Kalarte Gallery

Santa Rita de Casia

Retablo, Oil paint on tin
Mexico, late 19th century
Santa Rita de Casia
ca. 7" x 10"


Condition fair to good. There is loss of paint across the surface of the painting. Most serious of these losses is a series of scratches that run from the saint's chin to her right hand and the crucifix that she holds in her right hand.

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Details of: Santa Rita's face | kneeling figure

The painting shows St. Rita dressed in the garb of an Augustinian nun, holding a skull in her outstretched left hand and contemplating the crucifix that she holds in her right hand. At her feet are two smaller kneeling male figures, their hats on the floor in front of them and a palm branch against their chest. (According to one scholar, these may represent St. Rita's sons; according to others, they more likely represent two martyred saints whose feast day is the same as that of St. Rita. This is more likely because they hold palms, which are symbols of martyrdom.) On the right side of the painting is an open doorway framed by a red column and a red arch. A tree is visible in the landscape beyond the doorway.

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