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late 18th-early 19th century Attributed to Espada Family carved and painted wood 40 x 20 1/4 x 15 1/2 in. (101.6 x 51.5 x 39.4 cm.) Smithsonian American Art Museum Teodoro Vidal Collection 1996.91.42 Smithsonian American Art Museum
2nd Floor, South Wing

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In a museum installation, behind glass, these religious figures and santos are not as physically accessible as they were for worshipers in their churches or home altars. The sights, sounds, and smells surrounding this devotional image of Christ in its original context are now left to the imagination. A closer look at this figure provides a glimpse into its ritual function: rings of melted wax are visible on the base from the candles that were lit in prayer.


Religion - New Testament - Christ