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San Jose

early 18th century Master of "La Merced" carved and painted wood 36 1/2 x 13 x 8 1/4 in. (92.7 x 33.0 x 21.0 cm.) Smithsonian American Art Museum Teodoro Vidal Collection 1996.91.45 Smithsonian American Art Museum
Luce Foundation Center, 3rd Floor, 21B

Luce Center Label

For Catholics in Puerto Rico, one of St. Joseph's powers is his ability to comfort the dying. Like many santos, this one has lost the symbols that would have identified the saint immediately. Joseph usually holds carpenter's tools or a flowering staff; sometimes he is shown holding the Christ child to emphasize his role as protector. In this santo, Joseph's sympathetic expression conveys his quiet, compassionate nature.


Religion - saint - St. Joseph