Nino de Aotocha in Nicho- Folk Art, c.1900
Carved & painted wood retablo
18.50 x 19.75 x 10 in
This work is a retablo, or altarpiece, representing the Niño de Atocha, or the Sacred Child of Atocha. The Nino de Atocha is the patron of those unjustly imprisoned, travelers, and people in danger. The child is portrayed as a young male pilgrim with a brimmed hat and ornate cape. The Niño is a Roman Catholic image of the Christ Child popular among the Hispanic cultures of Spain, Latin America and the southwestern United States. It is one of the most popular Catholic images for Mexican Americans. The child’s attributes are a brown cloak, blue robe, brimmed hat, and water gourd. The inside of the doors of the retablo depicts vases of lilies—symbols of the Virgin Mary. The Mexican artist Frida Kahlo frequently represented calla lilies in her art, demonstrating the influence of historic Mexican art and folk culture in her work.