Santa Barbara
ca. 1780
15" x 11"
Retablos, wood, gesso, natural pigments
Region: New Mexico

About the Artist
(1733 - 1771)
This santero is known to have primarily large panels on gessoed wood, though some bultos have been identified as being by his hand. Various stylistic traits characterize the retablos of this santero. They are recognizable primarily through the simple treatment of subjects and their almost childlike quality, which sets them apart from the work of later santeros. Retablos by the Novice almost always incorporate drapery folds running in unusual directions and long, vinelike floral borders. In many instances the oil paint is heavily built up in layers; obvious brush strokes are visible in all areas, particularly on the faces of the images. The eyes of the figures are wide and simply executed; there is little expression in the faces, and the cheeks generally have abundant red color. The posture of the figures appears to have been frozen in time.