Welcome to the New Mexico State University Art Gallery retablo collection, a unique artistic tradition which flourished in Mexico during the nineteenth century. Retablos are paintings of popular expressions of faith created on small sheets of tin-coated iron. Retablos Santos depict images of Jesus, the Virgin Mary, Saints and Archangels to decorate home altars whereas Retablos Ex-votos are depictions of events portraying a supplicant invoking a saint of devotion in moments of vicissitude that are placed on pilgrimage sites. Retablos were made by a variety of artists in the Bahío area of Central Mexico, especially around the mining regions of Zacatecas, San Luis Potosí, Querétaro, Guanajuato, Aguascalientes, Guadalajara, and Michoacán. Some retablos were painted by academically-trained artists, but the majority were made by self-taught artists.

Retablo Santo

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Retablo Ex-Voto

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The Collection

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El Favor de Los Santos