Artist: Bernardo de Legarda
A gift from Ecuador to Ville de Gatineau, this work was unveiled on September 19, 2012 in the presence of His Excellency Andres Teran-Parral, Ambassador of Ecuador to Canada, and Gatineau Mayor Marc Bureau.
This wood and metal sculpture is a contemporary reproduction by an anonymous artisan in the community of San Antonio de Ibarra of the Virgin of Quito by Bernardo de Legarda. The original, completed in December 1734, has stood since the 18th century in the high altar of the church of San Francisco in Quito. This city, the capital of Ecuador, was the first to be designated as a cultural heritage site for humanity by UNESCO in 1978.
The sculpture symbolizes a passage in the Apocalypse where the Virgin defeats evil as represented by the serpent. The piece attests to the historical importance of the Catholic religion in Ecuador, and to the country's artistic and cultural wealth. This sculpture reflects the emancipation of an art form that is unique to Latin America, having distanced itself from European art by integrating the influence of indigenous art.