Santa Rita de Casia

  • Felipe de la Espada, Santa Rita de Casia, late 18th-early 19th century, carved and painted wood with glass, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Teodoro Vidal Collection, 1996.91.40

Luce Center Label

Conservation of this santo revealed red marks representing blood and a faded trace of a thorn on the figure’s forehead beneath layers of paint. These are symbols of St. Rita, who spent her days meditating on Christ’s sacrifice at the Monastery of the Hermits of Saint Augustine in Casia, Spain. This santo is meant to be dressed with textiles representing her habit. Her arms have been lost and she no longer wears a wig. The figure was found in a peasant home in the rural district of Minillas in San Germán, Puerto Rico. In its early colonial years, Puerto Rico had very few priests and it was difficult for those who lived in remote areas to attend church. As a result, rural Puerto Ricans worshiped at home before altars filled with santos, such as this Santa Rita.

Title
Santa Rita de Casia
Artist
Date
late 18th-early 19th century
Location
Dimensions
19 1/4 x 7 3/8 x 6 1/4 in. (48.9 x 18.8 x 15.9 cm.)
Credit Line

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Teodoro Vidal Collection

Mediums
Mediums Description
carved and painted wood with glass
Classifications
Keywords
  • Religion – saint – St. Rita
Object Number
1996.91.40
Palette
Linked Open Data
Linked Open Data URI

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