BEN ORTEGA, TESUQUE: FINE St. Francis Carving (Bulto)
BEN ORTEGA, HISPANIC CARVER: 12-3/8" high, 9" wide, 5-3/8" deep
Signed by the artist
++ Measurements are approximate ++
Santero art is a little-known national treasure located in the mountains of northern New Mexico and southern Colorado, the product of a rich Hispanic culture that has been for four hundred years - ever since the time of the Conquistadors. Santos, the santeros' primitive depictions of religious subjects and characters, include retablos - painted flat items like wall hangings - and bultos, three-dimensional statues and figurines, usually carved from wood findings.
The small village of Tesuque, a few miles northwest of Santa Fe, is the home of the Ortegas, a family consisting of generations of renowned bulto carvers. Ben Ortega (d.) was famous for his depictions of St. Francis, St. Michael, biblical characters, angels and animals. His work has influenced dozens of younger carvers.
Ben gatd twisted roots of cedar, cottonwood and aspen for his creations, often left finished only in the naturally beautiful tones of the wood.
Fine St. Francis Sculpture
He has carved tree stumps into figures in Santa Fe's private gardens, and his art has found its way into many parts of the world, thanks to exhibits
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