A large oil on canvas, 49 1/2" by 32 1/2" in thin gold frame, unsigned, titled lower right "SAN GABRIEL", painted circa 1980's, in the so-called "Cuzco School" style of South America. According to the Wikipedia description of the School, Cuzco (Cusco) was considered the first artistic center that systematically taught European artistic techniques in the Americas. The conquering Spanish, wanting to convert the Incas to Christianity, produced impressive, complex Christian religious imagery, from the 16th through 18th centuries. In more recent times, the style has proved so popular that it continues to be made to this day in workshops in Peru, Ecuador, Bolivia and Colombia, as well as Mexico and Central America. This is one of those works. Often the skilled workshop painters of Latin America are able to successfully reproduce the old surface appearance, by intentionally distressing the canvas and paint in various ways. This painting might have some of this intentional distressing, with shallow creases especially visible at right edge and along the bottom. Also, the painting has perhaps been UNintentionally distressed, acquiring a few scuffs in recent years. There are two roughly vertical scuffs, one at right center and another at bottom center between the leggings. To the left of the hand at left is a scrape a few inches in length, not punctured but dimpled. In certain types of paintings, such flaws would be of major significance; but in this type of art, it almost adds authenticity----wear translating to age. All in all a very decorative work of impressive size that would work well with Spanish style home of the Southwest.
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