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 Juan Guelavia:

Christ fallen with the Cross
Christ in the pretorium
Our Lady of Mount Carmel
St. Nicholas Factor
Unidentified saint
Virgin and Child
Virgin Mary (1)
Virgin Mary (2)

Other santos not photographed

Our Lady of Mount Carmel

Our Lady of Mount Carmel:
The hair is not well executed. Where it meets the neck and inside of the veil, the finishing is perfunctory. It would seem to be simply plaster, though the sheen of the face is quite unlike the chalky look of plaster. The Virgin's large halo, a hollow golden circle of rays, stands vertically behind the head.

Local Name: La Virgen del Carmen.

Basis for Identification: Brown habit and bib, halo, child, scapulars, full crowns.

Other characteristics: goes here

Site: Church of San Juan Guelavia.

Location: In a glass case in the north wall of the narthex (see note).

Media and construction: Wood, gesso, paint, metal crowns. Both figures have glass eyes, lashes, and carved hair.

Size: About 4 feet (120 cm.)

Comparable santos in Oaxaca: Coixtlahuaca main altar, Cuilapan, Ejutla, EtlaHuitzo, Teitipac, Teposcolula, Tlaxiaco, Xoxocotlán, Zaachila, Zimatlán.

External Links:
Wikimedia Commons: Statues of Nuestra Señora del Carmen in Mexico
Wikipedia: Our Lady of Mount Carmel,
Virgen del Carmen (in Spanish).
Christian Iconography: Our Lady of Mount Carmel

Next: Also along the north wall, a statue of Christ in the pretorium

Previous santo

Introduction to San Juan Guelavia

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.