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 Pedro y San Pablo Etla:

Christ at the pillar
Christ: Ecce Homo
Christ fallen under the cross
Christ in the pretorium
Our Lady of Mount Carmel
St. Anthony of Padua
St. Luke
St. Paul
St. Peter the Apostle
St. Peter of Verona (Peter Martyr)
Soledad group
Unidentified saint (1)
Unidentified saint (2)
Unidentified saint (3)
Virgin Mary

Other santos not photographed

St. Anthony of Padua

Saint Anthony of Padua:
The figure has complete legs. The head is rather stylized and triangular, set on an elongated neck. The face has a five o'clock shadow but is not particularly realistic – the skin has a rubbery appearance. Veins show in the back of the right hand. The hands hang loosely at the sides. Artificial flowers have been pinned at the right wrist.

The doll-sized child is awkwardly tied to the left hand and seems about to fall. The child is disproportionately small, has glass eyes, and wears leather sandals. It also wears a full Franciscan habit over white undergarments.

Local Name: San Antonio de Padua

Basis for Identification: Franciscan habit with three-knot cord, tonsure, child in right hand.

Site: Church of San Pedro y San Pablo Etla.

Location: Niche in the first bay in the north wall of the nave (see note).

Media and construction: Wood, gesso, paint, fabric garments. Eyes: glass, with painted lashes.

Size: About 4 feet (120 cm.)

Comparable santos in Oaxaca: CoixtlahuacaHuitzo, Mitla, Tamazulapan, Teitipac, Teposcolula, Tlacolula.

External Links:
Wikimedia Commons: Statues of Saint Anthony of Padua in México
Catholic Encyclopedia: St. Anthony of Padua
Wikipedia: Anthony of Padua
Christian Iconography: Saint Anthony of Padua

Next: In the narthex, a statue of Christ in the Pretorium.

Introduction to San Pedro y San Pablo Etla

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.