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HOME : Decorative Arts : Miscellaneous : Saint Ysidro
Saint Ysidro - D.503
Origin: Bolivia
Circa: 19 th Century AD

Collection: Decorative
Style: Bolivian
Medium: Oil on Canvas

Location: United States
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San Ysidro Labrador de Madrid, the patron saint of Madrid, stands stoutly in the foreground of the painting. Such strong presence and the large size of the figure separate the saint from other elements of the painting, attributing a grand status and power to the saint. Holding a club, Saint Ysidro performs miracle by making water to emerge from the soil by striking the ground. The background population reflects the mixed culture consisting of Spaniards and Indians of Andes. The peasants are working with animals such as cows, and drinking the vital water. Saint Ysidro was particularly popular in rural South America because he was a peasant himself prior to becoming a saint. By portraying both the Spanish saint and the indigenous people, the painting attempts to signify myths of both cultures--the myth about the Spanish saint and indigenous myths about god. In portraying the mixture of cultures, this work of art reveals the significance of agricultural prosperity, perhaps the common wish in all people around the world. The two cultures may hold different belief systems but the importance of vitality and well being of people are well signified by the magical emergence of water. - (D.503)


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