New World, Mexico, Spanish Colonial style, ca. 19th century CE. An interesting, hand-carved wooden santo showing a rare depiction of Christ without a beard. An artisan has sculpted him to have a sensitive, emotional face that gazes forward and slightly down, as if looking at distant ground. He kneels, his hands pressed together, draped in a brown tunic with a dark green robe. A repousse tin halo is above his carefully sculpted hair. Size: 9" L x 5.75" W x 16.5" H (22.9 cm x 14.6 cm x 41.9 cm)
Santos played an important role in bringing the Catholic Church to the New World with the Spanish colonists. These religious figures were hand-carved and often furnished with crowns, jewels, and other accessories, usually funded by religious devotees, and were used as icons to explain the major figures - Mary, Christ, and the saints - to new, indigenous converts. Likewise, they served as a connection to the Old World for Spanish colonists far from home. They became a folk art tradition in the Spanish New World, from modern day Guatemala to as far north as New Mexico and Colorado. Many of them were lovingly cared for over the years, with repairs and paint added as they aged, and played an active part for a long time in the religious life of their communities.
Provenance: ex private Francis & Lilly Robicsek collection, Charlotte, North Carolina, USA
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