Spanish Colonial, Mexico, ca. early 19th century CE. A hand-carved and gessoed wooden Cristo (Crucified Christ) that captures the drama and sorrow of this tragedy in Christ's forlorn visage and ravaged body on a beautiful wooden cross adorned with floral and foliage reliefs embellishing the surface, all upon an elegantly tiered pedestal. The sculptor's delineation of anatomy is incredibly realistic with elongated limbs and a severely emaciated torso. The iconography is quite complete with blood dripping over the body and stigmata through hands, feet, and chest - the stigmata of the hands and feet covered by cut tin rosettes. What's more, aside for the loincloth, Christ is depicted with as much of his suffering body visible as is possible. This Christ figure moves well beyond any naive, folk approach and was very much influenced by academic study of anatomy and the dramatic Spanish Baroque style. A superb historic example that if in better condition would easily retail for 4 times this price! Size: 20.5" W x 37" H (52.1 cm x 94 cm)
This example was created when Mexico was referred to as New Spain and the Catholic Church's missionary work was expanding northward into the Southwest region of the United States. Such sculptures were intended for churches, but were also paraded through towns during Holy Week. Though a creation of the New World, the Cristo recalls the realism that emerged in 17th century Spanish religious sculptures and paintings. Such realism was purposefully sought in order to combat Protestantism and revitalize the Catholic Church. Artists aimed to create vivid and naturalistic imagery that was at the same time dramatically emotive, soulful, and gruesomely graphic. The sculptors' stylings paralleled those of painters Diego Velazquez and Francisco de Zurburan.
Provenance: private Andrade collection New York, NY, USA acquired 1960's; ex-Knoedler & Company
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