Nuestra Señora del Carmen Retablo

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  • Nuestra Señora del Carmen
  • Late 19th Century Original Retablo Oil Painting on Tin created in Mexico.
  • Retablo dimensions are approx. 10 inches horizontal x 14 inches vertical. 
  • Condition: in excellent, clean, original condition with some minor paint loss acquired over more than a century of use and devotional prayer.
  • This extremely fine Retablo, portraying the Virgen del Carmen, represented as an intercessor of the Animas del Purgatorio was used as the cover art for the Ecuadorian novel "The Potbellied Virgin" by Alicia Yánez Cossío.
  • Santa María del Monte Carmelo, commonly referred to as Virgen del Carmen or Nuestra Señora del Carmen, is one of the various invocations of the Virgin Mary. Its name comes from the so-called Mount Carmel in Israel, in the city of Haifa, a name that derives from the word Karmel or Al-Karem and that could be translated as 'garden'. Today there are active Carmelite orders distributed throughout the world, male and female, which revolve around this Marian figure.
  • This dedication gives name to all those people called Carmen, Carmela or Carmelo, and who celebrate their name day on the feast of Our Lady of Carmen, on July 16.
  • The veneration goes back to the group of hermits who, inspired by the prophet Elijah, retired to live on Mount Carmel, considered the garden of Israel ( "Karmel" means " garden "). These devotees, after the crusades, formed in Europe the Order of Our Lady of Mount Carmel (Carmelites). The Monte Carmelo, located in today's Israel , has been a site of religious devotion since antiquity. In the Hebrew Bible it is mentioned with the name of Hakkarmel (place of the garden), in the book of the prophet Isaiahas a place of great beauty and also appears in relation to the prophet Elijah . It does not appear, however, in the New Testament .
  • According to the Carmelite tradition, the 16 of July of 1251, the image of the Virgen del Carmen had appeared to St. Simon Stock, Superior General of the Order, to whom he gave his habits and scapular, principal sign of Marian devotion Carmelite. According to that modern tradition, the Virgin promised to liberate from Purgatory all the souls that have dressed the scapular during their life, the Saturday after the death of the person and take them to heaven. This veneration received papal recognition in 1587 and has been endorsed by the later Pontiffs, especially regarding the scapular.
  • In an unnamed town in the Ecuadorian Andes, a small wooden icon—La Virgen Pipona (the Potbellied Virgin)—conceals the documents that define the town's social history. That history recently has been dominated by the women of the Benavides family, a conservative clan and, not coincidentally, the caretakers of the Virgin. Their rivals are the Pandos, a family led by four old men who spend their days smoking in the park across from the Virgin's cathedral and offering revisionist versions of local and national events. When a military skirmish threatens the Virgin (and the secret in her famous belly), the Benavides women must scramble to preserve their place as local matriarchs—without alerting the old Pandos to the opportunity that might enable them to finally supplant their rivals.
  • An interesting addendum to the History of this amazing and perfectly preserved Retablo was that it appeared as the Cover Image for an Ecuadorian Novel named "The Potbellied Virgin". Details below:
  • The Potbellied Virgin (Texas Pan American Literature in Translation Series) Paperback – June 1, 2006
    by Alicia Yánez Cossío (Author), Amalia Gladhart (Translator)
  • One of Ecuador's foremost contemporary writers, Alicia Yánez Cossío illuminates the complexity of Andean Society by placing disenfranchised players such as Women and Amerindians onstage with traditional powers such as the military and the church. Folk Wisdom, exemplified in The Potbellied Virgin by the beautifully translated proverbs so popular with the Benavideses and the Pandos alike, stands up to historical record. Such inclusiveness ultimately allows the whole truths of Yánez Cossío's subjects to emerge. Only the second of her novels to be translated into English, The Potbellied Virgin (La cofradía del mullo del vestido de la Virgen Pipona) is a funny, focused portrait of Ecuadorian life in the twentieth century.