Ángel Zárraga, Votive Offering
01 Works, RELIGIOUS ART — Interpretation of the bible, With Footnotes — 154
Ángel Zárraga (Mexican Painter 1886–1946)
Votive Offering [Saint Sebastian], c. 1912
Oil on canvas,
Height: 1,850 mm (72.83 in). Width: 1,345 mm (52.95 in).
Museo Nacional de Arte, Mexico City, Mexico
A votive offering is one or more objects displayed or deposited, without the intention of recovery or use, in a sacred place for broadly religious purposes. Such items are a feature of modern and ancient societies and are generally made in order to gain favor with supernatural forces. Some offerings have apparently been made in anticipation of the achievement of a particular wish, but in Western cultures from which documentary evidence survives it has been more typical to wait until the wish has been fulfilled before making the offering,] for which the more specific term ex-voto may be used. Votive offerings have been described in historical Roman era and Greek sources, although similar acts continue into the present day, for example in traditional Catholic culture and, arguably, in the modern-day practice of tossing coins into a wishing well or fountain. The modern construction practice called topping out can be considered as an example of a votive practice that has very ancient roots. More on A votive offering
Saint Sebastian (died c. 288 AD) was an early Christian saint and martyr. Sebastian had prudently concealed his faith, but in 286 was detected. Diocletian reproached him for his betrayal, and he commanded him to be led to a field and there to be bound to a stake so that archers from Mauritania would shoot arrows at him. “And the archers shot at him till he was as full of arrows as an urchin is full of pricks, and thus left him there for dead.” Miraculously, the arrows did not kill him.
Sebastian later stood by a staircase where the emperor was to pass and harangued Diocletian for his cruelties against Christians. This freedom of speech, and from a person whom he supposed to have been dead, greatly astonished the emperor; but, recovering from his surprise, he gave orders for his being seized and beat to death with cudgels, and his body thrown into the common sewer. A pious lady, called Lucina, admonished by the martyr in a vision, got it privately removed, and buried it in the catacombs at the entrance of the cemetery of Calixtus, where now stands the Basilica of St. Sebastian. More St. Sebastian
Ángel Zárraga (y) Argüelles (b. Victoria de Durango, August 16, 1886 — d. September 22, 1946) was a Mexican painter, born as son of the physician Dr. Fernando Zárraga and his wife Guadalupe Argüelles in the Barrio de Analco of Durango. While he visited the Escuela Nacional Preparatoria in Mexico City, he made first contacts with the artistic and intellectual scene, and studied at the Escuela Nacional de Bellas Artes (ENBA). His family enabled him a study trip to Europe in 1904, where he visited and exhibited in Spain, France and Italy. He also visited courses at the Royal Academies for Science and the Arts of Belgium.
In 1906 he exhibited some of his pictures in the Museo del Prado, and in 1907 in an exhibition of the ENBA. He participated in the 1909 Biennale di Venezia and exhibited in the Salon at the Piazzale Donatello, Florence. In 1911 he moved to France for good, and he only returned once at the outbreak of World War I for a short time.
After 1921 his work was influenced by Cézanne and Giotto. He also painted murals at the Château de Vert-Cœur and in the Cité Internationale Universitaire de Paris, and decorated the Mexican embassy in Paris, where he also exhibited at the Salon d’Automne, as well as in New York. Concerned over the collapse of the international art market he lost his sponsors and became depressive. During World War II he returned to his home country in 1941, where he painted murals at the Club de Banqueros and at the of the Catedral de Monterrey. He died after suffering from a pneumonia. A museum of contemporary art was named after him. More on Ángel Zárraga
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