The Four Pendentives
Beneath the cupola of the shrine are the four pendentives, the groin of the dome that supports the massive opening. Within each are four tondi dedicated to four doctors of the Church, Saint Ephraim, Saint Ambrose, Saint Cyril, and Saint John of Damascus. Each saint was chosen for his writings on the Virgin Mary Mother of God. All four are depictured according to their station as well as bearing the signs of their writings.
The background color of the pendentives echoes the teal of the cupola above painted to represent the Mantle of Guadalupe and decorated with the constellation of December 12th 1531. As the color extends, it also echoes the words of the Virgin Mary to Juan Diego, “were not you always in the folds f my mantle”. To give each figure the added sense of presence the painted or illusionistic acts as a continuation of the actual oculus. All four paintings measure 6 feet in diameter and are oil on linen.