Juan Francisco de Águilera
The Virgin of Carmen and the Souls of Purgatory with St. Joseph and the Prophet Elijah
Oil and gold on copper
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City
As Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Mary is conventionally shown with the Christ Child in her arms, a crown, and a scapular. Sometimes the souls in Purgatory are pictured in the lower part of the image, in reference to the "Sabbatine Privilege."
St. Joseph is portrayed with a lily stalk, as usual for this century. Responding to Molanus's strictures about images that make him seem an impotent old man, this artist has given him a fresh young face and physique.
Elijah is identified by the flaming sword, a reference to the miracle of the holocaust in I Kings 18:20-40.
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Read more about Our Lady of Mount Carmel, St. Joseph, and Elijah.
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Photographed at the museum by Richard Stracke, shared under Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license.