This beautiful folk art retablo of Santo Nino became mine in the early 1990s. I bought it in a gallery in Santa Fe, and it hung in our rustic home for many years. I have many retablos(paintings on wood) and bultos (sculptures) from New Mexico, and I am letting go of a few pieces from my own collection. I was drawn to this piece both for the saint--Santo Nino, or Holy Child--and for the graphic style of painting. The artist's name is very hard to read, and I've since forgotten who it was, but I do recall that the artist/painter was from New Mexico. Also really like the way the wood board is had carved and no completely flat or smooth, and the rustic spiral found metal hanger at the top.
Religious art of New Mexico originated with the Spanish settlers who came to this region in the late sixteenth century. As described by Montez Gallery in Santa Fe, they merged "their old European art form with their experiences in New Spain, they created their own unique devotional art. The santos (saints), were made in two-dimensional form known as retablos, and three-dimensional sculptural pieces known as bultos. Both are among the most valued collectibles of religious antiques today. The contemporary santos and bultos made by well-known artists, many of whom are descendants of the original santeros (religious artists), are equally valued by those seeking spiritual support and serious investment value."
Retablos and bultos of New Mexico are a beautiful form of folk art, a truly early form of "outsider art", that can be found in churches, museums, and personal home altars, as well as displayed as pieces of art in adobe and other homes.
This piece measures 11" wide and 12" tall, not including the hanger, and 3/4about 1/4" to 3/8" thick depending on where you measure it. This retablo has been sealed with a slightly glossy finish.
See my other spirit-infused vintage items here:
And my decor items that you might find in a home in Taos, Santa Fe, or Mexico here:
And my midcentury modern decor here:
And all the items in my shop here:
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