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 San Juan Bautista Coixtlahuaca:

Assumption + St. Peter
Christ at the Pillar
Christ Child (1)
Christ Child (2)
Christ Fallen with the Cross
Main altar
Our Lady of Sorrows
Our Lady of Sorrows (Soledad)
Our Lady of the Rosary
St. Anthony of Padua
St. Isidore the Laborer
St. Martin de Porres + 2 angels
St. Peter of Verona (Peter Martyr)
Unidentified Dominican saint
Unidentified, possibly St. Lucy
Unidentified saint (1)
Unidentified saint (2)
Unidentified saint (3)
Virgin Mary (1)
Virgin Mary (2)
Virgin Mary (3 - in a coffin)
Santos not photographed

Christ at the Pillar

Christ at the Pillar:
This statue is quite different from Huitzo's more sedate Christ at the Pillar. There is a good deal more blood. The figure has fallen down and is held up by a rope tied to the pillar's top. The lesions at the knees, elbows, and shins are remarkably large and deep, showing muscle below. The crown of thorns is in an unusual, more perpendicular variation of the basketweave pattern. The right hand has lost the pinkie and index fingers; the left index finger has been repaired.

Basis for Identification: See John 19:1-3 regarding the scourging and the crown of thorns. The pillar is traditional but not scriptural.

Site: Church of San Juan Bautista Coixtlahuaca.

Location: Narthex, south of the portal (see note).

Media and construction: Wood, gesso, paint. Eyes: glass, with indications of formed eyelashes. Hair: bald. Tongue and six teeth are sculpted. Painted wood pillar and stand.

Comparable santos in Oaxaca: Achiutla, EtlaHuitzo.

External Links:
Wikimedia Commons: Statues of Christ at the Column
Catholic Encyclopedia: Devotion to the Passion of Christ
Wikipedia: Flagellation of Christ
Christian Iconography:  Jesus is Scourged...and Displayed to the Crowd

Next: We enter the nave and go to the first bay in the north wall for a statue of Our Lady of Sorrows ("Soledad").

Previous santo

Introduction to San Juan Bautista Coixtlahuaca

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.) 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.