A.J. Santero
Active 1820-1840

Very little is known about the A.J. Santero who was given this name because of a painted panel discovered with the initials “A.J.” that was done in his distinctive style. It was inscribed with a date of 1822 indicating he was contemporaneous with most of the major santeros. Many of his pieces are narrative in nature, making them more complex and suggesting he was familiar with biblical themes. A few of his pieces contain passages describing the depicted story, suggesting he was quite literate.

His work is characterized by a spontaneous drawing style in which his figures are quickly painted and often lacking detail. Other characteristics are frames made from moldings, thick gesso that was not finely ground and thus is full of small lumps and an unusual palette of reddish browns, oranges, pinks and blues.