One of the Finest Folk Art Retablos I’ve Seen!

DSC04240 (1) (1)
I am an admirer of folk art retablos. This one in our “house” in Los Sauces, El Calafate, the hotel reportedly owned by the female president of Brazil, is one of the finest I’ve ever seen. It purposely leaves some figures un-hand painted to show us the work involved in this art. Retablos are three-dimensional shadow boxes with figures hand-made of clay that traditionally depicted religious figures, but have evolved to include everyday scenes with a common theme. They are such alive, positive, life affirming and engaging art. They display what I love so much about Latin America, the kindness, the familial connectedness, the warmth.

This Retablo shows a wedding celebration. Here are some of the individual scenes:

DSC04236 (1) (1)


DSC04229 (1) (1)


DSC04232 (1) (1)

DSC04233 (1) (1)

DSC04237 (1)

To learn more about this folk art form click on this link.

39 thoughts on “One of the Finest Folk Art Retablos I’ve Seen!

  1. I have worked with polymer clay and have made some interesting little do-dads. I make bases to go around small votive glass candle holders. Mostly as a hobby so I’ve just given them as gifts. This reminds me of your figurines here. Only I don’t have to paint, as the clay comes in many colors.

    • Good question. No I don’t and I would like one. We looked at many in Calafate, but on this trip we were flying multiple times on Air Argentina to get to the different parts of Patagonia. Air Argentina has a 42 pound weight limit which I was already over, and I didn’t feel comfortable carrying it on plane after plane, as I was afraid it would break. They were not able to mail it. Customs difficulties. I am now searching for one online. I love the markets, fruit, or bread or flowers. If I buy one, I’ll post it. I did hear back from the Indigo Gallery who I called.

    • I agree with you! Each country in Latin America has slightly different versions. I have two old retablos that my mother gave me, but they are on tin and not 3D. I’m on the hunt now to purchase one. I wasn’t able to buy one in country due to concerns about breakage if I lugged it on plane after plane! Thanks for your appreciation~

  2. I love Latin American folk art. Some of the pictures brought back memories of Brazil – I lived 2 years in Northeastern Brazil where this style was created: the 3rd & 4th pictures of the wedding guests with classic pictures of Jesus in the background, bumba-meu-boi (fifth picture from the top), banda de pifanos (7th picture) and all the daily life scenes – I especially like the newlyweds on the red – bull, cow, horse? I’m not sure, but it’s lovely!!

    • Why is it do you think, that I get to meet such fascinating people blogging? I’m always asking someone whose lived in exotic locales to post about it. I have blogging friends from all over the world now which is so cool. Of course, my enquiring mind wants to know, why did you live in Brazil for two years and where did you live precisely? Tell me more, tell me more…
      I remember the bumba festival in Brazil when we went up the Amazon
      My husbands parents lived in Brazil for two years also, because his dad taught at the university.
      I am looking seriously at this style of retablo. The Jiminez family makes these incredible ones that I am eyeing and thinking about….You can view them online.
      I am on the same page as you re: Latin American art, it is happy art that I have collected over decades and I love each piece.
      Cheers to you and thanks and please, tell me more……….

  3. Pingback: Santons D’Art Avignon France! |

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s