Donated By: Donick Cary, Emmy-Award winning writer/producer (Letterman /Simpsons / Parks and Recreation /Silicon Valley)
New World, Mexico, Spanish Colonial style, ca. 19th century CE. A very nice example of a tall, articulated, hand-carved wooden Christ figure, made to be dressed in real clothing and used in processions and rituals. The figure is very fine, with a well-sculpted face whose expressive brown glass eyes look toward the sky as if imploring, immediately bringing to mind the Passion. His hands and feet are lifelike, contributing to the feeling of realism. His hair is lovingly carved with a great deal of detail given to the shape of the beard. His body is painted blue where it would have been covered with clothing. His arms move at shoulder and elbow, and his legs at the knee and hip. His palms have small grooves for simulating the stigmata. Size when prone: 10" W x 35" H (25.4 cm x 88.9 cm)
Figures like this one follow on from the medieval tradition, practiced until the present day in Spain and its colonies, of using lifelike puppet and/or articulated figures to act out key moments from the Bible. In the past, these statues were sometimes given white kidskin over exposed areas to simulate flesh and make them as lifelike as possible; they were also given cogs, spindles, and straps to move their heads independently (interestingly, these figures are sometimes considered the earliest European "robots"). Later, they evolved to be of simpler construction, like this figure, but no less important to religious ritual; instead of movement, their realistic and evocative faces became the focus of the artist's effort.
Provenance: private D. C. collection, California, USA; D. C. is an Emmy Award winning Hollywood writer and Executive Producer, collected before 2000
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