Honoring the Virgens

As the feast day of the Virgen de Guadalupe dwindles to a close I have been busy working on a relief print of the OTHER virgin birth, that of Coatlicue bringing forth the fearsome fire god  Huitzilopochtli.

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Sanctified Huitzilopochtli

Artist’s proof, relief print on paper

This is just an artists proof, it will be part of my series of “Bodega Baroque” votive candles dedicated to the Old Gods.

What I love about living in this region, where devotion to the Virgen is so widespread, is this sense of WHICH Virgen are we speaking of on this feast day?

The kindly brown skinned girl we all love, or the ancient madonnas of Mesoamerica?

Many scholars believe ( as do I) that the dark Roman Catholic Madonna is in fact an ancient, browner goddess.The goddess Tonantzin, “Our Mother”, being  a reasonable predecessor ; this link provides some interesting  and concise opinions.

Tonantzin:Our Mother

Tonantzin-Our Mother (image sourced from link above ).

I’m enchanted most particularly with She of the Skirts of Serpents, mother of us all, but most particularly of the brutal and demanding Aztec fire god Huitzilopochtli. She was about to be torn to shreds by her wrathful children, indignant by her so-called “immaculate conception”; but in a grand bit of theater, Huitzilopochtli swoops in fully armed and annihilates his siblings. A far cry from a sweet nativity setting, but what an engaging narrative.

P1000331 copyCoatlicue, from our recent trip to the Museum of Anthropology.

I’ve been working on three paintings, one of which is this virgin birth, almost finished, here is an early peek.

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 As this is the season of Virgin Births, I have been working on holiday cards. Sadly without a proper press, relying upon the old wooden spoon, suffice to say my right side is aching. Thus far 25 on this “Chinois” paper, still counting.

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Well I must get back to work,

until next time take care,

Lg