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The Painted Nuns of Santa Catalina


Peru, 1690. The nuns of the monastery Santa Catalina in Arequipa have a certain reputation of, shall we say, unholiness. The criolla and mestiza nuns from rich Spanish families have been reticent to give up their wealth and luxury. Generations before Pope Pius IX was to make the convent pious again, the parties were raging!


The sudden death of a sister brings with it an urgent task – the summoning of the local painter. Since painting the nuns alive was out of the question (it seems the line – while very loose in regards to the nuns’ actual lifestyles – was rather strict when it came to their outside image), the artist had only 24 hours in which to capture her likeness…

9-page comic, unfolding into a cross. A4, 2023. Available here.

Broken Frontier review.

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