As a photographer, one of my favorite subjects to shoot are religious icons. The Virgin Mary is on top of my list. Our Lady of Providence, the patroness of Puerto Rico, is, of course, one of my favorite images to photograph. Actually, I have introduced several people in New York City to Our Lady of Providence through my photography. One of my most popular photographs is an image I shot of Our Lady of Providence at St. Jerome's Church in the South Bronx, and one of my photos will be published in an upcoming religious book (TBA) and is currently on display at an art exhibit at the Bronx Blue Bedroom Project in the Bronx.
As you could imagine, I was so happy to learn that Lladró will launch a sculpture in her likeness at an event in New York City during Puerto Rican Heritage Month. I hope to be there.
Here's the press release:
Lladró, the world renowned Spanish producer of exquisite porcelain works of art, will launch a sculpture in tribute to the patroness of Puerto Rico, Our Lady of Divine Providence, at its boutique in New York City on November 19. The unveiling coincides with Puerto Rico’s celebration of Discovery Day.
The Spanish company honors Puerto Rican traditions and culture with this faithful depiction of the image of the Virgin with the Christ Child in her lap. Ángeles Lladró, member of the Lladró Board of Directors and daughter of one of the three founding brothers, explains that the company decided to create this sculpture during her last visit to Puerto Rico.
“I was so enthralled by the open nature of its people, very similar to the Spanish character in so many ways, and their appreciation of our brand, that we thought of making a piece to show our gratitude,” she says. “This faithful depiction of the image of Our Lady of Divine Providence is our best way to honor the Puerto Rican culture, tradition and religious devotion. It is a very touching scene, in line with other Lladró maternities, and I loved it right from the beginning.”
With this magnificent porcelain depiction of the Virgin, Lladró not only pays tribute to the people of Puerto Rico, but also celebrates two rich cultures united by the same roots.
Created in glazed porcelain and decorated with Lladró’s traditional spectrum of colors, the piece is noteworthy for its size, 16 1/2" x 7", considerably larger than other Lladró Virgins. The combination of white and blue, the colors symbolizing the purity of the Madonna, with ocher tones, further reinforce the splendor of an image venerated mainly by the order of the Servants of Mary.
The Latin phrase on the porcelain base, "Tu honorificentia populi nostril," or "You are the glory of our people," is taken from Tota Pulchra Es, the 4th century anonymous “canto” that includes texts dedicated to the Virgin from biblical books.
Worship of Our Lady of Divine Providence originated in Italy in the 13th century. It was a very popular devotion that later passed to Spain, where a shrine was built in her honor in Tarragona, Catalonia. When Gil Esteve Tomas, a Catalan priest, was appointed bishop of Puerto Rico in the mid 19th century, he brought this devotion with him to the island. In a decree signed in 1969, Pope Paul VI declared Our Lady Mother of Divine Providence as the patroness of the island of Puerto Rico.
During the reception, the sculptor of the piece, don Nacho Aliena, will demonstrate the techniques that he employs in executing his work. He will be available to answer questions about the design of the Virgin of Divine Providence.
The suggested retail price is $1,500. Lladró will donate 10% of all sales during the New York City celebration to the Puerto Rican Family Institute (PRFI), a non-profit organization responding to the needs of the growing Latino population both on the U.S mainland and in Puerto Rico since 1960.
“We are so proud to join with Lladró in launching this Virgin,” says María Elena Girone, President and CEO of the PRFI. “The Virgin not only symbolizes devotion and faith in Puerto Rico, but also reminds us of our mission to help the needy, the essence of our organization.”
Lladró was established by the brothers Juan, José and Vicente Lladró in 1953, and has a presence in more than 120 countries. Lladró has proprietary shops in the most important commercial centers in the world: London, New York, Beverly Hills, Singapore, Hong Kong, Moscow, Tokyo, Miami, Las Vegas, Madrid, Barcelona and Valencia, where the company is headquartered. For further information on Lladró visit www.lladro.com.
About the Puerto Rican Family Institute
The Puerto Rican Family Institute, Inc. (PRFI) is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to strengthen the functioning and self-sufficiency of diverse marginalized communities, and to prevent the disintegration of families. It is a humanitarian services agency that promotes programs dealing with families, provides cultural services to children, youth, adults and families, and that respects all races, cultures and personal identities. The identify and community of each individual, independently of how they define themselves, serve as the foundation for the cultural services offered by the Institute. The principal services include psychological care, preventive care, education, mental health, care for AIDS sufferers, case management programs, home care, crisis intervention, and Head Start. PRFI operates about 48 programs throughout New York, Jersey City, New Jersey and Puerto Rico.
(NOTE: I was having problems with Blogger and hope to upload the image of the sculpture soon.)
source: CapitalWirePR press release
To view some of my photos, visit my "Our Lady" photo set at http://flickr.com/photos/clarisel.