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A very nice 19th century Mexican tin retablo illustrating “El Nino de Atocha”. According to tradition, Christ appeared in the guise of a small child to feed the hungry Christian prisoners of the town of Atocha during the Moorish invasion of Spain. The retablo illustrates the boy wearing his traditional garb and carrying his usual water gourd on the end of a staff and a food basket. Bouquets of flowers are arranged at his feet. Interestingly, the staff and basket are shown in the opposite hands from their original arrangement and the boy is seen standing rather than sitting. The pouty appearance of the mouth suggest that this retablo might be by the “bee-stung mouth” artist, though the relative simplicity of the design would make it among his earlier works. The heavy-lidded treatment of the eyes is also characteristic of the Red Bole Group, with which the artist is often associated. The retablo retains the original welded hook on the back side, and a collector’s label stating “Santo Nino de Atocha”.
Origin: Mexico, ca. 1840. Condition: excellent, very light scattered paint nicks to front, no rust. Size: 6-3/4” x 10”.