This 19th century folk retablo is much more than just a beautiful painting. It is in fact two paintings bundled into one, which creates a bit of a conundrum. On the one hand, we are presented with a classic representation of San Rafael, depicted as an archangel with the appropriate attributes, a traveler's staff and a trout. Upon closer inspection however, another attribute is included, twice we should add, and this attribute belongs to an archangel other than San Rafael.
Arcángel San Barachiel , which means "Blessings of God" is the patron saint of the Sacrament of Matrimony. He always carries an abundant basket of bread together with the staff of life. The staff is represented here, and the bread, is shown twice. A painterly mistake? Perhaps. But twice? Perhaps not. This Archangel, who ever he may be, displays his trout proudly in one hand while clutching several loaves of bread with the other, and in the lower left corner, his 'abundant' bread basket is filled to the brim. Hence the aformentioned conundrum.
The retablo is displayed in a magnificent solid silver Spanish colonial style frame. Hand made in sterling with chasing and hand raised repousse - a beautiful work of art in itself.
Please note: the smaller San Rafael retablo is shown for scale only and is not part of this listing.
Dimensions: Frame measures 24 inches vertical x 16 inches horizontal. Retablo measures 14 inches vertical x 10 inches horizontal.
Condition: near perfect with only a few tiny flecks of paint loss.
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Colonial Arts | 151 Vermont Street Street, Suite 6 | San Francisco, CA., 94103 | www.colonialarts.com