Alberto Fuster

Rosa Mystica, 1899

Oleo / tela
200 x 116 cm

Upon his return to Mexico, after a long formative period in Europe, Fuster had a grand exhibit of his works at the National School of Fine Arts, in October 1908. Within said exhibit the painting Rosa mystica featured. An anonymous art critic from the Catholic Sunday paper, El tiempo ilustrado commented: “Standing in front of a magnificent and marbled byzantine seat: Mary, the virginal, pure, simple, humble, and divine mother, her attitude full of grace and unction, she reveals with the soft and mysterious strength of love all the mystical poem of the Immaculate Conception. This piece was prized at the Salon de Paris”. The byzantine style to which the critic refers is not only depicted by the marble’s profusion, which established the ambience’s sumptuous tone, but rather in the hieratic and frontal composition. Mystical Rose is one of the names attributed to the Virgin Mary, under her denomination as Immaculate Conception and incorporated into the Laurentian Litanies. In said praise, Mary’s virginal purity, her modesty, the admirable scent of her virtues and extreme holiness are implied: The Queen of Heaven and Earth, as a devout eighteenth century writer once described her. In this work, she is represented as a nubile girl, standing inside the Temple, veiled and with a docile attitude (as shown by the hand on her chest and a slight bowing of the head), awaiting her mystical betrothal to Joseph, based on a varying fifteenth century iconography.

Vid. Fausto Ramírez, Arte moderno de México. Colección Andrés Blaisten, México, Universidad Nacional Autonóma de México, 2005.

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