Art and Faith in Mexico: The Nineteenth-Century Retablo Tradition / Edition 1

Paperback (Print)
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $11.94
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 40%)
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (12) from $11.94   
  • New (6) from $13.81   
  • Used (6) from $11.94   


Nineteenth-century Mexico was a period of unprecedented political turmoil. One result of this instability was that many religious practices moved from the church to the home, and the retablo art form—sacred paintings on tin—flourished.

With over 1,700 objects, New Mexico State University holds the largest collection of retablos of any museum in the United States. Eleven eminent Latin Americanists from the U.S. and Mexico have studied this collection and placed it in a broad cultural context. They have looked at the retablos from the standpoint of art history, history, anthropology, folk art, and religion to bring a new understanding of and appreciation for these paintings. This interdisciplinary approach brings together multiple influences in considering, for example, Baroque images as popular icons, Aztec gods and home altars, popular images in nineteenth-century Mexico, European and viceregal paintings, and bultos and santos from New Mexico. The richly varied retablo tradition continues to the present, making this volume a much-needed addition to the literature on the complex society that formed along the Camino Real between Mexico City and Santa Fe.

In addition to the essays, the book includes restoration philosophy and conservation methods, a glossary, chronology, maps, and a comprehensive section on the art and iconography of each object in the Art Gallery collection.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

. . . clear, concise, and well-researched essays . . .This volume has a richness of information . . . a welcome addition to the few studies dedicated to this important artistic genre.
This splendid, sumptuous book . . . is a landmark in the scholarly presentation of the retablo . . . an ambitious project . . . [it] will certainly be accepted as the standard against which all other similar works are measured. This outstanding example of fine production values reflects, the care with which the work was prepared.
The Bloomsbury Review
. . . a well-balanced and multifaceted perspective . . . The color plates are exquisite . . . Art and Faith in Mexico is an indispensable reference on the current and vibrant religious art form of the retablo. . . . [a] wonderful book.
Library Journal
The tin retablo, or sacred painting on tin, combines Mexican and European influences to create a vital and unique art form that flourished in Mexico during the second half of the 19th century and the early 20th century, years of political turmoil that saw some religious practice moved from the church to the home. The richly varied retablo tradition continues to the present, making this book valuable in providing a current as well as a historic understanding of Hispanic culture in Mexico and New Mexico. With over 1700 objects, New Mexico State University (NMSU) holds the largest collection of retablos of any museum in the United States. NMSU art historian Zarur and NMSU gallery director Lovell have gathered 11 eminent Latin Americanists to study this collection from the standpoint of art history, history, anthropology, folk art, and religion and bring us a new appreciation of these paintings. In addition to essays and the catalog of works, the book includes 125 beautiful color plates and 64 halftones, discussions of restoration philosophy and conservation methods, a glossary, a chronology, maps, and a comprehensive section on the art and iconography of each object. Other books have been published on the subject, but since 1975 there has been no substantive scholarly research on the extensive NMSU collection. For all regional libraries, large public libraries, academic libraries, and specialized collections in art, anthropology, religion, or Latin American studies. Sylvia Andrews, Indiana State Lib., Indianapolis Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
New Mexico State University's art gallery has produced a fine exhibition catalogue to showcase their collection of 19th-century retablos, the largest in the US. In addition to high quality color plates, a catalogue raisonn<'e>, and section on conservation philosophy, eleven American and Mexican specialists in art history, ethnic studies, history, and church history contributed essays on iconography, popular religion, Baroque influences, anthropology, folk art, and popular culture. Lovell is the gallery's director; Zarur teaches art history at New Mexico State U. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780826323248
  • Publisher: University of New Mexico Press
  • Publication date: 2/28/2001
  • Edition description: 1 ED
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 359
  • Sales rank: 1,542,934
  • Product dimensions: 8.64 (w) x 10.65 (h) x 1.23 (d)

Meet the Author

Elizabeth Netto Calil Zarur teaches art history at New Mexico State University.

Charles Muir Lovell is director of the Art Gallery at New Mexico State University.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Foreword 7
Acknowledgments 9
Preface 13
Introduction 17
Sacred Retablos: Objects That Conjoin Time and Space 31
On the Spanish Origins of Mexican Retablos 39
Prints and the Pauper: Artifice, Religion, and Free Enterprise in Popular Sacred Art 47
Retablos and Popular Religion in Nineteenth-Century Mexico 57
Powerful Images: Mexican Ex-Votos 69
Los Cinco Senores and La Mano Poderosa: An Iconographic Study 79
Sermons of the Religious Orders and Retablo Art in Mexico 89
Archaeological Testimonies of Popular Religion in the Mexica World 97
Plates 107
Catalogue Raisonne 307
Exhibition Tour Schedule 332
App. 1 Baroque Altar 333
App. 2 Chronology of Mexican History from Postclassic Pre-Columbian Period to Independence 334
App. 3 El Camino Real: Evangelization and Art in New Spain 337
App. 4 Conservation of Mexican Retablos on Tin: The University Art Gallery Retablo Collection, New Mexico State University 338
Glossary 341
Additional References 345
Contributors 353
Index 355
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)