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Hispanic Retablo
1825

"La Divina Pastora"
This depiction of the "Virgin Mary as the Divine Shepherdess" on a flat wooden panel is known in New Mexico by the Spanish word for altar screen, as a retablo. The oldest documented New Mexican retablos date to the 1780s. Most of them represent saints or the Virgin. While many still remain in Catholic homes, where they are used for devotions, hundreds have been collected by individuals and museums, and hundreds continue to be made for market each year.

Notes
Wood, gesso, natural pigments and binders
Made by José Aragon (active 1825-35)
Spanish-born José Aragon came to New Mexico at the end of the Colonial period (1708s)
Web display only

Learn more!
· "Get Muddy, Save a Church" by Len Daly, "Smithsonian" magazine, December 1999

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