18th Century Continental Polychrome Painted Pope, Santos with his gilt and red cloak, holding the Bible and outstretched arm, H:15" W:8 3/4" D:5 1/4". Santos makers worked in the European tradition of polychrome (painted wooden) sculpture. Typically, a santero carved and sanded with the use of a locally available wood then detailed to achieve the desired contour and expression. The next step is the applied size (animal glue)and gesso (chalk in animal glue) this provides an ideal ground to achieve paint. There were times when colored bole (fine clay and glue) on top of gesso as a special preparation for the gold leafing. The analyzing of pigment types and colors were useful in the dating of Polychromed Santos. For example, if a santo with ultramarine, reds and gilt were costly to use in the Medieval times. Like Gold, its symbolozed luxury, and rich patrons frequently specified its use in commissioned works. Other rich colors that were used were vermillion and a rich red color and with the cloak in gold gilt this santos was figure of importance, and it does still maintain its original glass eyes. Historically speaking the santeros who had access to imported materials used a range of woods. The softer woods were more desirable for the fine texture and straight grain, and for the durablity and resistance to insects for the carving of the early Santos. Woods such as: Spanish cedar, Cuban Mahogany or Honduras Mahogany in addition to the local woods of that region including a varitey of pines lent itself for the carving of these early Santos. There is also we have learned that making a santo is a holy action for the maker, and, we are reminded of the importance of saints in prayers. LifestyleAntiques.com is the web site where one can shop on line or if you are in the area we are an antique dealer in Summerland, California just 3 minutes south of Santa Barbara. Specializing in European Antique Furniture and our accent is antique lighting for your home, or office with handmade parchment shades adorning the selection of unique lamps. We specialize in Decorative Arts and French furniture as well as antique furniture from Spain and Italy, you will find the shop warm and inviting.
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