The "Anima Sola" pictured on this 1903 ex voto retablo is about as existential feeling as they come---while most representations of the Anima Sola show the figure (sometime male, sometime female) dramatically encircled in red flames, I find this stoic, soulful representation as poignant a depiction of being trapped--literally chained--in limbo as could be, and most definitely he seems to be suffering for collective sins. I've learned that praying to the Anima Sola is its own unique tradition, in many ways unlike that of the more widespread practice of praying to saints who would then appeal to God on the subject's behalf. The Anima Sola, instead, represents souls in purgatory who require the assistance of the both the living and the divine to ameliorate their sufferings. Here, Rita Irogoyen Salamanca gives thanks the Anima Sola for having helped her with a "rush" of health and money.
10 1/4" x 8 1/2" on heavy tin/metal with a great objecthood to it. Aged and rusty on reverse, unevenly cut and with a bend along the top edge (which is hardened, not pliable)--all to the good I promise, just adding to its aura.