Stoup from Puente del Arzobispo, Spain

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Spectacular and unique piece from the artisan Robles from Puente del Arzobispo, Spain, which has recently retired and ended his activity. His job shows deep traditional roots and reaches an exceptional beauty and artistic height. To understand this piece we have to start by the origin: the clay. On the pieces which are shaped on the pottery lathe, the centrifugal forces makes that the tension on the clay were liberated and the breaking of the piece on the oven or the presence of small fissures on the second baking after the painting more difficult although still quite common. These problems are multiplied when the piece is not shaped on the lathe and is the artisan itself who has to liberate the clay tensions using the roller and assuming the risk of the piece to be broken on the oven on the first baking or, what is much worse, on the second baking after the painting.
This piece we introduce is an artisan whim and has all the elements that make very difficult the proper ending of the creation. Not only the piece is flat which is a serious risk to be broken on the oven, as explain above, but also is full of right angles which, as we were explained by Robles itself, increases significantly the risks. Beyond these comments above the crafting of the piece, it is painted with the traditional colors of the zone, blue and yellow, it shows children around the piece that recalls the typical children angels and mythological images of the XVIII century, together with additional decorative resources of great complexity.
But what makes this piece so attractive is the delicate central figure of the Virgin Mary with baby Jesus. Made up with soft colors brown, green and yellow, it reveals the pictorial education of this unique artist; you only have to notice the landscape that surrounds Mary or the folds of her clothing.
This piece is very representative of a ceramic tradition common on all the catholic countries, but very specially in those that have links with Spain. It has a clear utility, to deposit the Holy Water blessed by a priest on the small recipient on the base, and was specially used by families living in remote places which couldn’t go with regularity to the church.
The author Robles itself told us that this was the kind of favorite pieces he most liked to do when he was active, up to the point that from the various pieces he has saved for himself, some of them are stoups.
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Size is 50cm H x 35cm W x 11cm D (19.7" H x 13.8" W x 4.3 D). Weight is 2.3Kg (5.1 pound). Package weight is 5Kg (11 pound).