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A very colorful 19th century Mexican retablo depicting a scene called "L'Alegoria de la Redencion." The composition depicts the elongated body of the crucified Christ spanning Heaven and Hell. God, making the sign of blessing and the Holy Spirit (in the form of a dove) watch from the upper section, while condemned souls in supplication watch from the flames of Hell at the bottom. Interestingly, the artist depicted one of the condemned souls as a Cardinal, indentifiable by his red cap. Mary watches the scene from one side, while the archangel Michael holds a balance in which he weighs the souls of sinners. Both Mary and Michael represent intercessory figures to whom one can pray for the salvation of loved ones. At either end of the arms of the cross, the sun and moon are shown against a starry sky. This represents the darkening of the sky at the moment of Jesus' death. The figures, especially that of Christ, are well-formed and colorfully painted.
Origin: Mexico, ca. 1860. Condition: very good overall, paint wear along edges and a candle burn on the left edge near Mary, normal bending of tin and a notched corner at upper right. Size: 10" x 14".