Spanish Colonial, Mexico, ca. late 19th century to early 20th century CE. A hand-carved and hand-painted wood santo with glass eyes depicting San Roque (Saint Roch or Rocco), a Catholic saint known as the patron of dogs who was born in Montpellier and went on a pilgrimage to Rome, devoting himself to attending to victims of the plague that was ravaging Italy. Saint Roch also fell victim to the plague at Piacenza, but wishing not to burden anyone, went off to the woods to die. However, miraculously, he was fed by a dog, whose master found Roch and nursed him back to health. Roch purportedly went on to perform numerous miracles of healing. Size: 6.5" W x 17.5" H (16.5 cm x 44.4 cm)
San Roque is usually represented as a pilgrim as we see in this example, only here the dog is missing a piece of bread in his mouth. This said, his clothing, hat, staff, gourd, and the dog identify him as San Roque. Though the plague did not terrorize the New World, this saint was probably adopted to protect against other forms of pestilence and illness.
Provenance: Ex-Francis & Lilly Robicsek Collection, Charlotte, NC
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