Virgin of the Rosary

This carving of Virgin of the Rosary can be dated back to between 1500 and 1510 and is in line with the characteristic style of the somewhat Gothic images from Mechelen, although with Early Renaissance characteristics. This Flemish city specialised in producing small virgins and saints that were very successful and were easy to transport because of their small size, thereby reaching many corners of Europe. Several similar pieces have been preserved in Alava.

The image arrived in Vitoria in 1510, brought from Flanders by Diego Martínez de Maestu, an important merchant in the city. Its miracle-working fame began on the return journey to Vitoria, as it is claimed there was a great storm that subsided when Diego Martínez de Maestu embraced the image. He remained in his house for some time on his arrival in Vitoria, later moving to the Landázuri Chapel in the Convent of Saint Dominic. News of the miracles she performed led to the creation of the confraternity of Virgin of the Rosary and the granting of indulgences by Pope Adrian VI. The confraternity held its final celebration in the Convent of Saint Dominic on Candlemas Day in 1835. After the secularisation of the convent, the image was taken to the collegiate church of Saint Maru, where it was placed in the central chapel of the chevet, behind the presbytery, maintaining its confraternity and its traditional devotion.


Ficha técnica

  • Author: Anonymous. Mechelen workshop
  • Date: 1500-1510
  • Technique: Polychrome stone carving
  • Measurements: 41 x 15 x 20 cm
  • Place: Saint Mary’s Cathedral (Vitoria-Gasteiz)

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LAHOZ GUTIÉRREZ, Lucía. “El pasado en sus sombras proyectadas”. En: LÓPEZ MERÁS, Rosario; GONZÁLEZ DE ASPURU Sara (coord.). Museos de Álava: un patrimonio desconocido [cat]. Vitoria-Gasteiz: Diputación Foral de Álava, 2000, pp. 22-23, 73.

LAHOZ GUTIÉRREZ, Lucía. El intercambio artístico en el gótico: la circulación de obras, de artistas y de modelos. Salamanca, Universidad Pontificia de Salamanca, 2013, pp. 210-213.

ERKIZIA MARTIKORENA, Aintzane; Itziar AGUINAGALDE LÓPEZ. El Museo Diocesano de Arte Sacro y su colección. Vitoria-Gasteiz, Museo Diocesano de Arte Sacro, 2020, pp. 62-63.