This 19th century Mexican folk retablo represents Saint Antony of Padua and the Apparition of the Child Jesus. While San Antonio de Padua is a fairly common theme in retablo art, this unique composition, which includes The Apparition of the Infant Jesus incarnated as a young child, is exceedingly rare.
While many of of Saint Anthony’s travel, fertility and maritime miracles are well known, the miracle of The Infant Jesus’ incarnation is far more obscure. Unlike many of Saint Anthony’s other miracles, which have been chronicled by writers and illustrated by painters for 800 years, this theme is rarely depicted in any art form, and almost never in such a faithful and precise manner as the example offered here.
In addition to the rarity of this subject, this retablo also possesses an unparalleled decorative charm.. The Santo Nino levitating above the infant child and the inclusion of a timid cat, positioned behind a run of floor tiles which seemingly defy every law of physics, is further evidence of that charm. And all around great 19th century Mexican folk retablo. Circa 1880.