Peruvian retablos are considered to be the contemporary form of the paintings. Though Spanish people had introduced these works to Peru, it has received a new form in the hands of Peruvian artists. Created by the indigenous people residing in the Peruvian highlands, these retablos are practiced on wooden boxes. Painters create brightly colored figures, which narrates tales of everyday events, historical events as well as religious events. These paintings are now created by Peruvian families for earning their livelihood.

Most of the retablos are generally crafted using simple wooden tools. It is the expertise of the job and the combination of color, which adds to the demand of the work. For years people have used words like spiritual, folkloric, historical, allegorical and symbolic for describing the form of art. Though these paintings were originally practiced by untrained painters, nowadays, artists nowadays usually undergo specialized training for learning the craftwork.


The most popular types of retablos have been listed below:

Toy Shop Retablo – This is one of the most popular types of retablo available these days. Representing a colorful toy shop, it comprises images of dolls, trains and airplanes in shelves. To make the store complete, the artists also include the images of workers. The painting offers a delightful scene for everyone, irrespective of their age. This retablo typ is available in various sizes from small to large.

Cat’s Living Room – Though mainly aimed for the cat lovers, this retablo will amaze anyone with its brilliant colors and patterns. Cats playing on sofa, on windowsills, inside the cupboards and on the table or under the table are the main attraction of the work. Yet, the colors of the cats, which include black, white, tiger stripes and yellow as well as the detailing offered add to its popularity.

Virgin of Guadalupe Retablo – This is one of the most popular forms of Peruvian retablos created these days. The cloak as well as the arch is painted beautifully with traditional patterns of Peru. It represents religious works with a creative touch. The detailing offered in this work deserves special mention.

Apart from the above mentioned works, some of the popular forms of retablos available these days include the Musk Maker Retablo, the Hatshop Retablo, the Guadalupe Matchbox Retablo, the Mermaid Retablo, the Bakery Retablo as well as the Mask Shop Retablo.