Joseph (from a nativity)

Ecuadorian and Philippine

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 774

The ivory heads of Mary and Joseph were among the numerous such parts imported to America via the Manila Galleon trade. The style of the figures' polychromy, however, reveals that they were set into their wooden bodies in Ecuador. Artists there practiced a distinctive technique to embellish the garments of their sculptures, applying gold patterns over the colored backgrounds rather than scratching them through, as in true estofado.

Joseph (from a nativity), Wood, polychromed and gilded; ivory touched up with polychromy (face and shoulders), Ecuadorian and Philippine

Due to rights restrictions, this image cannot be enlarged, viewed at full screen, or downloaded.

Open Access

As part of the Met's Open Access policy, you can freely copy, modify and distribute this image, even for commercial purposes.


Public domain data for this object can also be accessed using the Met's Open Access API.