Juan Rodriguez, asc. JuarezMexico 1675-1728/32
Saint Anthony of Padua with the Infant Savior 25.0326
St. Anthony of Padua (1195-1231) was a Portuguese Franciscan canonized just a year after his death. He was known for his sermons against social injustice and heresy; however, his bold character and blistering tongue are never represented in art. Instead he appears as a sweet-faced and compassionate individual, a standard depiction since the Renaissance. The spray of lilies in this context symbolizes the virtue of chastity. St Anthony of Padua is one of many saints who are depicted with this attribute. During the Counter Reformation the Catholic Church believed that art should convey emotion and religious sentiment. It was thought that if religious art could evoke an emotional response in the viewer that the church would attract new worshipers. So St. Anthony of Padua was depicted with a tilted head, soft gaze, and gentle gesture of the hand. The intimate space which he shares with the Christ Child further emphasizes these ideas.
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