Crucifix with Archangels

Probably 16th century
Wood, gesso, paint, velvet loincloth and scutum, metal crown. Gilt and carved cross pieces with a stylized flower at the joint. Hair: wig.
The Templo at Yanhuitlán, Oaxaca, Mexico

Both of the angel figures are in armor, as if they were both representing St. Michael. But the one on the left has a fish hanging from his right hand, identifying him as St. Raphael and the other one holds what could be a scepter identifying him as Gabriel.

Both angels tender bouquets to the central crucifix, which is known locally as El Señor de la Misericordia. It is typical of the ancient crucifixes seen in Oaxaca: plentiful blood, lesions on the knees, a skirt with a scutum, and a green cross with gold vines and flowers. The scutum has an image of the Lamb of God in beaten silver. As in nearly all post-medieval crucifixes, the head hangs and the arms stretch as if with the weight of the body. The skin has the dark gold sheen of the oldest examples of this type.

The head leans to the right and the knees are slightly bent. The hair is carved and painted. There is no indication of any sculpted loincloth under the velvet skirt, which is embroidered in silver thread and decorated with silver ornaments. The large scutum sticks directly out from the right hip.

The figures of the archangels have been repainted with great care. The garments are silver blue and cream. Each wears a long tunic slit to allow the knees and boots to show, as well as a short tunic with swirling skirts and the full-bottomed sleeves fashionable in the 18th century, decorated in small flowers. Each also has a silver breastplate with a scalloped edge and decorated in swirls and marked by the Dominican symbol of intertwined M's at the neck. Each angel's carved curls are capped by a bowl-shaped silver helmet decorated with real feathers in red and white.

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Read more about Crosses and crucifixes
Read more about images of St. Raphael.
Read more about images of St. Michael.
Read more about images of St. Gabriel.

Photographed at the Temple by Richard and Claire Stracke, shared under Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license.