Rendered by Polly Duncan (artist), 1938
watercolor, colored pencil, graphite, and heightening on paper
overall: 56 x 38 cm (22 1/16 x 14 15/16 in.) Original IAD Object: 23 1/2"high (scale 3/4"=1")
Index of American Design
Not on View
Object 14 of 25
This is an exceptionally fine "bulto." It represents the Virgin and Child, a favorite subject of New Mexico artists. The Virgin, "Nuestra Señora," was portrayed in at least half a dozen versions that differ in their attributes. In this case, several attributes have been merged, such as the crescent on the skirt, which usually belongs to the praying Immaculata Virgin; and the outstretched arm, which is a gesture characteristic of the Madonna known as Our Lady of Mount Carmel. The tilt of the head and the gestures of the arms give particular liveliness to this "bulto." The upper part of the figure is solid; the lower part is a hollow framework built up on an armature of sticks, bound together, fastened to the waist and base, and covered with cloth dipped in gesso. The bell-shaped skirt gave a fine opportunity for decoration. Figures like this, about two feet high, were carried in processions at church festivals.
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