The Virgin of the Lake
103.8 x 73.7 cm (40 7/8 x 29 in.)
(Villahermosa, Mexico, 1948 - )
Medium and Support:
Blanton Museum of Art, The University of Texas at Austin, Gift of Gilberto Cárdenas, 2017
A complex religious figure, "la Virgen" is a traditional female role model that embodies both purity and motherhood. She is simultaneously revered and reimagined by artists to fit contemporary notions of gender. In Alejandro Romero’s "Virgin of the Lake", the crowned Virgin stands under a four-post canopied altar used in religious processions. She is surrounded by the Chicago landscape, and a river and freeway intersect at her center. Mesoamerican iconography and Catholic religious figures are visible across her skirt. Romero takes a distinctive approach to the subject, incorporating elements of his hometown, such as the Langham building to the Virgin’s right and the monumental Pablo Picasso sculpture, Chicago, that she holds in her right hand.