San Juan Nepomuceno

  • Felipe de la Espada, San Juan Nepomuceno, late 18th-early 19th century, carved and painted wood, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Teodoro Vidal Collection, 1996.91.38

Saint John Nepomuk is represented in this santo with a tilted head, placid expression, and outstretched arms to convey the great compassion for which he was venerated throughout the Spanish colonies. Saint John was born in the town of Nepomuk in today’s Czech Republic. He became the vicar-general of Prague, but King Wenceslaus IV had him thrown from a bridge into the river Moldau in 1393 when John refused to reveal details of the queen’s confession. After he was made a saint in 1729, John’s popularity spread throughout Europe and the New World, where priests eagerly promoted the veneration of the patron saint of confession. In certain regions St. John also served as the patron saint of irrigation, bridges, and other engineering projects. (Andrew Connors, José Campeche’s San Juan Nepomuceno,American Art, Summer 1997)

San Juan Nepomuceno
late 18th-early 19th century
9 383 582 34 in. ( cm.)
Credit Line

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Teodoro Vidal Collection

Mediums Description
carved and painted wood
  • Religion – saint – St. John
Object Number
Linked Open Data
Linked Open Data URI

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