“Miracle” at LACMA

A 1691 version of Our Lady of Guadalupe by Manuel Arellano has just been added to LACMA's growing Latin American collection, reports curator Ilona Katzew on the museum's "Unframed" blog. Guadalupe paintings are not so common as Angelenos might think; this is LACMA's first. It's exceptional for the artist and early date, as well as the fact that an inscription says it was copied after the original—a venerable icon in Mexico City's Basilica of Guadalupe. Arellano has both improved on the original artistically and added border scenes telling its miraculous legend. LACMA already owns a large Folding Screen with Indian Wedding and Flying Pole attributed to Arellano. With all the Guadalupe imagery in L.A., the new acquisition seems certain to become one of the museum's signature works. Katzew is calling it "just short of being a small miracle itself."