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.
| Saint Joseph:
The slanted eyes and prominent cheekbones suggest the same provenance as the Resurrected Christ. The statue may originally have been St. John the Evangelist at the cross: note the youthfulness of the face, the sad expression, and the tilt of the head to the right. The face may be repainted but not the hands nor the child, which is on the left hand.
The child's eyes are painted and his hair carved; the position of the left arm suggests that the arms are movable or have been repaired; the right hand is raised in a blessing.
Local Name: San José
Basis for Identification: Lily in right hand, crowned Christ Child on left.
Other characteristics: Crown, green
robe, orange cape, long curly hair.
Site: Basilica of Santiago Cuilapan.
Location: South wall of the nave, in a glass case (see note).
Media and construction: Wood, gesso, paint, metal crowns on both figures, fabric clothing, plastic lily. Hair: polyester wig. Eyes: glass with painted eyelids. Inset teeth, carved beard.
Size: About six feet (185 cm.)
along the south wall, a Soledad.
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
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.