- Museum number
The 'Virgen del Pilar'; Virgin and Child whole-length on a pillar surrounded by four worshipping male figures to right and another to left. c.1550/1600
- Production date
Height: 205 millimetres (trimmed at the top)
Width: 110 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- St James the Apostle travelled to the Iberian peninsular with his companions as part of his mission to evangelise. His attempts were not met with enthusiasm and on January 2, AD 40 when he was praying on the banks of the Ebro River in Saragossa (Caesaraugusta) the Virgin appeared to him on top of a pillar or column of Jasper. She requested that he build a church on the spot in her honour thereby encouraging him in his mission. It is one of the earliest of the Virgin’s apparitions.
This print shows the Virgin atop the column holding the Christ Child who looks toward the figures at the lower right. The plate seems to have been cut down. The Virgin gestures to a partially visible figure on the left, who must be St James, the traditional patron saint of Spain. The figure at the right falling away from the apparition seems to be partly based on Dürer’s figure of the soldier in the Resurrection of Christ from the 1512 Engraved Passion (see BM: E,2.57. B.VII.39.17). This indicates the availability of his prints in Spain.
The print records a statue in the cathedral of Saragossa, hence the attribution to the Spanish school. Some of the earliest prints made in Spain were loose leaf devotional prints but surviving impressions are rare.
See M.McDonald, 'Renaissance to Goya: Prints and Drawings from Spain', BM, London, 2013, fig.16, & p.37.
The reg number is wrong with the asterisk added to differentiate with the print with this reg number. Please check for original reg number when this print is lifted.
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number