San Juan Nepomuceno and Criollo Identity in Late Viceregal Mexico
Guillen, Maurise Carin
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This thesis argues San Juan Nepomuceno was an integral part of the rise of the criollo consciousness and its visual culture by presenting archival evidence of the saint’s devotion being cultivated by the criollos and Jesuits throughout the viceroyalty. It analyzes visual evidence of the saint by analyzing both the saint’s iconography and the uniquely New World objects such as the monja coronada paintings and the escudo de monjas on which his image is found and their social function during the viceregal era. The saint was indigenized by symbols representing the New World and eventually integrated into the nationalist image matrix. My thesis seeks to explore why the lay criollos incorporated this foreign devotion within their culture and identity. Like the eagle and the Virgen de Guadalupe, Nepomuceno was a patriotic symbol and source of nationalist pride for the criollo.