Santos in Oaxaca's Ancient Churches

A study of santos in 16th-century and other churches in Oaxaca, Mexico

 

By Claire and Richard Stracke
Funded by a grant from the Rockefeller Foundation

In Teposcolula:

Angel 1
Angel 2
Bishops group (two bishops, one monk)

Christ: Ecce Homo

Christ fallen with the cross
Christ in a coffin
Christ in a crown (with crowned infant Christ)
Christ seated in the pretorium ("Pensive Christ")
Crucifix 1 (Calvary group)
Crucifix 2
Crucifix 3
Crucifix case (with Mary, the Magdalene, one other saint)
Crucifixes (two, with two unidentified saints)

Crucifixion Group

Our Lady of Mount Carmel
Our Lady of Sorrows (Soledad) 1
Our Lady of Sorrows (Soledad) 2
Our Lady of the Rosary (with St. Dominic and a crucifix)
Palm Sunday Christ
Resurrected Christ
Sacred Heart of Jesus
St. Anthony of Padua
St. Isidore the Laborer
St. Mary Magdalene
St. Michael 1
St. Michael 2
St. Michael 3
St. Paul
St. Peter
St. Veronica
Saints Peter and Paul (?)
Unidentified Dominican
Unidentified female saint 1
Unidentified female (?) saint 2
Unidentified Franciscan
Unidentified monk 1
Unidentified monk 2
Unidentified monk 3
Unidentified monk 4
Unidentified priest 1
Unidentified priest 2
Unidentified saint 1
Unidentified saint 2
Unidentified saint 3
Unidentified saint 4
Unidentified saints (two in a cell)
Unidentified saints (three in a cell)
Virgin Mary

Other santos not photographed

Crucifix

Crucifix:
The figure is barrel-chested, the ribs forming the stylized inverted U not infrequently seen in Oaxaca crucifixes. The face has a Zapotec look, elongated and triangular with close-set eyes, although there is more white than red in the complexion. The eyes are partly closed. The head is disproportionately small. Blood flows amply from the knees, the brow, and the five wounds, but it is not extreme as compared with the Christs used in Passion Week processions. The body is hollow to the tap. The gesso shows at nicks on the toes, hair, and elsewhere. The statue has lost the three middle fingers of the left hand and the index and middle fingers of the right.

Local Name: El Señor de la Misericordia.

Basis for Identification: INRI plaque, streaming blood, gash in side.

Other characteristics: Embroidered red loincloth and scutum.

Site: Former convento of San Pedro y San Pablo, Teposcolula.

Location: In a stairwell in the southwest corner of the former convento (see note).

Media and construction: Paint and gesso over wood or possibly paste; painted eyes, carved hair; fabric loincloth.

Size: About 7 feet (210 cm.)

Close-up of the upper torsoComparable santos in Oaxaca: Achiutla, Santa Ana del Valle1, Santa Ana del Valle2, Santa Ana del Valle3, Cuilapan, Etla, Guelavia, Mitla, Nochixtlán, Tamazulapan1, Tamazulapan2, Teitipac1, Teitipac2, Teitipac3, Teitipac Our Lady of the Rosary, Teotitlán1, Teotitlán2, Teposcolula1, Teposcolula2, Teposcolula3 (in Rosary case),  Teposcolula Convento1, Tilantongo1, Tilantongo2, Tlacolula1, Tlacolula2, Xoxocotlán1, Xoxocotlán2, Xoxocotlán3, Xoxocotlán4, Yanhuitlán1, Yanhuitlán2, Yanhuitlán Convento1, Yanhuitlán Convento2, Yanhuitlán Convento3, Yanhuitlán Convento4, Yanhuitlán Convento5, Yanhuitlán Ayuxi Chapel, Zimatlán.

External Links:
Wikimedia Commons: Crucifixes in Mexico
Catholic Encyclopedia: Archaeology of the Cross and Crucifix
Wikipedia: Crucifix
Christian Iconography: The Crucifixion

Next: A statue of an unidentified priest

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Introduction to Teposcolula

Santos Home Page



Note: On this site, references to the cardinal directions always assume that the main altar is at the east end of the church, the narthex or entry area at the west end, and the two walls of the nave on the north and south. (The nave is the long central section.) In the case of the former convento at Teposcolula, directional references align with those of the Teposcolula church. Actual orientations may differ.

The photos shown here are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license. You are free to share or remix them on two conditions: first, that you attribute them to the photographers, Claire and Richard Stracke, without implying any approval of your work on their part; second, that if you alter, transform, or build upon these photos, you may distribute the resulting work only under the same or similar license to this one.