Latin America, Mexico, ca. 19th century CE. A colorful Mexican retablo representing "La Cruz de Animas" (or the Cross of Souls), painted on heavy gauge tin, depicting Christ on the Cross, flanked by the sun and moon and various instruments of the Passion and surmounted by the Holy Ghost and the Eternal Father above. At the bottom are twelve animas solas (lonesome departed ancestral souls) pleading for salvation while awaiting judgment in the flames of purgatory. These souls surround small vignettes of Adam and Eve, St. Michael the Archangel with his scales of justice, and the effigy of Death at the bed of an ill person. Six additional animas solas as well as two praying angels flank either side of the main cross, with the name "Marcelina Sanches" above the left-most figure. This form was particular to the Otomi culture from around the state of Queretaro and acted as a reminder to pray for the safekeeping of the souls of departed ancestors as well as oneself. Size: 8.25" W x 10.5" H (21 cm x 26.7 cm).
Provenance: ex-private Cook collection, Arizona, USA
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