La Pastora 18th Century Madonna as Shepherdess P1326

 

A glorious early 18th century depiction of the Virgin and Child, she portrayed as La Pastora, haloed by stars, the Divine Shepherdess.

Canvas 22″ x 26 1/2″ Frame  24″ x 23 3/4″

Price on request

La Divina Pastora: Virgin Mary as Shepherdess

In Spain, devotion to La Divina Pastora appears to have started in Seville, also right around 1700, and may indeed have originated there and been carried quickly to the Americas. Brother Isidore, a Capuchin (Franciscan) priest greatly devoted to Mary, is said to have commissioned a painting of the Virgin as shepherdess from the artistic school of Alonso Miguel de Tovar. There are earlier references to Mary as shepherdess in the writings of Saint John of God, Saint Peter of Alcantara and the visionary Maria de Agreda.

The Spanish Wikipedia article (whose sources include two books on the devotion) recounts that Brother Isidore specified that the Virgin wear a red tunic, a white sheepskin around her waist, and a blue mantle slung across her left shoulder. A shepherd’s staff is behind her on the right. In her left arm she holds the Infant Jesus and her right hand reaches toward a sheep taking refuge in her lap. She is surrounded by sheep bearing rose garlands in their mouths.

A little investigating online suggests that devotion to La Divina Pastora spread widely in the early 1700s and is still popular in Spain, Portugal, South America and the Philippines.  There are a number of Brotherhoods or Societies of the Divine Shepherdess in Spain and Portugal.