Similar in form to the retablo, “ex-votos,” are devotional paintings which offer thanks to a particular saint in the form of a short narrative. The origin of the term is Latin, and means “for solemn vow or promise.” An ex-voto painting is typically comprised of three elements: a scene depicting a tragedy or someone with a grave illness or injury, a depiction of the intervention of a saint on behalf of the afflicted, and an inscription describing the tragic event and which gives thanks for the divine intervention.
The inscription on this piece can be translated as:
“In Tajimaroa in the month of March in the year 1898 Anjela Arriaga had a very serious sickness. Maria Jesus Avala and Anjela invoked the Virgin Saint of the Hospital and experienced beautiful miracles.”
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