Wednesday, June 22, 2011

178. Holy Cards! ESTAMPITAS

"Estampitas" or holy cards are small, mass-produced religious pictures for the use of the faithful. They usually feature a saint or a sacred scene on paper while the reverse typically contains a prayer, some of which promise an indulgence for its recitation. The circulation of these cards is an important part of the visual folk culture of Roman Catholics. Early estampitas were just small black and white engravings, but withe the advancement of printing processes (e.g. lithography and chromolithography), they became more colorful and artistic. Estampitas range from plain to fancy--some have gilt, die-cut edges. The more precious are lace estampitas, in which the borders are delicately cut to mimic fragile laces. A range of affordable examples are shown above.

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