Graduation Date


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts

Department or Program

Graduate Humanities

Department or Program Chair

Joshua Horowitz, PhD

First Reader

Leslie Ross, PhD

Second Reader

Heidi Chretien, PhD


Since its time of creation, the Virgin of Guadalupe image has been used in various political, social, and humanitarian struggles throughout Mexico and the United States. This remarkable image is responsible for unifying the people during post-conquest Mexico when discriminatory treatment and slavery of the indigenous people was common. The image is a symbol of Mexican nationalism embedded with Catholic and Aztec religious beliefs that has evolved into a popular cultural icon. This progression of her popularity can be seen in artistic expression from Mexican artists in the sixteenth century to the Chicano art movement in the twentieth century United States. This thesis is an analysis of the evolution of the Virgin of Guadalupe image through visual art.