Santiago Matamoros
ca. 1800
24" x 12" x 21"
Bultos, Sculpture, Wood, gesso, pigment, silver
Region: Mexico
Santiago Matamoros (Saint James the Moor-slayer) is the name given to this representation of the apostle Saint James the Elder in his miraculous appearance at the Battle of Clavijo in 844. There was a legend that James, a disciple of Jesus, had gone to Spain, founded the Church there, and provided protection for the Christians. According to the legend, Saint James appeared as a warrior on his white horse with a white banner to help Christian armies of King Ramiro I of Asturias in battle against the Moors.

This exquisite, late Coloniall piece features finely carved, detailed features on the Saint and the horse, with a great attention to detail, such as the leather stirrups and a silver sword.