History : Mar-Apr 2018
NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC HISTORY 73 SEEKING DIVINE FAVOR In works of art, the Spanish royal family was often depicted before the Virgin Mary, who blessed them with her protection and grace. ORONOZ/ALBUM The Virgin of the Catholic Monarchs Painted in the early 1490s, this panel can be found today in the Prado Museum, Madrid. It originally belonged to the Dominican convent of St. Thomas of Ávila. The Ma- donna and Child, St. Thomas, and St. Dominic are worshipped by the royal family. The use of perspective suggests that the unidentified artist is Flemish. Because Isabella and Ferdinand were in their 40s when this panel was painted, it is likely their portraits were idealized. King and Prince Ferdinand prays on a prie-dieu beside his son and heir, Prince John. Queen and Princess Isabella kneels in front of a lectern, accompanied by her firstborn daughter, Isabella. St. Thomas The monastery where this panel first hung is named for this saint. St. Dominic This saint was a Castilian priest and founder of the Dominican Order.