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. Paul

Saint Paul:
The figure looks upward and to the right. The right hand is raised, fingers separated. The face is finely carved. The statue is of one piece with its base and has been heavily repainted. The lower part of the cape is held up at the waist, a gestural detail typical of representations of biblical figures in the period of polychrome. The sword is recent.

Local Name: San Pablo

Basis for Identification: Sword hanging from left hand.

Other characteristics: Black beard, blue robe, gold mantle.

Site: Church of San Pedro y San Pablo Etla.

Location: On concrete blocks in the right niche of the main altar (see note).

Media and construction: Wood, gesso, paint.

Comparable santos in Oaxaca: Mitla1, Mitla2, Huitzo, Teposcolula1, Teposcolula2.

External Links:
Wikimedia Commons: Statues of St. Paul in Mexico
Catholic Encyclopedia: St. Paul
Wikipedia: Paul the Apostle
Christian Iconography: Saint Paul the Apostle

Next: In the left niche of the same altar, a statue of St. Peter

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.