Votive painting, or ex-votos as they are also known, are devotional oil paintings on canvas or tin which offer thanks to a particular saint in the form of a short narrative. Following the Spanish conquest of the Americas, new traditions were born, which included the advent of the ‘narrative ex-voto.’ Unlike the earlier Spanish and Italian predecessors, these paintings told a story which was supported by a written narrative.

In some examples, a small child becomes ill, a soldier returns safely from war or a favorite animal is finally found. The petitioner, grateful for this miracle, dedicated a painting with a written narrative to the respective patron Saint.

Our ex-voto catalog includes examples from the 18th, 19th and early 20th centuries. Please take a moment to browse our collection. Check back often for new acquisitions. 

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