One of the things I enjoy is finding new styles of faith based art. Icons, book of hours and illuminated manuscripts, prayer beads and the Ukrainian eggs are some that have been brought forth in past blogs. These are all European examples of religious art. Today I’m going to the New World, to a place in Central America, in the country of El Salvador called La Palma.
El Salvador, was originally called “Provincia De Nuestro Señor Jesus Cristo, El Salvador Del Mundo” (“Province of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Savior of the World”) but thankfully was shortened to “República de El Salvador”, the Republic of the Saviour. We just call it El Salvador, and I would bet that anyone who lived during the 80’s probably remembers the civil war taking place there.
After the civil war, many were left struggling in the midst of low, wages poor labor practice and work in sweat shops throughout the country. It was different in La Palma, where in the 70’s they began to build an industry on art. This all came from a man named Fernando Llort. Known as El Salvador’s National Artist; Llort built the industry of art in La Palma, teaching the people how to make a living for themselves. The Industry has grown and La Palma has an economy based on tourism as well as exporting of their art.
El Salvador art has similarities with art from other Central American countries, using bright solid colors and simple designs the art has a sort of innocence to it. Several motifs or patterns are also used, which depict everything from religion to social life. The Crucifix, Noah’s Ark, the Eucharist, as well as wedding celebrations, farming and family.