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Saint Isidore the Farmer and worshippers in a field
Place of Origin: Philippines
Date: approx. 1750-1800
Materials: Oil on wood panel
Dimensions: H. 15 in x W. 22 in x D. 1 3/4 in, H. 38.1 cm x W. 55.9 cm x D. 4.4 cm
Credit Line: Gift of Consuelo H. McHugh
Department: Southeast Asian Art
Collection: Painting
Object Number: 2010.355
On Display: Yes
Location: Tateuchi Thematic Gallery

Description

Label:

Throughout the agricultural areas of the Philippines, Saint Isadore (Spanish: San Ysedro Labrador), the patron saint of farmers, is especially revered. The May feast day that honors him coincides with the advent of the monsoon, and it is celebrated with elaborate festivities. In certain towns water buffalo are bathed, ornamented, paraded throughout town, and taught to kneel before the church in homage to Saint Isadore.

This unsigned painting may depict two episodes from the life of Saint Isadore, who is believed to have been born in Madrid in the 1100s. A farmer who worked on the plantation of Juan de Vargas, Isadore was accused of spending too much time praying, thus shirking his duties. Vargas is said to have found an angel, instead of Isadore, plowing the field when he came to chastise the farmer.

Another story describes Isadore miraculously causing water to rise from the parched earth in order to quench Vargas's thirst. Each of the main characters is clearly labeled in the lower margin of the painting. Saint Isadore is depicted much larger than Vargas, who kneels in reverence to the saint's side. Isadore is also depicted wearing clothing similar to that of the landowner, while farmers wearing much simpler garb are shown to the side.


More Information

Exhibition History: "Philippine Art: Collecting Art, Collecting Memories", Asian Art Museum, 7/14/2017 - 3/11/2018
Label:

Throughout the agricultural areas of the Philippines, Saint Isadore (Spanish: San Ysedro Labrador), the patron saint of farmers, is especially revered. The May feast day that honors him coincides with the advent of the monsoon, and it is celebrated with elaborate festivities. In certain towns water buffalo are bathed, ornamented, paraded throughout town, and taught to kneel before the church in homage to Saint Isadore.

This unsigned painting may depict two episodes from the life of Saint Isadore, who is believed to have been born in Madrid in the 1100s. A farmer who worked on the plantation of Juan de Vargas, Isadore was accused of spending too much time praying, thus shirking his duties. Vargas is said to have found an angel, instead of Isadore, plowing the field when he came to chastise the farmer.

Another story describes Isadore miraculously causing water to rise from the parched earth in order to quench Vargas's thirst. Each of the main characters is clearly labeled in the lower margin of the painting. Saint Isadore is depicted much larger than Vargas, who kneels in reverence to the saint's side. Isadore is also depicted wearing clothing similar to that of the landowner, while farmers wearing much simpler garb are shown to the side.


Exhibition History: "Philippine Art: Collecting Art, Collecting Memories", Asian Art Museum, 7/14/2017 - 3/11/2018