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 Tlacolula:

Christ: Ecce Homo
Christ in a coffin
Christ in the pretorium (Pensive Christ)
Crucifix 1
Crucifix 2
Our Lady of Sorrows
Our Lady of the Assumption
Palm Sunday Christ
St. Anthony of Padua
St. John the Evangelist
St. Peter of Verona (Peter Martyr)

Other santos not photographed

Ecce Homo

Ecce Homo:
The figure stands on plain plank of wood. It is not the work of a skillful artist. The hands are outsized and the blood is represented symbolically by red paint in stripes across the knuckles and joints of the hands and the tips of the toes. But the flesh tones are good, some veins are detailed, and the shaping of the face is rather fine.

Basis for Identification: Standing with hands tied, cruciform halo, blood, purple robe with red cloak.

Site: Church of the Assumption, Tlacolula.

Location: In a glass case on a white and gold altar midway along the north wall of the nave (see note).

Media and construction: Wood, gesso, paint, fabric clothing. Eyes: carved, no lashes. Hair: wig.

Size: About 5 feet (150 cm.)

Comparable santos in Oaxaca: Ejutla, Etla (in the Soldedad Group), Etla2, Mitla, Santa Ana del Valle, Tamazulapan, Teitipac1, Teitipac2, Teitipac3, Teotitlán, Teposcolula, TilantongoXoxocotlán.

External Links:
The episode is in John 19:1-5.
Wikimedia Commons: Statues of Ecce Homo.

Next: A little farther along the north wall, a statue of Christ in a coffin

Previous santo

Introduction to Tlacolula

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 Chapel of the Lord of Tlacolula, which is at right angles to the south wall of the church, the altar is thus at the south end and the transept (the two wings that give the building the shape of a cross) comprises an east and west section. Actual orientations may differ.

The photo shown here is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license. You are free to share or remix it on two conditions: first, that you attribute it 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 this photo, you may distribute the resulting work only under the same or similar license to this one.