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Juan de Valdes Leal: 'The Immaculate Conception with Two Donors'

According to the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception, the Virgin Mary was conceived without original sin. The cherubs here carry emblems associated with the Virgin, including the olive, palm, rose, iris, a mirror and lilies. The throne at the top of the background staircase probably represents the throne of Solomon, the Old Testament King of Israel. Much of the imagery associated with the Immaculate Conception was derived from the Old Testament Song of Songs, once attributed to Solomon.

The identity of the donors is unknown. The man may be a canon or city official; the woman appears to be in mourning dress.

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