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«« Virgin Protectorate

Virgin Protectorate Web

72 x 42, oil on canvas, 2011        $2,500.00

In history, the term protectorate has two different meanings.  In its earliest inception it is an autonomous territory that is protected diplomatically or militarily against third parties by a stronger state or entity.  In exchange for this, the protectorate usually accepts specified obligations, which may vary greatly depending on the nature of their relationship.  However, it retains a sufficient measure of sovereignty.

A second meaning came about as a result of European colonial expansion in the nineteenth century.  Many colonized territories came to be referred to as “colonial protectorates”, but were not regarded as separate states under international law.  Entites referred to as “international protectorates” can become so subordinated to the protecting power that in effect they lose their independent statehood.

During the middle ages it was common for a group (a guild or holy order) to commision a portrait of its members huddled under the cape of the Holy Virgin Mary.  Thus symbolizing their specified devotion to her and in return the Virgins intercession and protection on thier behalf.