Mandorla

DEFINITION

A gloriole or glory when it surrounds the entire figure of God, Christ, the Virgin Mary, or a saint with a large oval of radiant light . Mandorla is the Italian word for almond. When it surrounds the head only, it is called a halo or nimbus. It indicates divinity or holiness.(pr. man-DOR-lə)Examples:Unknown Artist of the School of the Laguna Santero, Our Lady of Guadalupe, late 18th or early 19th century, food, gesso, water-based paint and gold leaf, 26 1/2 x 15 3/8 inches, Spanish Colonial Arts Society in Santa Fe, NM. Scholars believe that an anonymous artist working in what is now New Mexico at the end of the eighteenth century and beginning of the nineteenth century was responsible for a large body of similar work. They have named this unknown artist the Laguna Santero, after a large altar screen in the church at Laguna Pueblo, which they believe he painted.

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