**Originally Listed At $1000**
New World, Spanish Colonial, Mexico, ca. 19th century CE. A pretty, hand-carved wood santo depicting a standing St. Rosalia de Palermo. She stands tall on a tiered pedestal, wearing a simple dark brown dress with a long frontispiece with gold floral motifs. She also dons a cream-colored cape with gold trim. Her face is calm, projecting peace and serenity; her long, brown hair hangs down her back. Worshippers adorned her with a tin crown, a small crucifix on a chain, and a set of rosary beads. Size: 5" L x 6" W x 17.5" H (12.7 cm x 15.2 cm x 44.4 cm)
St. Rosalia (1130 to 1166) was born in Palermo, Sicily, daughter of a noble family distantly related to Charlemagne. She was deeply religious, and left her life of privilege to become a hermit living in a cave on Mount Pellegrino. She appeared as a vision after her death during an outbreak of plague in Palermo and her venerated remains are said to have ended the epidemic in the town.
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-Francis & Lilly Robicsek Collection, Charlotte, NC
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