Rosamaría Pascual de Gámez
Artist Rosamaría Pascual de Gámez stands with her latest mural, “…so you can compare the size with an average person.” The painting now hangs in the baptistery of the Cathedral of Santa Cruz del Quiché, the second of her works there and the 18th mural she has donated to Guatemala churches. At five square meters, this is among her smaller works.
Typically Rosamaría’s paintings include a myriad of scenes, but, she says, “This one is very easy to understand, as there is only one message: the baptism of Jesus,” adding, “…in the Catholic tradition of baptizing a baby and not a grownup Jesus.” That said, the painting is chock full of detail. The flowers, the pots, the colorful cloth, the basket with bananas, the groups of candles according to Mayan tradition of petitioning protection for each family member—all these part of everyday life in Guatemala.
Symbols of and beyond baptism include a pitcher of water and two little jars of oils to be ceremoniously poured on the baby, sacrificial doves and a knife for circumcision. Halos and shawls of typical mode connect the holy and the human.
Rosamaría’s suggestion of herself as ‘an average person’ may be accurate for her size. But otherwise average the artist is not.