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18th C. Spanish Colonial Wood Santo - Mary w/ Rosaries

New World, Spanish Colonial, Mexico , ca. 18th century CE. A hand-painted carved wood Virgin Mary santo, her crossed hand gesture suggesting a variant of "La Purisima Concepcion" or "La Inmaculada," donning a gold toned tin crown, presenting a tranquil visage with glass inlay eyes and elegant features, wearing cornflower blue and rose red painted vestments, and two rosaries, one comprised of shells, the other beaded with white metal. Mary stands on a multi-leveled pedestal painted with gold leaves. Size: 12.75" L x 13" W x 32.25" H (32.4 cm x 33 cm x 81.9 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. 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. Oftentimes regarded as quite valuable and expensive, the creation of Santos was usually funded by religious devotees.

Condition: Age cracks and losses to wood. Expected losses to pigment and gold leaf. Crown shows some bending.

Provenance: Ex-Francis & Lilly Robicsek Collection, Charlotte, NC

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