"The Immaculate Conception" is a belief that Mary was preserved from original sin at the moment of conception, receiving in advance the grace of Baptism that her son would earn for all mankind. Pope Pius IX solemnly defined this as a dogma in his constitution Ineffabilis Deus on 8 December 1854.
Images that celebrate this doctrine represent Mary as the woman of Revelation 12:1, "And a great sign appeared in heaven: A woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars."
Traditional representations of the Immaculate shows her wearing a crown of twelve stars and represents the sun as a modified mandorla outline with flame-like "rays." At the base is a snake who assails the woman in Revelation 12 .
Two-dimensional images represent the "heaven" in which the woman is seen by surrounding her with angels and often by including clouds and a sky-like background.
Dr. Raffy Lopez of Quezon City, eminent ecclesiastical artist whose forte is restoring old ivories and creating new ivory santos following the colonial tradition, has created many images of the Immaculate Conception for many of his clients, fine examples of which are shown on this page.