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El Trono de Gracia (The Throne of Graces)

El Trono de Gracia (The Throne of Graces)

Artist: Paul Pletka (American, born 1946)
Date: 2013
Medium: acrylic on linen
Dimensions:
Image: 59 3/4 x 60 in. (151.8 x 152.4 cm)
Frame: 63 x 63 x 2 1/2 in. (160 x 160 x 6.4 cm)
Classification: Painting
Credit Line: Gift of Paul Pletka and Nancy Benkof in memory of Jean Puddin Clarke, 2013
Keywords and Associated Locations:
Object number: 2013.17
Description
Paul Pletka’s painting El Trono de Gracia (The Throne of Grace) is part of of the artist’s body of work on New World history and iconography. The image represented is of God seated on a modest wooden throne wearing a Papal tiara. His cope shows scenes from the Conquest and he holds a Crucifix (representing the Son) that is very similar to many colonial-era Mexican crucifixes. On the back of the chair rests a dove (the Holy Ghost). As such, the entire Holy Trinity is represented in this painting. Pletka chose to paint this iconography as if it were a sculpture. When you look carefully at the imagery, you will notice that everywhere the artist has rendered the aging and deterioration of this form: the paint has cracks, the edges of the figure are chipped, revealing the wood beneath the paint, and other areas of wear and tear are visible throughout. In addition, the painting embodies the idea of mestizaje, the blending of cultures, that characterized the New World through assimilation, conversion and violence. The juxtaposition of Aztec imagery, for example on the orb at the feet of God, and European representational practices illustrate this New World “encounter.”
Not on view