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

Christ Fallen Under the Cross

Christ Fallen Under the Cross:
The face, gazing upward, is sensitively portrayed, without the usual gore but with an expression of deep and patient suffering. The figure holds the cross on the left shoulder. The cross is truncated at the back, and the transverse piece is disproportionately small. The right hand rests on a velvet cushion supported by a metal drum embossed with a scene of classical design. The metal crown of thorns is worked in a stylized scroll.

The andas is unusual in the elaborateness of its design and the symmetrical flower pattern formed by the metal studs. The figure wears a blue velvet robe over a white cotton gown. From the robe hang dozens of votive offerings in the form of photographs, amulets, ribbons, and flowers. A large metal heart, gold in color, is pinned to the left breast.

Basis for Identification: Cross, cruciform halo with crown of thorns.

Site: Church of San Pedro y San Pablo Etla.

Location: Center of the main altar, on an andas (see note).

Media and construction: Wood, gesso, paint, metal halo and crown. Eyes: glass. Hair: wig. Sculpted teeth.

Comparable santos in Oaxaca: CoixtlahuacaGuelavia, Huitzo, Teposcolula, Zimatlán.

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

Next: In a niche on the right, a statue of St. Paul

Previous santo

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.