Arthur Lopez – “The Emergence of St. Sebastian” St. Michael, 27″h

15" wide x 28" Tall

$ 7,500.00

Arthur Lopez is one of the leading santos carvers in New Mexico.  This piece continues his series, “Pillars of Strength”.  Each piece is intricately carved and part of a “pillar”  This piece is entitled, ‘Emergence of St. Sebastian”.  It depicts St. Sebastian in his martyrdom, shot with arrows, and as part of the tree (pillar) behind him.  The angel above holds a martyr crown. The arrows and angel are removable for shipping.

Arthur said of “Pillars of Strength”:
“A pillar is a bridge between Heaven and Earth. The vertical axis both unites and divides the two. Someone who can be trusted with your stability gives comfort and support through difficult times.  Each piece has the architectural idea of a “pillar” and is a distinctively new direction for my art”.


Saint Sebastian, according to traditional belief, was killed during the Diocletianic Persecution of Christians. He was initially tied to a post or tree and shot with arrows, though this did not kill him. He was, rescued and healed by Saint Irene of Rome.  Saint Sebastian is a popular male saint, especially today among athletes.  In medieval times, he was regarded as a saint with a special ability to intercede to protect from plague, and devotion to him greatly increased when plague was active.

The process for Arthur’s work is bound in tradition.  After the piece is carved, is covered in gesso (a glue made from rabbit hide) which is allowed to dry and then sanded.  It is painted with both natural and watercolor pigments.  Natural colored pigments, such as brown, are derived from black walnut hulls.   These are the time involved and historic foundations for his work.  

We are pleased to present this amazing body of work from one of the leading Santos artists in the country.  Arthur’s artistic expression continues to break through the history of Traditional Spanish Colonial art in New Mexico. Each piece demonstrates his expressive ideas by utilizing and honoring traditional techniques to arrive at his uniquely contemporary one-of-a-kind creations. Consistently Arthur has pushed the boundaries of the New Mexico Santero tradition that has placed him a the forefront of his craft.

Arthur’s work is found in numerous museum and public collections, including Albuquerque Museum of Art & History,  Denver Art Museum,  Freedom Museum (911 Memorial at Ground Zero), Harwood Museum of Art, Museum of International Folk Art,  Museum of Spanish Colonial Art, and the State of New Mexico Permanent Art Collection.  Most recently he received the New Mexico Governor’s Award for the Arts in 2022!

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