SANTA FE, NM.- Peyton Wright Gallery
announces the 21st Annual Art of Devotion exhibition of historic art of the Americas. Consisting of ecclesiastical, secular, and decorative art and objects from Europe and the Americas, the exhibition continues through March 9, 2014.
This exhibition showcases one of the largest and most significant collections of 17th to 19th century devotional artwork in the country, featuring Spanish Colonial Viceregal paintings, sculpture, furniture, silverwork, and objects from the former Spanish and Portuguese colonies present-day Bolivia, Peru, Argentina, Mexico, Ecuador, Chile, Venezuela, Guatemala and the Philippines. The exhibition also includes paintings by noted European Old Masters, Russian icons, and a very rare collection of bultos, cristos, and retablos by significant New Mexican santeros.
Art of Devotion exhibits not only a significant ecclesiastical tradition and its manifestations across Europe and the Americas; it represents devotion as a seamless element of daily life. The majority of these works and objects were not cloistered in churches, but were kept in private homes and chapels where they were used, looked at, and lived with as part of the rhythm of daily life.
The Spanish Colonial collection features a distinctive artistic expression that arose during the period between approximately 1520 and 1820, when a large swath of the Americas was under Spanish rule. During this time, European monastics traveled to the New World to evangelize the indigenous people, bringing with them thousands of devotional images to help communicate points of Catholic doctrine. By learning to reproduce European stylistic elements and iconography, while simultaneously incorporating some of their own materials, methods, and subject matter, native artists created a style of art which is unique in history and which eloquently and poignantly speaks of a time and a place, shaped by a particular kind of devotion.
In 17th century New Mexico, similarly, Catholic devotional images were brought to the native people by the Spanish. In the following centuries, the New Mexican santeros produced distinctive images of Christ, the Virgin, and the saints. Many of these images were made for churches, but the majority of them were kept in homes where individuals incorporated them into their lives, forming relationships with them like members of the family.
Art of Devotion features these and other works which speak not only of a history of devotional art, but of the individuals who kept these objects and lived with them every day, for whom these images wove together the sacred and the earthly, blending devotion into the fabric of everyday life.