San Rafael

San Rafael

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Description (Brief)
A bulto (three-dimentional sculpture) of San Rafael, the archangel, patron of travelers, source of spiritual and physical health, and protector against monsters. Often, attributes for San Rafael inculde pilgrim’s dress, a fish and a staff. This image of San Rafael holds two fish (peces o truchas) and a cross (cruz) made of cedar. The chip-carved decoration on the base, attributes, hair and clothing typifies the 20th c. Cendova Style, begun by the artist’s father, Jose Dolores Lopez in 1917. The clothing has very small, etched lines to add decoration and some dimension to the clothing. Overall, the sculpture is geometiric in design. The santo is signed in black ink and given an area of origin on the underside of the pine base. The santo is identifies, dated and given the area of origin in blue ink also, by the artist, on the underside of the pine base. The base is curved inward on all four sides. Referenced in Briggs, Charles L. The Woodcarvers of Cordova, New Mexico, 1980; Wrath, William, ed. , Hispanic Crafts of the Southwest, 1977. This bulto was presented by NMAH in 1983 by Dan Sheehy of the National Endowment of the Arts/Folk Art Program. In 1982, George Lopez participated in the Office of Folklife Program’s Annual Festival of American Folklife and was awarded a National Hertitage Fellowship by the NEA Folk Art Program. It was available for sale to local, national nd international patrons.
Currently not on view
Object Name
Figure, Religious
Date made
1951 - 1961
originator (author or composer, etc.)
Lopez, George T.
Lopez, George T.
Physical Description
canvas (overall material)
gesso (overall material)
oil (overall material)
paint (overall material)
wood, cottonwood, cedar, pine base (overall material)
rawhide (overall material)
overall: 16 1/4 in x 5 1/2 in x 5 3/8 in; 41.275 cm x 13.97 cm x 13.6525 cm
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Credit Line
Gift of George T. Lopez
See more items in
Cultural and Community Life: Religion
Family & Social Life
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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