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Anales del Instituto de Investigaciones Estéticas

versión impresa ISSN 0185-1276


RUBIAL GARCIA, Antonio. Saint Teresa’s Biretta and Infused Science. Creation and Expansion of a New Female Model in New Spain Art. An. Inst. Investig. Estét [online]. 2018, vol.40, n.112, pp.99-131. ISSN 0185-1276.

In 18th century New Spain, representations of Saint Teresa wearing a biretta as one of her attributes increased significantly; this was an object worn by men who had taken a doctorate in a pontifical faculty and gives Saint Teresa the symbolic status of a “doctor in theology.” The subject was closely related to a thesis of scholastic tradition: women could know the divine mysteries without the study of sacred texts, as a result of infused science, knowledge divinely conferred. The life and work of St. Teresa of Avila gave credence to this assumption and, in view of her patent wisdom (which was also mentioned in several sermons), she was represented not only as a writer, but also as a Doctor of the Church. In 18th century New Spain it became customary to include a symbolic doctoral biretta in painted and sculpted images of the saint from Avila. This attribute-as well as the pen, inkwell and desk-, came to be extended to representations of other saintly women as well as those of certain contemporary female authors. St. Teresa’s enormous media impact may have influenced a new perspective on women’s capacity for knowledge.

Palabras llave : Teresa de Ávila; women’s writing; gender and painting; infused science.

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