San Ramón NonatoMade in New Mexico, United States, North and Central America
José Aragón, or follower, American, c. 1781/89 - c. 1860
Water-based paint on wood panel
1949-97-8Purchased with the SmithKline Beckman Corporation Fund, 1949
LabelThe tradition of New Mexican santos (images of the saints) grew out of models from Spain and Mexico, but the territory's isolation and limited resources shaped the development of a distinct visual style. Using locally gathered materials, artists developed flat, linear compositions that made use of a limited palette to create a simple, direct image.
José Aragón was one of the santeros (saint makers) active in northern New Mexico at a time when there was increasing demand for religious images for mission churches and private devotions. The thirteenth-century Spaniard San Ramón Nonato (Saint Raymond, the Unborn) was a favorite in New Mexico: venerated as the patron saint of pregnant women and childbirth because he survived a Caesarian birth from a dead mother, and as the patron saint of anonymity and secrecy due to his refusal to stop preaching while he was in captivity.
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