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

Dominican Martyr, probably St. Peter of Verona

St. Peter of Verona?
This seems to be a very old polychrome that was completely repainted. It seems to have been carved all from one piece of wood – garments, pedestal, book, etc. The wood is splitting from the right shoulder toward the right breast. The carving of the palm is rougher than that of the rest of the statue and may have been added later.

Local Name: San Pedro Mártir

Basis for Identification: This is probably St. Peter Martyr, given the Dominican habit, the palm in the right hand, the book in the left hand, and the head wound. But there is no axe and no other wound.

Site: Basilica of Santiago Cuilapan.

Location: South wall of the nave (see note).

Media and construction: Solid wood one piece with base, gesso, paint. Eyes: painted eyes; '.

Size: About 2½feet (75 cm.)

Comparable santos in Oaxaca: Achiutla, Santa Ana del Valle, CoixtlahuacaEtla, Huitzo, Diaz Ordaz, Teitipac, Tlacolula, Yanhuitlán.

External Links:
Wikimedia Commons: Statues of St. Peter of Verona in Mexico
Catholic Encyclopedia: St. Peter of Verona
Wikipedia: Peter of Verona
Christian Iconography: St. Peter Martyr

Next: A statue of St. Joseph, also along the south wall of the nave.

Previous santo

Introduction to Santiago Cuilapan

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.