MARÍA JIMÉNEZ OJEDA and her Four Brothers (San Martín Tilcajete)

María creates enchanting and original painted designs for pieces carved by her five brothers: Alberto, Arón, Miguel, and Cándido.

She is best known for her delicate butterflies, doves, and rabbits, patterns that derive from her earlier work in embroidery. Not only the painting, but also the carved forms, of many of the pieces produced by this family are unique.

These include sleek animals in graceful poses (such as a toucan with an exaggerated beak and an elongated dog with a dramatically arched back) and a Virgin of Soledad. María regards carved angels with dramatically spread wings as her own special design, the carving of which is generally executed by her brother Arón.

The family’s practice of artistic attribution is unique to the woodcarving tradition, in which the male carver traditionally signs a piece regardless of who has decorated it. In this family Maria paints some pieces, while her sisters-in-law or her brothers decorate others. María signs the pieces she paints, and the carver signs when he or his wife creates the decoration.




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