TYPE: Zinc
DIMENSIONS: 16 1/2 x 12in (42 x 30.5cm)
COMPONENTS: Oil painting on zinc.

ITEM ID: 3508
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Portuguese Painted Retablo

Year: 1825
Decade: 1820s
Century: 19th (1801-1900)
Notes: circa 1825

Depicts the Virgin on a rocky crag with worshipers below, with a scene of boys and a dog in chase of a bird and rabbit beneath, inscribed “Milagroza image de N.A. da conceicao da rocha” in a later frame.

This retablo represents the Our Lady of the Conception of the Rock, a shrine in Carnaxide, Portugal just outside Lisbon. According to legend, a group of young children were chasing a blackbird and a rabbit and came across a grotto where they came upon human remains. Three days later on May 31, 1822, the image of Our Lady of Conception, appeared at the location. Today, Nossa Senhora da Conceicao da Rocha and its celebratory festival, is a popular worship destination for the devout.

According to scholar Francisco Santos Silva, “Better known here as an Ex-Voto. That is a particularly well painted one, as they are ‘popular art’ they were not usually painted by professionals and sometimes can look very amateurish.”

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