Santa Barbara

Media - 1996.91.9 - SAAM-1996.91.9_1-000001 - 12727
Copied Unidentified (Puerto Rican), Santa Barbara, ca. 1680-1690, oil on wood panel, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Teodoro Vidal Collection, 1996.91.9
Free to use

Artwork Details

Title
Santa Barbara
Artist
Unidentified (Puerto Rican)
Date
ca. 1680-1690
Dimensions
10 788 14 in. (27.621.0 cm.)
Credit Line
Teodoro Vidal Collection
Mediums
Mediums Description
oil on wood panel
Classifications
Highlights
Keywords
  • Religion — martyr
  • Object — foliage — palm
  • Architecture Exterior — civic — tower
  • Religion — saint — St. Barbara
Object Number
1996.91.9
Research Notes

Artwork Description

Puerto Ricans depicted religious subjects for homes and churches, although painted images were less common than carved wooden saints. This small panel was probably created as one of several for the front of a pulpit or altarpiece in a church or a private chapel. Saint Barbara is especially revered in Puerto Rico, because she is believed to protect against hurricanes, which are an annual threat to the island. She is represented here with her symbols: a crown, a palm of martyrs, and the tower with three windows where she was incarcerated before being beheaded at her father’s order.