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 Santiago Cuilapan:
Christ Carrying the Cross
Christ on Palm Sunday
Christ Resurrected

Immaculate Heart of Mary
Our Lady of Mount Carmel
Our Lady of Sorrows 1
Our Lady of Sorrows 2
Our Lady of Sorrows (Soledad)
Our Lady of the Rosary
Sacred Heart of Jesus
St. James the Moorslayer
St. Joseph
St. Michael the Archangel
Unidentified Dominican
Unidentified Saint
Virgin and Child

Other santos not photographed

Christ Carrying the Cross

Christ Carrying the Cross:
The face is bloodied in streaks running from the hairline. The crown of thorns is missing. The arms seem movable and the hands are carved so as to hold the cross, but they hang at hip level in front of the body.

The three foot cross
(90 cm.) rests on the right shoulder and is rather unusual: wood and gesso painted in a design of gold grape clusters and grape leaves on a green background. The four ends of the cross have four-inch (10 cm.) brass caps. The two pieces are dowel-shaped.

Close-up: cross on shoulderBasis for Identification: Blood on face, cross on shoulder.

Other characteristics: White gown with gold trim.

Site: Basilica of Santiago Cuilapan.

Media and construction: Wood, gesso, paint, fabric robe. Hair: real. Eyes: glass.

Size: About 5½ feet (165 cm.)

Comparable santos in Oaxaca: AchiutlaTlaxiaco, Yanhuitlán, Zimatlán.

Above: Detail of face and design on cross (click picture for enlargement).

External Links:
Wikimedia Commons: Jesus Carrying the Cross
Catholic Encyclopedia: Way of the Cross
Wikipedia: Stations of the Cross

Next: A crucifix

Previous santo

Introduction to Santiago Cuilapan

Santos Home Page

The photos shown here are 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 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 either of these photos, you may distribute the resulting work only under the same or similar license to this one.