Santa Barbara

image for Santa Barbara
Luce Center Label
Puerto Ricans depicted religious subjects for homes and churches, although painted images were less common than carved wooden saints. This small panel was probably created as one of several for the front of a pulpit or altarpiece in a church or a private chapel. Saint Barbara is especially revered in Puerto Rico, because she is believed to protect against hurricanes, which are an annual threat to the island. She is represented here with her symbols: a crown, a palm of martyrs, and the tower with three windows where she was incarcerated before being beheaded at her father’s order.
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Smithsonian American Art Museum Collection
Department
Painting and Sculpture
On View
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Luce Foundation Center, 3rd Floor, 21B
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Luce Foundation Center
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Luce Foundation Center, 3rd Floor
ca. 1680-1690
Object number
1996.91.9
Credit Line
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Teodoro Vidal Collection
Artist
Unidentified (Puerto Rican)
Topic
Object\foliage\palm
Architecture Exterior\civic\tower
Religion\saint\St. Barbara
Religion\martyr
Medium
oil on wood panel
Dimensions
10 7/8 x 8 1/4 in. (27.6 x 21.0 cm.)
Smithsonian American Art Museum
Type
Painting