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Colorful doors open on to the Chapel of Santa Ana, where expressive figures celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. Alejandro Chavez portrays his characters in traditional Andean attire, as a sense of divine luminosity gracefully descends upon the scene. This form of Peruvian folk art is known as the retablo, especially characteristic of the Ayacucho region. The wooden frame is crafted by hand, while the artisan fills the shelves with tiny ceramic figures painted to joyous perfection.
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, a village dance and the nativity scene. 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 ...