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Devotional Art

Author: Shawndrea Corbin
Issue: December, 2012, Page 50
Photos by David B. Moore

A retablo (center) is a small religious painting that is commonly used as the background of home altars. The wood statue of the Virgin Mary (right) was hand-carved and painted by Arizona artist Gennaro Garcia. The milagros-embellished wood angel and the retablo are from Fiesta Furnishings.



The Art of Devotion

Religious icons have long played a role in Southwest design, which is heavily influenced by Mexican culture. Figures such as the Virgin of Guadalupe, Jesus and St. Francis are seen in retablos, santo figures and other folk art forms displayed in Valley homes throughout the year. We present more examples of devotional art on the pages ahead.

This rosary’s beads and cross are made from clay. Other options found at Bellas Artes de Mexico include various lengths, colors and sizes.

“Tree of life” statues are very popular in Mexican folk art. This one depicts Jesus on the cross surrounded by colorful flowers common in Mexican art. It was handcrafted by Gennaro Garcia.
This angel blowinga horn is imported from Mexico and carved of wood. It is from Fiesta Furnishings.


This papier- mâché figure depicts the Virgin Mary in the fashion of the renowned Virgin de Talpa of Mexico. It is from Bellas Artes de Mexico.
This authentic ex-voto, made of painted tin, is from a private collection. An ex-voto is created as an offering to a saint or divinity. When prayers are answered, the ex-voto is placed on the wall of a church as a thank-you gesture.
Photos - Clock-wise from top left: Made of reclaimed wood and accented with fabric roses, this cross is from Fiesta Furnishings. • Mexican crosses vary greatly and may be embellished with paint or milagros. These are from Bellas Artes de Mexico. • St. Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals, is often shown with birds, as in this example, available at Fiesta Furnishings. • This representation of the Virgin Mary is made of unfinished rosewood. Known as the Virgin de Zapopan, from the city of Zapopan, Jalisco, Mexico, the santo can be found at Bellas Artes de Mexico.

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