Ex-votos came to Mexico from Spain with the 1521 conquest. They are devotional prayer plaques applied to shrines in thanksgiving for a miracle received from a particular saint. These small votive offerings are hand-painted on tin and naive folk art. Usually the supplicant, the person giving thanks for the miracle, hired a local untrained artist who could also write to express gratitude.
Often, though, you find misspelled and illegible words, which reflects the lack of sophistication and charm of the piece. The painting often includes the name of the town or province and the date of the offering. They were usually nailed to an altar or shrine.
Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera had one of the largest collections of Ex-votos, many of which are on display at Casa Azul in Mexico City.
Vintage Ex-Votos for Sale: 1930’s-1940’s
#1. San Martin Caballero. This first one, below, is a naive vintage painting on tin, surrounded by the original tin frame, of Saint Martin on Horseback. Saint Martin (San Martin) of Tours is usually depicted giving a piece of his cloak to the poor. My art collector friend says this is from the 1930’s to 1940’s, though it is undated. Size: approx. 6″ wide x 8″ high. $345 USD plus shipping and insurance.
#2. XXX Garcia La Pez, my son (first name partly illegible), has recovered from typhoid and is now healthy because of this miracle. Created by Fresnillo. Zacatecaz, in memory of my father Lupercio Garcia B. Size: 6-1/2″ x 10-3/4″
$345 USD plus shipping. Note: Colors are pure, as depicted in photo. Small tear at bottom of the tin border. 1930’s-1940’s.
#3. Lupema Lora Rosales from Zacatecas gives thanks for a prodigious miracle. We don’t know what it is, but we see her photo affixed to the ex-voto in the lower left corner — an unusual application! The saint is surrounded by flowers, a burning skull, a naively painted Jesus, and children. $345 plus shipping. Size is 6-3/4″ high x 9-3/4″ wide (approx.).
Condition of Vintage Pieces: These are between 70 and 80 years old. There will be some surface scratches, rust and imperfections due to age.
Ex-Voto Reproductions for Sale: New
These two ex-votos (below) are painted and signed by contemporary Mexico City artist Rafael Rodriguez, noted for his whimsical ex-voto depictions. They are reproductions based on the artist’s knowledge of the genre. I acquired them. from a well-known collector in Mexico City. It is offered to you for sale. Size: 9-1/2″ high x 12″ wide, at $95 each, plus shipping.
# 1. The wild turkey, Mr. Guajolote, was about to gobble me up!
#2. Imagine being strangled by a giant octopus that suddenly appears from a cave.
Terms of Purchase: Please contact me you are interested in purchasing and refer to the subject of the ex-voto or the number. Payment is requested in full with PayPal. I will calculate shipping and insurance based on your mailing address and send you a link for payment. There are no returns or refunds. Thank you.
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