Spanish Colonial, Mexico, ca. late 19th century CE. Hand-painted on heavy gauge tin, a wonderful ex-voto that depicts a mule- or horse-drawn wagon carrying several campesinos (two females with veil-like head coverings and two males with wide-brimmed hats). One of the men is looking down to his friend or family member who has been or is about to be run over by the wheels of the cart/wagon. Behind is a gentleman wearing a white shirt and a yellow hat on horseback; he holds brandishes his whip, probably in an attempt to hasten his horse so that he can come to the victim's aid. All is set in a lush landscape of rolling green hills, and the Virgin of Guadalupe - represented as a praying Madonna with hands pressed together in a prayerful gesture and lowered eyes, surrounded by a mandorla comprised of golden rays, and standing upon a crescent moon supported by a cherub. To the left is a panel of handwritten text, not longer legible, but probably written to give thanks to or ask for the assistance of Virgin Guadalupe. Size: 14.375" W x 10.25" H (36.5 cm x 26 cm)
Ex-votos are narrative paintings indicative of healing or blessing popular in Mexican visual culture. This tradition was originally inspired by the Greeks and was brought to the New World by the Spaniards. These votive paintings were hung in a church or placed adjacent to an image in order to celebrate and give thanks for the recovery of the donor from an illness or dangerous situation. In essence, ex-votos represent the spiritual or physical gains received by the donor. These paintings usually include hand painted passages that relate the details of the cure or the rescue.
Provenance: private California, USA collection
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Minor losses to corners and edges and minute tear to lower edge that do not interfere with the imagery. Expected denting and surface wear with slight paint losses as shown and areas of oxidation. Pair of perforations at upper center presumably from previous suspension or attachment. Set on a wooden mount that is wired for suspension. Label on verso from "Fine Arts of Ancient Lands" dates the piece to 1872.