“La Rogativa” – Old San Juan
by Robert Leedy, 2008,
watercolor on Arches 140 lb. Cold Press paper, 10.75” x 14.375”
La Rogativa is a monument on a tiny, shady plaza in Old San Juan. The bronze sculpture, created by Lindsay Daen, depicts an event in 1797 when a British fleet, under the command of Sir Ralph Abercrombie, attempted a siege of San Juan; The attack was initially foiled so the fleet created a naval blockade of the harbor hoping to starve the citizens into submission. One night, a bishop and a congregation of women marched through the city carrying torches, ringing bells, singing hymns and praying for the suffering townspeople. Hearing the noise and seeing the torches from their distant ships, the British thought the women were Spanish military reinforcements arriving from other locations on the island. They feared a massive retaliation and quickly sailed away into the night.
The sculpture overlooks the Governor’s mansion and the Bay of San Juan. It is a nice place to stop and take a break when walking through the Old City. It is also from this spot that made sketches for “Old San Juan”.