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Bulto

Bulto

Artist: Molleno

Attributed to: The Truchas Master

Attributed to: Guadalupe Tafoya (Hispanic)

Department: History
Date: 1800-1845
Medium: wood, gesso, silver, canvas and natural pigments
Dimensions:
22 x 14 1/2 in. (55.9 x 36.8 cm)
Classification: Communication Objects
Credit Line: Albuquerque Museum, gift of John Borradaile Colligan
Object number: PC1998.54.3.1
DescriptionA wooden and canvas santo, bulto of Nuestra Senora de los Dolores. (1) and an older canvas skirt with fire damage (see 3.2). Attributed at some point as the Truchas Master, but Father Steele believes the maker was Molleno, and the appraiser attributes it to Antonio Molleno or a member of his school.This bulto has been refurbished over the years, and the skirt is different (and even replaced once - see 3.2). The most recent restoration was done in 1989 by Guadalupe Tafoya of Ranchos de Taos, using the manners and materials of the original. The skirt is painted stretched canvas with an abstract foliate design in blue on white which is similar to certain types of pottery decoration. The face is realistically painted and the bodice is painted orange. The previous skirt had been burned by devotional candles placed too near the skirt. There is a silver crown but no dagger.

Doña Candelaria Griego de Armijo, wife of Don Ambrosio Armijo, received the bulto in 1868 as an exchange for a contribution to San Felipe de Neri church. In preparation for its annual journey from Albuquerque north to Alameda, it would be touched up and newly clothed. It was probably restored many times in its history.
On view
Label Text:Nuestra Senora de los Dolores is believed by Armijo family descendants to be original to the first A wooden and canvas bulto of Nuestra Senora de los Dolores, 18th-19th century. (1) and an older canvas skirt with fire damage (see 3.2). Identified at some point as the Truchas Master, but Father Steele believes the maker was Molleno (see below), and the appraiser attributes it to Antonio Molleno or a member of his school (see appraisal record in TMS).

This bulto has been refurbished over the years, and the skirt is different (and even replaced once - see 3.2). The most recent restoration was done in 1989 by Guadalupe Tafoya of Ranchos de Taos, using the manners and materials of the original. The skirt is painted stretched canvas with an abstract foliate design in blue on white which is similary to certain types of pottery decoration. The face is realistically painted and the bodice is painted orange. The previous skirt was burned by devotional candles placed too near the skirt. There is a silver crown but no dagger.

Doña Candelaria Griego de Armijo, wife of Don Ambrosio Armijo, received the bulto in 1868 as an exchange for a contribution to San Felipe de Neri church. In preparation for its annual journey from Albuquerque north to Alameda, it would be touched up and newly clothed. It was probably restored many times in its history.

Nuestra Señora remained for many years in the Armijo residence in Old Town, and has been refurbished several times. On her deathbed, Mrs. Armijo gave the bulto to Doña Blasa Banks of Albuquerque. In the 1930s, Banks' daughter returned Nuestra Señora to the Armijos' daughter, Dolores (Lola) Armijo de Borradaile, where it remained until given to John B. Colligan, who donated it to the museum.

Our Lady of Sorrows symbolizes the 7 sorrows in the life of Mary and is the most popular image of her in New Mexico. She frequently wears a red robe and blue mantle and wrings her hands. In many instances there are one or more swords on her breast.

In this instance there is no evidence of a hole to hold a dagger in the upper torso as in the case of some bultos of this kind. However this is the most likely id based on the position of the hands, and is consistent with family tradition. I

The importance of the hands is that Father Antasio Dominguez wrote in his 1776 inventory, describing 1 of 2 altars on the right side of the nave of the original church, "a wooden niche containing a middle-sized Our Lady of Sorrows tih an old dress of mother-of-pearl ribbed silk, a blue mantle of the same material, a silver radiance and a dagger." (Adams & Chavez, UNM Press 1965, "The Missions of New Mexico." Nuestra Señora de los Dolores is believed by Armijo family descendants to be original to the first San Felipe de Neri Church of 1706, referenced in Fray Atanasio Dominguez's inventory of 1776. However, in this description indicates a dagger although there is no place near the hands or breast of this bulto for a dagger; also, there is a silver crown, but no dagger.

However it has been suggested by some that the bulto could be another from the Dominguez inventory, Nuestra Senora de la Conception, but in such images, the hands are in prayer and not clasped as in this bulto.

Experts on New Mexico santeros feel that the most likely maker for this bulto is Antonio Molleno or one of his followers. Molleno worked as a santero in Northern New Mexico from approximately 1800-1845. A similar bulto is illustrated in Larry Frank's New Kingdom of the Saints, and has a carved head and upper body and hollow lower body covered with canvas and gesso.

11/06 - According to Father Thomas Steele (11/28/06), John Borradaile told him that the Jesuit priests wanted a different statue for San Felipe de Neri church; one from France or Italy. The Armijos gave them a large sum of money for the new bulto, and the priests gave the Armijos this one in return. According to Steele the hands and feet were likely made in Mexico, and the rest was made here by Molleno. (DS)


Bulto, Nuestra Señora de los Dolores/Our Lady of Sorrows, 1800-1845
Antonio Molleno
México and Nuevo México
Wood, gesso, paint, canvas
Gift of John Borradaile Colligan
PC1998.54.3.1

It was not unusual for devotional objects to be sold out of the Church, if circumstances warranted. During the renovation of San Felipe de Neri church, Jesuit priests decided to acquire a French or Italian bulto.

The Armijos donated a large sum of money for the new bulto, and the priests gave the Armijos this one in return. Doña Candelaria Griego de Armijo, wife of Don Ambrosio Armijo, received Nuestra Señora de los Dolores in 1868. In preparation for her annual journey from Albuquerque north to Alameda, she was touched up and newly clothed.

Her hands and feet were likely made in New Spain, and the rest was made locally by Molleno. Her skirt, damaged in a fire, was re-created from the original in 1989 by Guadalupe Tafoya of Ranchos de Taos, using the manners and materials of the original.

Nuestra Señora de los Dolores remained for many years in the Armijo residence in Old Town. Upon her deathbed, Mrs. Armijo gave the bulto to Doña Blasa Banks of Albuquerque. In the 1930s, Banks' daughter returned Nuestra Señora to the Armijos' daughter, Dolores (Lola) Armijo de Borradaile. She in return gave her to John B. Colligan, who donated her to the Museum.