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. Thomas Aquinas

Saint Thomas Aquinas:
The hair around the tonsure is more curly than usual. The neck is somewhat elongated, but the head is realistic and individualized. The book is carved as part of the body and is held close to the left thigh. The upraised right hand is missing. Although the polychrome is badly damaged, one can still see the carefully done black and gold arabesques and feathers on the mantle, as well as the perfunctory scratch marks typical of the linings of capes. The robe is white and gold, worked in a different pattern of arabesques and feathers. The head seems to be made separately from the body.

Local Name: San Tomás de Aquino

Basis for Identification: Image of the shining sun on the breast, tonsure, Dominican habit, closed book in left hand.

Site: Church of San Pedro y San Pablo Etla.

Location: In the courtyard of the former convento.

Media and construction: Polychrome. Eyes: painted. Hair: carved. Painted teeth.

Size: About 4 feet (120 cm.).

Comparable santos in Oaxaca: Ocotlán (not photographed).

External Links:
Wikimedia Commons: Statues of Thomas Aquinas
Catholic Encyclopedia: St. Thomas Aquinas
Wikipedia: Thomas Aquinas
Christian Iconography: Saint Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church

Next: A damaged statue of an angel

Previous santo

Introduction to San Pedro y San Pablo Etla

Santos Home Page

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.