Encyclopedia of American Folk Art

By Gerard C.Wertkin; Lee Kogan | Go to book overview

BIBLIOGRAPHY
Kalb, Laurie Beth. Crafting Devotions: Tradition in New Mexico Santos. Albuquerque, N. Mex., 1994.

CARMELLA PADILLA


RETABLOS

in New Mexico are Catholic devotional panel paintings of saints and holy persons. The most common meaning of the Spanish term retablo is altar screen or reredos. The English term "retable" is its cognate; both terms derive from the Latin retrotabulum, meaning a shelf or structure for images behind the altar table. The retablo or altar screen is an assemblage of paintings, either painted directly on it or attached to it, sometimes with niches for pieces of sculpture. However, in Mexican and New Mexican usage the term retablo has also come to mean an individual panel painting. The term is used in colonial documents, such as estate inventories listing personal possessions, often described as pinturas de retablo or santos de retablo. Such images are distinguished from pinturas en lienzo (or simply lienzos), which are paintings on canvas. The New Mexican retablo, then, is a religious painting on a wood panel.

In eighteenth- and nineteenth-century New Mexico, panels were cut from ponderosa pine logs and painstakingly shaped with adzes and chisels. The surface of the panel was then covered with a finely ground gesso mixed with wheat paste for binder. The gesso served to fill in surface imperfections and provided a smooth ground for painting. In the eighteenth century, oil paints imported in small quantities from Mexico were used to paint retablos. By the early nineteenth century, in the cases of both retablos and bultos (polychrome wood sculptures), santeros (the carvers and painters of figures of saints) began using water-based paints that they prepared themselves from plant and mineral sources, some local and some imported. Red was prepared from cinnabar, iron oxide, and cochineal, among other sources. Yellow was usually made from plants such as rabbit bush (chamisa). Blue was usually prepared from imported indigo. Brown came from local iron oxides, and black from carbon. White was achieved by leaving the gesso ground exposed. In the early 1800s wool weaving was a major New Mexican industry, and imported cochineal, indigo, and local plant dyes were all available to the santeros from weavers who used them for dyeing yarns. The paint technology of the early 1800s combined traditional European methods with those used by Pueblo Indians in the Southwest who painted wall surfaces and wooden ceremonial objects, as well as cotton fabric and hides. After a retablo was finished, it was usually coated with a protective varnish

Retablo, San Juan. Artist unknown; New Mexico,

c. 1840-1860. Oil, gesso on cottonwood panel. © Esto.

of pine resin. This surface darkens with age, so that now the original brilliant colors used by the artist are often hidden.

The earliest Catholic paintings in New Mexico in the seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries were either lienzos imported from Mexico, or paintings on deer, elk, and buffalo hides. By the second half of the eighteenth century local artists were painting wood retablos in a provincial academic style that drew heavily on Mexican Baroque prototypes. Most surviving examples are painted over a red bole ground in sparsely applied oils, suggesting the scarcity of the imported oil paints. There are two main styles from this period. One has been attributed to the explorer and cartographer Bernardo Miera y Pacheco (1714-1785) who came to New Mexico in 1754 and the other to the Franciscan friar Andrés García who served in New Mexico missions from 1749 to 1779. Neither attribution has firm evidence to support it. A third artist referred to as "The Eighteenth-Century Novice" produced a large group of oil-painted retablos in the

-433-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Encyclopedia of American Folk Art
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • List of Entries vii
  • Introduction xxvii
  • A 1
  • B 35
  • Bibliography 75
  • C 79
  • Bibliography 107
  • Bibliography 111
  • D 113
  • Bibliography 144
  • E 145
  • Bibliography 153
  • F 161
  • Bibliography 166
  • Bibliography 171
  • G 189
  • Bibliography 203
  • Bibliography 210
  • H 217
  • Bibliography 225
  • Bibliography 235
  • I 247
  • Bibliography 249
  • J 251
  • K 269
  • Bibliography 273
  • L 279
  • M 293
  • Bibliography 309
  • Bibliography 311
  • N 337
  • O 349
  • P 355
  • Bibliography 388
  • Q 411
  • R 421
  • Bibliography 433
  • S 447
  • Bibliography 450
  • Bibliography 472
  • Bibliography 484
  • Bibliography 490
  • Bibliography 494
  • Bibliography 496
  • T 509
  • U 527
  • V 529
  • W 539
  • Bibliography 540
  • Bibliography 546
  • Bibliography 556
  • Y 561
  • Index 569
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen
/ 612

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.