Tuesday, February 20, 2018

El Rosario, Sinaloa. the main altarpiece

In the next of our series on the notable altarpieces of Northern Mexico, we visit the rebuilt/reassembled parish church/cathedral of Nuestra Señora del Rosario, a historic mining town in the state of Sinaloa, to view its newly restored main retablo.
In 2014 restoration was completed of this magnificent, gilded baroque altarpiece in the baroque church of El Rosario—the finest of three such retablos in the state of Sinaloa. Conservation measures involved cleaning, fumigation, repair of carved details including the original statuary, and re-gilding the entire altarpiece.
Funded by the riches from the local mines, which provided the gold with which it is sheathed, the 30 foot high altarpiece dates from the 1770s and is designed in the sinuous, late baroque manner called the Churrigueresque, or barroco estípite style. 
   It was moved in the 1950s together with the 18th century church after reassemblage on its present site (the church was on the point of collapse due to subsidence from mine workings.)
Carved from cedar, the retablo is framed by four prominent, be scrolled, estípite pilasters that enclose equally bold, serpentine interestípites or niche-pilasters. 
   The niches support rather than enclose statues of saints, that comprise saints Paul and Joseph with the Christ Child on the lower tier, and Anne and Joachim, the parents of the Virgin, above them. The Archangel Gabriel dominates the curved top tier accompanied by St. Dominic and St. Peter.
The richly costumed figure of the patron, the Virgin of the Rosary, occupies the curtained niche on the lower tier. 
See our earlier posts in this series: the Ureña altarpiece of Saltillo/Monclova; Parras de La Fuente; Sabinas Hidalgo;
text © 2018 Richard D. Perry.  color images by Niccolò Brooker

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