About the Artwork

According to the inscription, the nun in this portrait was a member of the Franciscan Convent of Santa Clara in Puebla, Mexico. It was customary in Mexico in the colonial period for nuns to have portraits painted when they took their vows. As "brides of Christ," they often were depicted dressed in their new habits, but with the addition of elaborate capes or mantles, as seen in this example. In some instances they wore large brooches with saints painted on them and/or held small statues of their favorite, and in some cases, namesake saints. The nun in this portrait holds a small image of the Christ Child, alluding to her new name as a nun: Ana Maria of the Precious Blood of Christ.

In the portraits now known as "Crowned Nun Portraits," they wore crowns covered with flowers and held candles or bouquets with matching flowers. Apparently the flowers sometimes were made of wax, but recent research has indicated that they were also made from fabric with wire frameworks. In some cases, the nuns saved their crowns and bouquets and were later buried wearing them, as indicated in some surviving death portraits and from archeological excavations at the site of the former Jeronymite convent in Mexico City.

--Donna Pierce, 2015

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About Our Prints


Denver Art Museum Custom Prints offers exclusive custom reproductions of artworks in the collections and exhibitions of the Denver Art Museum. Hand-made in the USA using gallery-quality materials, we create prints as true to the original work as possible, using strict color management protocols and state-of-the-art printing technology.


Many of the works offered through this store are exclusive and not available anywhere else. We are continually adding new artworks to our offering, so be sure to check back regularly as you build your own gallery. A variety of molding styles means our custom framed prints can match any type of decor.

Member Discounts

DAM members receive their 10% discount for all Denver Art Museum Custom Prints purchases. Simply enter your valid member number into the form at checkout and the discount will be applied to the items in your cart. Member discounts cannot be combined with other offers.