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Artist Unknown Artist
Title The Powerful Hand (La Mano Poderosa)
Date 19th c.
Medium oil on tin
Place of Origin Mexico
Culture Mexican
Catalog Number 1967.25
Collection Retablo or Ex Voto Collection
Object Name Painting
Credit line Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Clay Lockett
Didactic Information The Powerful Hand is a large hand bearing stigmata with blood issuing forth into a chalice. In some retablos, the chalice sits on a book with seven seals, a reference to the Book of Revelation. The blood then spills from the chalice into the mouths of seven sacrificial lambs, representing the seven sacraments. This is the blood of Christ, which in Christian tradition washes away the sins of the world. At the tip of each finger is a figure, seated within a cloud or a lily. The five figures, also called the Five Persons, are Mary, Joseph, Jesus, and Mary's parents, Anne and Joachim. The crown of thorns and the tools of the crucifixion are commonly seen in the foreground.