Religious art has always interested me. Not that we had much of it at home growing up. My mom thought it was tacky. Aside from the mandatory crucifix above each bed and a large gilded Last Supper portrait that was a permanent fixture in my grandmother’s dining room, I can’t say that we really had much in the way of religious art. But I always loved the look of old Spanish and Mexican Colonial religious articles, particularly the large and ornate silver ex-votos and the beautifully carved wooden santos. With this in mind and also because I couldn’t think of anything else to hang, I decided to fill my ridiculously large bedroom wall up at the mountain house with crosses and ex votos of different sizes and styles. I still have a long way to go before the wall is complete as the ceilings are about 20 ft. high in that room, but I think I’ve got a decent start.
Now that my family knows that I’ve started collecting crosses from different countries, they’ve begun to contribute to the collection and have brought back some lovely ones whenever they’ve travelled…which fortunately for me is pretty often. I have to admit that my kids think the wall of crosses idea is kind of weird and my daughter wondered if I was perhaps expecting a visit from vampires and wanted to know why I would collect such a thing as crosses?
Daughter: WHY did you hang all those crosses on that wall???
Me: Because I like them. I particularly really like antique crosses.
Daughter: Yeah but don’t you think it’s kind of weird?
Me: Not really. I think it looks cool.
Daughter: It’s creepy. My friend took a picture of it.
Me: Hmmm. That weird huh?
I think it’s actually grown on her at this point and I’m hoping she will bring me back a nice one from the vatican when she goes to Italy next week.
The largest cross in the center of the wall is a Mexican plaster cross. It needed restoring when I bought it because it had several nicks and the paint was chipped. You can read about that here.
This little white cross is from Egypt and it’s all inlaid with mother of pearl. This type of inlaid work is typical of the Middle East and the technique reportedly dates back to Phoenician times.
Here’s a jeweled cross. You can never have too much bling. I’m a sucker for rhinestones and sparkly things.
I made this one myself out of matchsticks on a plywood cross shaped base.
Here’s one I made with different colors and sizes of glass beads.
My daughter in law brought me this cute little hand painted ceramic cross that she purchased during a trip to Mexico City.
This one is made with different colored pearls.
I did hang a few other things on the wall besides crosses and ex-votos including a hand made wrought iron door knocker that my other daughter in law gave me (made by her uncle) in an attempt to avoid a monotonous look. The orthodox icons in square gold frames are from Russia.
There’s still quite a bit of wall to cover upwards and I’m always on the look out for antique or foreign religious art, even at the risk of looking like Carrie’s mother.
Joining Feathered Nest Friday at French Country Cottage