Nino Jesus

  • Unidentified, Nino Jesus, 18th century, carved and painted wood and metal, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Teodoro Vidal Collection, 1996.91.52

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Devotional figures of the infant Jesus became popular in Puerto Rico during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Santeros carved the faces and hands of the statues realistically and clothed the figures with luxurious fabrics. An unknown craftsman carved this small figure in the act of benediction, or blessing, with an orb in his left hand to symbolize God's dominion over the Earth. The three flame-like shapes around the child's head represent the three parts of the soul: memory, understanding, and will. (Lange, Santos: The Household Wooden Saints of Puerto Rico, PhD diss., 1975)

Nino Jesus
18th century
On View
13 3/8 x 5 1/2 x 4 3/8 in. (34.0 x 14.0 x 11.2 cm.)
Credit Line

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Teodoro Vidal Collection

Mediums Description
carved and painted wood and metal
  • Emblem – cross
  • Religion – New Testament – Christ
Object Number
Linked Open Data
Linked Open Data URI

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