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 Pablo Huitzo:

Christ at the Pillar
Christ Child
Christ Fallen with the Cross
Christ in a Coffin
Immaculate Heart of Mary
Our Lady of Mount Carmel
Our Lady of Sorrows (Soledad)
Sacred Heart of Jesus
St. Anthony of Padua
St. Hyacinth
St. Isidore the Laborer
St. John the Baptist
St. John the Evangelist

St. Mary Magdalene
St. Michael the Archangel
St. Paul
St. Peter of Verona
St. Peter the Apostle
Unidentified female saint
Unidentified saint
Virgin and Child

Other santos not photographed

St. Anthony of Padua

San Antonio de Padua:
The figure is well preserved. The face is finely made and has a five o'-clock shadow and lifelike skin tones. Three inches above the right wrist one can see where the hand is joined to the arm, which is painted blue. The sandals are carved as part of the foot.

This may not have originally been a San Antonio, because the left hand is awkwardly crooked to hold the child and there is no book. The gaze is not in the direction of the child but heavenward and slightly to the right. The child has an amused expression and a baby-like way of holding the hands.

Local Name: San Antonio de Padua.

Basis for Identification: Franciscan habit with cowl, white knotted cord, child in arms.

Other characteristics: Long neck.

Site: Church of San Pablo Huitzo.

Location: Left side of the second altar along the north wall of the nave (see note).

Media and construction: Wood, gesso, paint fabric garments. Eyes: glass. Hair: carved. Small teeth. The child has glass eyes, lashes on the left eye, and carved hair.

Size: Life size.

Comparable santos in Oaxaca: Coixtlahuaca, EtlaMitla, 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: On the same altar, a statue of the Virgin Mary

Previous santo

Introduction to San Pablo Huitzo

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.