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Cradling little Jesus in her arms, the Virgin of Mount Carmel smiles with maternal love. Alejandro Chavez portrays the Madonna named for Mount Carmel in the Holy Land, where a chapel was built in her honor before her Assumption into heaven. In 1251 she appeared in England, offering favors and protection to those who wear her scapular. Also known as Immaculate Virgin and Star of the Sea, she inspired the Carmelite order. This traditional diorama is known as a retablo; each figurine is modeled by hand.
About the Artist: Peruvian artisan Alejandro Chavez specializes in the creations of retablos, a kind of reverent diorama-altar unique to the Ayacucho region of Peru. He learned this technique as a boy in school, when he was 17 years old and living in Ayacucho, where his parents moved when he was just 2 years old. When Chavez returned to his hometown, he began working in the studio of Angel Castro, a master artisan. Here he refined his techniques in the creation of retablos, eagerly learning the art from his teacher. Later, Chavez formed his own workshop after the death of his teacher and began to give shape to his art. The customs and traditions of the Andean people emerge in every piece.
The Alejandro Chavez Artisan Collection is brought to you by Novica in Association with National Geographic. This beautiful piece was handcrafted by Alejandro Chavez in Peru. An artisan story card will be included with your purchase.
This colorful retablo by Alejandro Chavez
houses six scenes taken from Andean beliefs and customs. The first features local animals, followed by Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. The third shelf features Andean shepherds followed by the traditional Hat Dance. The ...
Peru's millenary traditions inspire Alejandro Chavez
in the colorful design of this retablo mirror. The door opens to reveal four detailed scenes featuring handcrafted ceramic figurines harvesting tuna (prickly pear), selling hats and cloaks, and celebrating the mask dance. The middle panel contains ...
Alejandro Chavez depicts Saint Martin de
Porres, a Dominican brother born in Lima in 1579. Trained in the medical arts, Martin worked in the convent infirmary but also showed great compassion to the sick outside the convent. Chavez crafts the wooden box to ...