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Arts of the Americas

On View: American Identities: A New Look, Making Art: Centennial Era, 5th Floor

From about 1750, Catholic churches in Spanish New Mexico were increasingly decorated with the work of native craftspeople rather than with paintings, sculpture, and furniture imported from Europe. This small santo (saint's image) is typical of the locally produced objects. It is made of indigenous pine and painted with water-based pigments used by native artisans. The artist, José Rafael Aragón, who often invented new arrangements of traditional symbols, here placed an image of the Sacred Heart just below Christ's feet.

MEDIUM Pine, leather, gesso, water-based paints
DATES ca. 1795-1862
DIMENSIONS Cross: 22 1/2 x 14 1/2 in. (57.2 x 36.8 cm) Figure: 14 x 11 1/4 in. (35.6 x 28.6 cm)  (show scale)
COLLECTIONS Arts of the Americas
CREDIT LINE Brooklyn Museum Collection
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CAPTION José Rafael Aragón (ca. 1795-1862). Crucifix, ca. 1795-1862. Pine, leather, gesso, water-based paints, Cross: 22 1/2 x 14 1/2 in. (57.2 x 36.8 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn Museum Collection, 02.257.2427. Creative Commons-BY
IMAGE x-ray, detail, CONS.02.257.2427_1994_xrs_detail02.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 1994
"CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Painted, wooden figure of Christ on the Cross with the Sacred Heart of Christ at his feet and painted cherub faces at each end of the horizontal bar of the cross.
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