Saint Anthony of Padua
El Paso Museum of Art
December 1, 2013 through May 4, 2014
Saint Anthony of Padua will open to the public Sunday, December 1, 2013 at noon in the Dorrance and Olga Roderick Gallery: Retablo Niche at the El Paso Museum of Art. Entrance to the Museum and this exhibition is free to the public.
The latest in the series of themed exhibitions from the Museum’s growing collection of retablos is Saint Antony of Padua/ San Antonio de Padua. Established in the late 16th century Saint Antony of Padua retablos are meant to show contemplation of the mystical life of the Christ child.
Known as the patron saint of lost articles, unmarried women seeking a man and of the poor, Saint Anthony was born in Lisbon and is one of the most well-known Franciscans in the world after Saint Francis of Assisi. Saint Anthony is often depicted as a younger man without a beard wearing the Franciscan robe of blue or brown with Christ in his arms and holding either a lily or a book. The retablos included in this exhibition depict Saint Antony of Padua indoors, outdoors and at times in heaven. The Christ Child almost always wears red and either holds a cross or a flower.
Seventeen of these eighteen works of art from the 18th and 19th centuries were produced by trained and self-taught anonymous, Mexican artists whose spiritual devotion to this subject motivated their artistic abilities. The eighteenth retablo in this exhibition (depicted below/above) is actually a signed, early retablo by the distinguished yet understudied artist Nicolás Enríquez (1704–c. 1790).