**Originally Listed At $400**
New World, Mexico, ca. 19th century CE. A diminutive wood santo, heavily painted with thick gold paint, portraying Saint Francis of Assisi standing on a rounded dais, wearing a cloak that covers the top of his head. He is dressed in traditional Franciscsan garb, with a rope belt hanging down from his waist. Saint Francis (ca. 1181 to 1226 CE) is one of the most beloved saints of the Catholic canon, the founder of the Franciscan Order, associated with kindness towards animals and the love of nature. Size: 3.95" W x 7.9" H (10 cm x 20.1 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: private Moore collection, Denver, Colorado, USA collection, acquired thirty years ago
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