Spanish Colonial inspired, Mexico, ca. early 19th century CE. A free-standing, vibrantly painted wood carving representing "La Cruz de las Animas" or "The Cross of Souls", presenting a rich religious iconographic program. At the center is Christ on the cross, flanked by the sun and moon, surmounted above by the Eternal Father and a banner reading INRI (Latin for Jesus of Nazarene, King of the Jews) above him. Below Jesus is a painted image of St. Michael the Archangel armed to battle for justice, above the Virgin Mary (Mater Dolorosa) praying for her Son. The base is adorned by several animas solas (meaning lonesome departed ancestral souls) figures - three painted on the base and two carved figures attached above. All are hoping for salvation while awaiting judgement amidst the flames of purgatory. Painted on the face of the tier between them is a skull and crossbones symbolizing Golgotha. A wonderful example of religious art representing a subject that was a popular cult of devotion throughout Mexico during the 19th century. Size: 10.25" W x 22.625" H (26 cm x 57.5 cm)
Provenance: private Andrade collection New York, NY, USA acquired 1960's; ex-Knoedler & Company
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