Saint Teresa of Ávila's Martyrdom: Images of her Transverberation in Mexican Colonial Painting

Christopher C. Wilson
1999 Anales del Instituto de Investigaciones Estéticas  
The images of the Transverberation of St. Teresa of Jesus originated in some of the episodes that are related by the saint, especially of the Libro de la vida in the 13th paragraph of the 29th chapter. The book had great success all over Europe after it was first published in Salamanca (Guillermo Foquel, 1588). However, the famed episode of the Transverberation was represented for the first time in the Vida gráfica (Antwerp, 1613) and this image was reproduced freely via prints. Among the most
more » ... ts. Among the most famous representation are a painting by Rubens, destroyed by fire in 1940, and the magnificent sculpture by Bernini, at the Church of Santa Maria della Vittoria in Rome. The scene was also accepted in New Spain with great enthusiasm and it became one of the most popular topics in religious painting. Wilson studies the image of the Transverberation not only as a mystic experience but also as a "virtual" martyrdom that is clearly expressed in a painting by Juan Correa based on a Flemish engraving by Richard Collin (17th century). Wilson recalls that both Saint Teresa and her brother Rodrigo used to read the lives of the saints during their childhood and that they even imagined themselves being martyred in the land of the Moors in North Africa. The iconography for the representations of Saint Teresa are taken from the topics that were used for illustrate the Martyrdom of Saint Ursula.
doi:10.22201/iie.18703062e.1999.74-75.1876 fatcat:fg2s4khhjfejnogsu3d5qrh2i4