St. Paul

18th century (est.)
Mission San Juan Capistrano, San Juan Capistrano, California

The saint is identified by the sword, book, and receding hairline, but the square cut of the beard is unusual. The tradition of depicting Paul with a pointy beard is almost as old as Christian art itself.

The mission was founded in 1776, and the chapel where this statue is displayed was built in 1782. The statue was most likely installed some time later, but it may be older than the mission itself. The style is characteristic of traditional santos from the 18th century or even the 17th.

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Photographed at the site by Richard Stracke, shared under Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license.