Virgin Mary


For the tourist, the Virgin Mary image is on beach bags, purses, T shirts, just about any clothing item with a space. For Mexicans the image of the Virgin Mary of Guadalupe is the chosen one, located in the Basilica of our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City. As we see her, they see her; a mother figure and a protector of all things good in life and here after. The Virgin Mary image is tucked into wall niches, grottos, memorial shrines and always in churches.

For myself, the image of Virgin Mary on the back of Tim Steiner is the one with the most questions. Belgium artist, Wim Dalvoye created  this work of art in 2006. The tattoo art was sold in 2008 for 218,000$. Then exhibited at the Zurich gallery, de Pury & Luxembourg with the agreement the art work would be available 3 times per year (when Steiner dies the latest owner of the art work will retain rights). In 2012, this agreement must have changed as Tim Steiner is disillusioned with the amount of time he is sitting on a pedestal in public places.

Tattoo , Virgin Mary

Wim Dalvoye: Tim 2006, body tattoo on back of Tim Steiner, owner Rik Reinking

My sketchbook takes me to the traditional spaces; the shrine at the estuary and the sanctuary on the hill. I settle on the niche in the wall at the local hotel and eatery for my images.


virgin mary niche in wall

Linda Denis, niche in wall, pencil on paper, 2014

local hotel mexico watercolour Venezia sketch book

Linda Denis, Local hotel and eatery, watercolour in Venezia book, 2014


  1. I love reading your blog and seeing your sketches. The most recent on the Virgin Mary (Basilica of our Lady of Guadaloupe) is both interesting and inspiring. Also, we love the lamp :)

    Love you, daughter and the girls

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