The Simpecados

Rocío Movement

"Moon, Sun, North and Guide..."

The Origins

The oldest simpecado preserved by the Hermandad Matriz is currently in the Museum – Treasury, in the Sanctuary of El Rocío. In its last restoration, carried out in the workshops of Santa Barbara, the date “1724” was found inscribed on the inside. The unique morphology of the old simpecado of the Almonte institution responds to the baroque style of the early eighteenth century. Its execution shows an exquisite technique, with colorful embroidery in gold and colored silk and abundant rhinestones, distributed around a central axis, where the Virgin of El Rocío is located.

The representation of a well and a fountain on each side of the simpecado are biblical praises assigned to Mary. Under the Virgin appears the coat of arms of Almonte, arranged on the pedestal and on the back, in sequin, is inscribed the legend: “REGINA RORIS / ORA PRO NOBIS”. According to the historian Javier Coronel, in the decade of 1910, the old painted print was replaced by the current embroidery in which the Blessed Virgin appears with the bursts of tip, very deteriorated, based on the photograph of Basilio Alcañiz of 1901.

During these, almost three centuries, this simpecado has undergone several interventions and restorations. In 2009, the Hermandad Matriz decided to commission the workshop of Santa Barbara de Sevilla, the exact reproduction of the old Simpecado, which is the one that today presides over the main services and events of the Brotherhood.

The Hermandad Matriz has had other "simpecados" throughout its history: green, white, red...

1914 Sympecado

There was a second green simpecado made between 1813 and 1823, probably by Sister Mariana del Rocío.She was a professed nun of the Dominican Convent of Almonte, who historian Lorenzo Cruz describes as “highly skilled” in the art of embroidery in the early nineteenth century, and who made several simpecados for other brotherhoods in the region (Brotherhoods of the Rosary of Bollullos Par del Condado and Almonte), sister-in-law of the former Elder Brother of the Brotherhood of El Rocío in 1813, Juan José Lagares, of the distinguished family of Ayala de Bollullos Par del Condado.This simpecado, it seems, could have been sold at the beginning of the second decade of the 20th century.

Later, in 1914, the camarista, Ana Valladolid Moreno, gave a white Simpecado to the Hermandad Matriz, which disappeared in the fire of the Parish of Almonte in 1936. Another simpecado, white in color, was released on May 20, 1939, a gift from Carmen Fondevila, widow of Julián Espinosa Escolar. It was restored in 1994 by Felipe Manuel Fernández, who transferred the embroidery to a new silver tissue and Javier Ánguas restored the painting. It was the old insignia on the way.

Later, the workshop of Esperanza Elena Caro embroidered a simpecado in gold on green velvet that presides over a painting of the Virgen del Rocío, signed and dated by Monis Mora, in 1968. It was blessed in 1970 and later restored and modified by José Guillermo Carrasquilla. The one that until 2019 has been the simpecado de camino, was designed in 1983 by Pedro de la Rosa Fernández. That same year, it was embroidered in red velvet with tissue appliqués and colored silk flowers. The central oval reproduces the painting of the Virgin made by Santiago Martínez in 1948 for the Parish of Almonte.

In March 2022, a new simpecado de camino, made by the embroidery workshop of the Hermandad Matriz, was blessed. Its design, made by Joaquín López and Juan José Areal, from the Sevillian workshop of Santa Bárbara, follows the pattern of the old simpecado de camino, but enriching it with new embroideries that have been made in the workshop of the Hermandad Matriz. This insignia presents in the central oval a painting of the Virgin, work of the Sevillian artist Fernando J. Aguado Hernández.

"And Heavenly Shepherdess..."

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