Retablos are a sophisticated Peruvian folk art. The term "Retablo" is derived from the Latin retro tabula, which means behind the (altar) table, referred to as "Santero Boxes" in Europe, where they originated. The art form was brought to Peru by Spanish in the 16th century. They were used by Spanish evangelists and priests to teach bible stories and convert the indigenous people to catholicism.
The portable altars depict scenes from the Catholic faith including the nativity, Adam and Eve and more. Peruvian retablos continue the religious and devotional scenes but also have evolved to include scenes that are important to the indigenous people of the highlands of Peru. These scenes from daily life, markets, shops, harvests, weddings, social, political and traditional events. They are made using simple tools, potato starch mix plater and wooden doors and are filled with brightly colored figures arranged into intricate narrative scenes. The boxes, made of wood, commonly have doors, a peak are painted with flowers, leaves and decorative designs.
|Skeleton Love "Amor " Couple Retablo, Skeleton Mermaid Couple Retablo, |
I Love You "Te Quiero" Mini Retablo
The is a B&B in Cuzco called “El Retablo” embraces and honors the artistry of the retablo. As well as their amazing retablos that fill the walls and B&B, all interior spaces are hand-painted in the style of retablo painting. The rooms, interior and exterior walls are all painted by artisans from the Fine Arts School of Cuzco.
The craft and tradition of retablo making are passed down from one family member to another. They are primary made in the in Ayacucho, Peru.
Ayacucho is also home to the prominent family, Jimenez, that is all known
for their exceptional reatblos. Figures are now being made that have leaped from the confinement of the box and stand or hang alone.