La Conquistadora

Circa 2009
Pasteboard and tempera paints
Santa Fe Plaza, Santa Fe, New Mexico

Prepared for a religious festival in Santa Fe, this is an image of a statue in the cathedral known as La Conquistadora. The statue was brought to the city in 1625. In 1680 a revolt of the indigenous people drove the Spaniards out of the city, and they took the statue with them to what is now El Paso, Texas. Twelve years later they returned, with the statue, and negotiated a peaceful understanding with the indigenous people. Their leader, Diego de Vargas, attributed this result to the intercession of La Conquistadora, and the statue has been an important part of Catholic life in the city ever since (Pacheco, 114-15).

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Photographed in Santa Fe Plaza by Richard Stracke, shared under Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license.