European Santos

Sir Raffles Collection- San Martin de Porres, 1800s, Portugal

San Martin de Porres, 1800s, Portugal

The Spanish Colonial diaspora’s influence came, of course, from the historical religious art exhibited throughout Europe. Depending on the expertise of the carver, the antique Santos can show intense detail in workmanship, paying attention to careful replication of realistic features in postures, face and hands, in the draping of fabrics and in the decorative elements of the garments and accessories. Or, the homemade, rural carvings exhibit the well loved folk art features, roughly hewn, but highly expressive. Whatever the provenance, our choices tend to lean towards the European Santos that show use, that have been a part of a spiritual tradition, that show the smoke residue of candles and incense, remnants of prayers from long ago.

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