Monday, January 13, 2014


 The elderly-looking Baby Jesus on the left is what you would call a milagro in Spanish, but I found it in Venice a dozen years ago, and I don't know the Italian word for such objects.  It's about 7 inches tall and very beautifully made of metal that has tarnished so that it looks like silver (which I doubt that it is).  I had just come from spending two weeks in a villa in Tuscany that had one of these attached to a wooden and glass cabinet in the kitchen, and when I saw its twin in a little flea marketey shop in Venice I bought it right away.  I took it home and nailed it up over the window over our sink in the kitchen, and there it still lives today, grinning down at me as I toil away on My Night to Cook.

As I was looking at the stiff Baby Jesus in his metal-- child form?-- I made a connection between swaddling clothes and Rusty Metal Child Forms:  and so I drew, once again, the child form and put a girl's head on it in the same position as the BJ's head.

Following the theme of milagros, I drew four others that I own.  I've seen milagros in Ireland at shrines and in Italy in churches, and even in Quebec in a shrine.  I have a small collection of metal heart milagros from Italy.  But these drawn here are very small and look like some Mexican ones that a friend in San Antonio once sent me.  The woman kneeling looks like she has a humped back, a popular milagro that is used to ask for help with back troubles.  Then there is the heart for asking for help with heart trouble (or maybe for a softening of the heart?), and then a child-like face with no obvious problem.  I guess it could be a general help with head or face issues.  The eyes and nose are pretty obvious.  I once visited an eye well in County Clare, Ireland, and saw a few of these hanging about.

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