This 19th century Mexican folk retablo represents "La Alma de Maria" or "The Soul of Mary." Although used less frequently, the alternate title is 'La Virgen de la Paloma', or 'The Virgin of the Dove'.
La Alma de Maria represents a youthful version of Mary wearing a garland of red roses with the "Espiritu Santo" represented in the form of a white dove. Unlike any other example of this subject that we have encountered, she is rendered here surrounded by a black field -- atypical of this subject, and of retablos altogether for that matter. The more we study and debate this piece, the more reminiscent it becomes of a Frida Kahlo self portrait. Circa 1870.
Dimensions: 14 inches vertical x 10 inches horizontal.
Condition: minor scattered paint loss. Peripheral punctures in tin.
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