New World, Spanish Colonial period or later, Mexico, ca. 19th century CE. A dramatic, hand-carved wooden santo depicting Christ wearing a red robe. A large repousse silver three-pointed crown/halo is attached to His head and He stands atop a tiered wooden pedestal. In His hand is a tall tin flag. This is a triumphant depiction of Christ, with the red robe possibly referencing the Resurrection. Size: 5.25" L x 6.75" W x 20.25" H (13.3 cm x 17.1 cm x 51.4 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 Francis and Lilly Robicsek Collection, Charlotte, North Carolina, USA
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Fine craquelure. Some losses to paint and overpainting as shown. Wax in areas used for attaching accessories. One hand has been reattached/repaired.