Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Art History

First Advisor

Dr. James Farmer


This thesis entails a three-part approach to understanding the iconographic program at Santa Maria Tonantzintla. First, an historical and stylistic background of Santa Maria Tonantzintla will be presented. Included in this section is a description of the church and its many saints. The second part is a description of the various images of the Virgin and associated Marian Emblemata within the church design. The third part focuses on the European- based iconography of the Virgin and the iconography of the pre-Hispanic earth mother Tonantzin. It will illustrate how the image of the Virgin of the Immaculate Conception at Santa Maria is the physical manifestation of a sacred discourse between Catholic and ancient Mexican iconography.


© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

June 2008