New World, Mexico, Spanish Colonial style, ca. 19th century CE. A beautiful representation of the Virgin Mary, referencing the Tilma Image of Our Lady of Guadalupe, who is depicted standing upon a crescent moon as she is here. This santo is dominated by a rich bronze/gold color, as her robes, hair, pedestal, moon surface, and the cherubs who are below her are all painted in shades of those hues. Her pale face, with its painted cheeks and lips and bright blue eyes, stand out in stark contrast. She wears a dramatic repousse silver halo. A worshipper has placed a necklace of miniature silver medallions around her body. Size: 6" L x 8" W x 20" H (15.2 cm x 20.3 cm x 50.8 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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