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Saint George and the Dragon

Nicudemos Lopez, American (active Truchas, New Mexico), 1895 - 1983

Possibly made in Córdova, New Mexico, United States, North and Central America
Possibly made in Truchas, New Mexico, United States, North and Central America

c. 1955-1960

Carved cottonwood, leather

18 x 22 1/2 x 13 3/4 inches (45.7 x 57.2 x 34.9 cm)

Research inconclusive. Copyright may apply.

Curatorial Department:
American Art

Object Location:

Currently not on view

Accession Number:

Credit Line:
Anonymous gift in memory of Elizabeth Wheatley Bendiner, 1991

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Nicudemos Lopez was born in the small village of Córdova (south of Taos), New Mexico, into a family of wood carvers whose descendants continue the tradition to this day. Distinct from the more elaborate style of painted bultos (carved saints) that developed in nineteenth-century New Mexico, the Córdova tradition relies on plain, unpainted wood surfaces, intricate chip-carving, and incised delicate patterns to create simplified forms that communicate a powerful presence.

Nicudemos began carving in the 1930s, but stopped for a number of years while earning a living as a carpenter. He returned to carving in the mid-1950s and in the succeeding decade produced several versions of Saint George and the Dragon, as well as renditions of Michael the Archangel and the Dragon, and Adam and Eve in the Garden.