Late 19th Century Original Retablo Oil Painting on Tin created in Mexico.
Retablo dimensions are approx. 10 inches horizontal x 14 inches vertical.
Condition: in excellent, clean, original condition with some minor paint loss acquired over more than a century of use and devotional prayer.
From the Acts of the Apostles, Luke mentioned that "large numbers of men and women taken ill or infirm were carried out into the streets and laid on cots and pallets, so that when Saint Peter passed by, at least his shadow might fall on any one of them. People from the cities in the vicinity of Jerusalem were coming together, bringing people who were sick or afflicted with unclean spirits, and they were all being healed."
This "Shadow of Saint Peter", the physical act of Saint Peter's Shadow having the ability to heal and cleanse body and spirit became a Revered and Potent Image in the New World and in Mexican Retablo Art.
The figures in the left lower quadrant are Petitioners, praying that Saint Peter's Shadow might fall upon them, that their petitions and prayers for Salvation may be answered.
Classic images of Saint Peter depict him holding a large set of skeleton keys represents the Keys of St. Peter, an emblem of the Catholic Church which represents the divine authority invested in the Apostle Peter before the death of Christ. It is this symbolism that led to the folk legend of Saint Peter as the Keeper of the “Pearly Gates”of Heaven
Saint Peter was one of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus Christ, leaders of the early Christian Church. Peter was ordained by Jesus in the "Rock of My Church". He is traditionally counted as the first Bishop of Rome.
The New Testament indicates that Peter was from the village of Bethsaida in the province of Galilee. His brother Andrew was also an apostle. According to New Testament accounts, Peter was one of Twelve Apostles chosen by Jesus from his first disciples. Originally a fisherman, he played a leadership role among the followers, and was with Jesus during events witnessed by only a few apostles, such as the Transfiguration. According to the Gospels, Peter declared Jesus as the Messiah, was part of Jesus's inner circle, but yet thrice denied Jesus at his arrest, and wept bitterly once he realised his misdeed.
According to Christian tradition, Peter was crucified in Rome under Emperor Nero Augustus Caesar. It is traditionally held that he was crucified upside down at his own request, since he saw himself unworthy to be crucified in the same way as Jesus.
The iconography of the Papal Crown is a reference to Saint Peter considered as the first Bishop of Rome. The image of the Rooster Crowing refers to Jesus' Last Supper with his disciples, when He predicted that Peter would deny knowledge of Him, that Peter would disown him before the Rooster crowed the next morning. Following the arrest of Jesus, Peter denied knowing him three times, but after the third denial, Peter heard the Rooster crow and recalled the prediction as Jesus turned to look at him. Peter then began to cry bitterly. This final incident is known as the Repentance of Peter.
Note from Brian: I had purchased this extremely rare Retablo from my friend and venerable dealer James Eddy. I was always very drawn to the works of Retablo Painter Augustin Barajas, "The Skimpy Painter" , thus named for his clean, minimal style and flat, almost Byzantine iconography. James offered me this rare, exceptional piece, and I jumped at the opportunity to own it.