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

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.

Santa Rita de Casia
late 18th-early 19th century
19 147 386 14 in. (48.918.815.9 cm.)
Credit Line

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Teodoro Vidal Collection

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

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