This vintage "retablo" or religious painting on a thin sheet of metal is from Mexico, circa 1960s to 1970s, and depicts a saint with what looks like feathers in his cap and what I interpret to be a palm frond. This could be St. Stephen the Martyr, who wore a small cap and held a palm frond, but St. Lawrence also held one in depictions of him. “The palm,” wrote Maurice Delasser in The Symbols of the Church, “is the emblem of the elect, and especially of the martyrs, who are victorious over death.” Romans associated the palm branch as a symbol of Victory. This piece, painted about 50-60 years ago in Mexico, reproduced a much earlier piece from the Spanish Colonial era. Religious art of "New Spain," or Spanish Colonial Mexico, came to the region in the late sixteenth century and represented in many cases reproductions, sometimes from memory, old European art forms. The art was devotional, meaning the pieces were used in churches, but also for home altars, as the settlements were often isolated. The santos (saints) made in two-dimensional form were known as retablos and were often painted on wood but also metal and canvas. While the metal upon which this is painted is quite old, perhaps much older than the painting itself, we know the image is not antique, which we can tell by the vibrancy of the paint.
The metal "canvas" measures a little over 7" wide by about 10-1/2" tall. There is a great deal of wear to the metal, and some to the painting.
A wonderful piece of history.
Please convo with questions, or call (505) 369-6865. Will return your call as soon as possible.
For more saints and spirits: https://romaarellano.com/shop/17770597/saints-santos-spirit
And hacienda decor: https://romaarellano.com/shop/6877927/hacienda-taos-mexico
And all items: https://romaarellano.com
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