Monday, December 07, 2009

Portugal and the Immaculate Conception

Virgin of the Immaculate Conception
Carved ivory
Height 43.5 cm x Width 18 cm x Depth 12.5 cm
Probably made in either Goa or Sri Lanka
The Victoria and Albert Museum, London

The Virgin in long robes, her hands together in an attitude of prayer, stands on the crescent moon above a dragon, which turns its head to look up at her. The ivory base is decorated with a leaf pattern; the figure stands on a black wooden base.

Ivory sculptures were produced in large numbers in Portuguese Sri Lanka (formerly called Ceylon)

Ivory sculptures were locally produced in large numbers for an European clientele, and their style of carving combines Indian or Sri Lankan with European traditions.

The Virgin of the Immaculate Conception
Ivory, partly coloured and gilt
Height: 27 cm x Weight: 0.980 kg
Made in Portugal or one of its Eastern colonies (Goa)
The Victoria and Albert Museum, London

João Nepomuceno Correia e Castro (d.1795)
Imaculada Conceição, XVIIIth century
Museu da Inconfidência, Ouro Preto, Brazil

The Immaculate Conception
18th Century
Museu Júlio de Castilhos, Porto Alegre, Brazil

The Blessed Virgin Mother under the invocation of the Immmaculate Conception (Imaculada Conceição)(venerated in the Ducal Chapel of the Palace of Vila Viçosa) was acclaimed "Queen" and Patroness of the kingdom by King John IV on March 25, 1646 following a referendum of the Empire that lasted 6 years.

It asked subjects: 1. If they believed the Blessed Virgin Mary to have been conceived without sin, and 2. If they believed that the Blessed Virgin Mary was the physical reigning Queen of Portugal and not just symbolically the Patroness.

The people answered affirmatively

The Order of the Immaculate Conception of Vila Viçosa (also known as The Order of Our Lady of Conception of Vila Vicosa) was created by King John VI of Portugal in Rio de Janeiro on 6 February 1818, the date of his acclamation, in recognition for the efficient protection of the Kingdom's Spiritual Sovereign

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