Spanish Colonial, Bolivia, ca. 18th century CE. A finely carved wooden Cristo (Crucified Christ) that captures the drama and sorrow of the Crucifixion. Jesus' anatomy is skillfully delineated with elongated limbs and a severely emaciated torso and limbs, replete with stigmata (the marks indicative of Christ's Crucifixion wounds) upon the hands, chest, and feet (note the red seed beads pinned through the stigmata on the hands and feet). Aside from the loincloth and crown of thorns, Christ is depicted with as much of his suffering body as is possible. Clearly the artisan of this piece was influenced by theatrical Spanish Baroque depictions of Christ Crucified. The details of Christ's visage, anatomy, pose, coiffure, crown of thorns, and loin cloth were expertly rendered - and the intricately carved Cross, finely incised with mesmerizing leaf/phytomorphic/floral motifs on all sides, complements the Christ figure beautifully. Size: 4.25" W x 7.5" H (10.8 cm x 19 cm)
The Cross is meticulously carved from Palo Naranja, a coveted wood of an orange hue - hence the term "naranja" which means orange in Spanish. The grain of this wood is usually straight and plain, but at times it can be wavy. Its pores are traditionally fine to medium in size. Palo Naranja dries slowly which enables it to keep its form rather than warp, and it is resistant to inclement weather as well as insects and fungus. Wood carvers as well as guitar makers have traditionally adored this wood for these qualities.
Provenance: ex-private Moore collection, Denver, Colorado, USA, acquired prior to 1990
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Arms were carved separately. Cross was carved from two pieces that fit together at the central juncture. Minute nicks to knot of loin cloth. Petite brass suspension loops on verso; the one on the lower arm is bent back, but the pair on the horizontal arms are intact, and the Cross is also perforated through the upper arm for suspension. Fissure to calf of right leg.