Guanajuato, Mexico. Oil painting on tin, recto only (measrures 10" x 8.25"), hole punched to center top edge.
Small devotional ex-voto painting on tin, from Guanajuato state in central Mexico. Ex-votos are a type of small votive painting, made to be left on a church altar as an expression of gratitude to a holy saint for intercession on behalf of those who commission them. Typically, they both depict in image and relay in text a story of danger confronted and overcome with the saint’s aid. A form of folk art in Mexico, as elsewhere in the Catholic world, they are characterized by being accomplished in a colorful, naive style, usually in oil paints. As a genre, the ex-voto is an intimate expression of the human desire to interact personally with the divine. The present ex-voto, from the important mining region of Guanajuato, depicts a man lying prone on railroad tracks while a locomotive bears down on him, while another man seemingly lassos a horse, all under the presence of the Mexican saint the Señor de los Trabajos as incarnated in the image of Christ on the Cross. A rough translation of the painted text below the image is as follows: "Esteban Dorantes gives thanks to the Lord of Workers venerated in Pozos de Mineral, Guanajuato, for saving the life of his father Bernardo D., thrown by a horse just a train was coming. He asked with all his heart and was able to get out of the way. Ranchos Palo Altos Mpio [?]. San Luis de la Paz, April 10, 1947." We’re unable to date the painting with precision, as it was acquired as part of a small group depicting events over the course of sixty years, though clearly done by the same artist, suggesting it may be a reproduction from a church original. Some rust and scratches to verso. In very good condition overall. Item #2663