Reliquary Locket Saint Longinus Cuzco, Colonial Painting

Reliquary Locket Saint Longinus Cuzco, Colonial Painting

Spanish-colonial Peruvian oval reliquary silver mounted - Saint Longinus - miniature painting, oil on copper. 18th century, Cuzco school.


Reliquary description

Beautiful miniature painting oil on copper framed in a silver trimmed locket with perimeter applied cord with a glass on top protecting the artwork. The obverse has a cover made of copper. The frame in solid silver, although not hallmarked, has been acid tested for silver content.


This type of miniature painting is done with tiny brushes that had no more than one or two horse hairs and this one in particular shows the skilled craftmanship and talent of the colonial era Peruvian monk or nun who created it.


Provenance: Most likely produced in the Monasterio de Nuestra Señora del Carmen (Founded 17 December 1643).


Saint Longinus: The iconography of this artwork shows, in roman military uniform, Saint Longinus  who, with his spear, opened the divine side of Christ from which redeeming blood and water flowed.

Then after followed his own miraculous conversion to Christianity.


Antoher detail that shows the level of sophistication and religious dedciation of the producer of this artwork is the fact that the Holy Cross where Jesus Christ was crucified is shown here reflected on the shield of the soldier.


Cuzco school: The history of the Peruvian Cuzco school type of art has its origins in the colonial era. The Spanish painters who arrived at the Viceroyalty of Peru taught their techniques to the local artists, and they began to shape on linen cloths their own representations, creating a new iconographic interpretation of the Peruvian reality.


The collected efforts of numerous artists gradually evolved into a unique yet harmonious and consistent style, devoid of individualism. These paintings are usually not signed, but represent traditional depictions of the religious subjects most important to the local indigenous and Hispanic populations.


A typical Andean scene occupies the background.


The figure, colors, vegetations and the steep snow covered mountainous background present in the painting attest how Catholic divinities were adapted to indigenous sensitivity and given a singular representation that had its maxim expression in the "School of Cusco Painting" (La Escuela Cusqueña), during centuries XVII and XVIII.


Outstanding condition and beautiful patina. Wear and tear shows according to its age. 


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