The Holy Trinity
oil on canvas on board
18 x 22 3/8 in.
Sacred Heart imagery came to New Spain (present day Mexico) in the seventeenth century, and had many interrelated meanings for Catholics. In this painting, two hearts appear like mystic visions surrounded by light. The one on the left represents the Sacred Heart of Christ, floating between the central figure of Christ and his earthly father Joseph, who was also the patron saint of indigenous conversion in the Americas. The heart is encircled by a crown of thorns and topped by a cross, representing Christs self-sacrifice for humankind. To the right, the Immaculate Heart of the Virgin Mary appears between Christ and his mother Mary, pierced with multiple daggers to represent Marys suffering over the death of her son. Intersecting with the horizontal axis of Christs earthly family is a representation of his divine origins. God, Christs heavenly father, appears at the top of the central vertical axis above the Holy Spirit represented by a dove, culminating in the figure of Christ, the third member of the Trinity. In this small, devotional painting, the figure of God looking down at Christ acted as a model of a contemplative meditation for viewers.




Artist unknown, Mexican


Gift of Dr. Stephen S. Goodspeed and Mrs. John Goodspeed Ainsworth




Artist unknown, Mexican, “MEXICAN,” UCSB ADA Museum Omeka, accessed June 14, 2024,