especially on her day of profession. The most common themes are the Immaculate Conception and the Annunciation; the perimeter is typically crowded with a choir of saints, which includes the most important devotions for the order and cults of particular interest to the owner. Worn close to the body, badges often carried political messages and were painted by the best artists of the day.

In this badge, Saint John of Nepomuck appears holding the attribute of his tongue; he appears standing at the feet of the Virgin alongside the founders of other important orders in New Spain: Saint Francis (carrying the Virgin), Saint Augustine (offering a flaming heart), Saint Philip Neri (next to a book and biretta), and Saint Ignatius of Loyola (holding a book inscribed “Ad Maiorem Dei Gloriam” [For the greater glory of God], the Latin motto of the Society of Jesus). The badge is conceived as a veritable sacra conversazione (sacred conversation) among the orders, symbolizing their support of the Jesuits at the dawn of their expulsion (1767).


From exhibition Archive of the World, 2022 (for more information see the catalogue entry by Ilona Katzew in the accompanying publication, cat. no. 21, pp. 118–24)
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Bibliography

  • Katzew, Ilona, ed. Archive of the World: Art and Imagination in Spanish America, 1500–1800: Highlights from LACMA’s Collection. Exh. Cat. Los Angeles: Los Angeles County Museum of Art; New York: DelMonico Books/D.A.P., 2022.

Exhibition history

  • Archive of the World: Art and Imagination in Spanish America, 1500–1800 Los Angeles, CA, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, June 12, 2022 - October 30, 2022