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Santa Barbara

18th century Unidentified carved and painted wood 9 1/4 x 3 7/8 x 3 3/4 in. (23.5 x 9.9 x 9.6 cm.) Smithsonian American Art Museum Teodoro Vidal Collection 1996.91.57 Smithsonian American Art Museum
Luce Foundation Center, 3rd Floor, 21B

Luce Center Label

In Puerto Rico smaller images of saints (santos) were usually made for private prayer, while larger figures were intended for church. A wealthy patron probably owned this early figure. As more artisans carved santos, they became increasingly accessible to families of moderate means. By the end of the nineteenth century, santos could be found in most Catholic households on the island.


Architecture Exterior - civic - tower

Object - foliage - palm

Religion - saint - St. Barbara