La Moreneta, also known as the Virgin of Montserrat. La Moreneta, the Virgin of Montserrat, is on Montserrat Mountain near Barcelona, Spain. The original statue was reputed to have been carved by St. Luke in Jerusalem. After being taken to Montserrat, she disappeared, but was later discovered in a cave by shepherds. She is the patroness of Catalonia, Spain, (“Moreneta” means “the black one” in Catalan.) and the symbol of Catalan nationalism. As such, she represents resistance to authority. For example, it is said she resisted attempts by church authorities to move her by falling off wagons. Other liberation or resistance movement connections to Black Madonnas include Our Lady of Czestochowa (Queen of Poland), Our Lady of Guadalupe (Mexico), and our Lady of Einsiedlin (Our Lady of the Hermits, Switzerland). The Holy Grail, along with the Ark of the Covenant, are “quest objects” that represent a passionate longing for meaning. Montserrat, along with Montségur (see Last Refuge-1244 in the portfolio, “The Fallen”) is a suggested hiding place of the sacred container. Richard Wagner was inspired by Montserrat to compose Parsifal. Documentation of devotion to the Virgin of Montserrat dates from 932, and she is known to have been black since at least 718. The present statue is from the 12th century and is enshrined in the ornate Basilica of the monastery in a niche above the high alter.

The image was photographed in 1998 at the Monastery of Montserrat, Spain, in 35mm format under available light conditions using high-speed transparency film. It is printed on Hahnemuhle Photo Rag archival paper with an Epson 9800 printer using 3-K archival Ultrachrome inks. The mat is 4-ply, museum-quality, acid-free, unbuffered mat board.

The image is printed in the following editions: 50 are 20 x 16 in. (mat size 32 x 29 in.); 100 are 14 x 11 in. (mat size 20 x 17.5 in.) Click on INFORMATION to call or email for prices.