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Santa Barbara

ca. 1675-1725 Unidentified carved and painted wood and metal 9 1/2 x 4 1/4 x 3 1/2 in. (24.2 x 10.8 x 9.0 cm.) Smithsonian American Art Museum Teodoro Vidal Collection 1996.91.56 Smithsonian American Art Museum
2nd Floor, South Wing

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According to legend, St. Barbara's father locked her in a tower to keep suitors away from her. She became a Christian while her father was away and when he returned he tried to kill her. Ultimately, she was condemned to death by a judge and her father was struck dead by lightning. She is venerated for protection against fire, lightning, and hurricanes. This santo (image of a saint) represents her triumphantly holding the tower in which she was incarcerated.


Architecture Exterior - civic - tower

Religion - saint - St. Barbara