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

Christ Fallen with the Cross

Christ Fallen with the Cross:
The face has distinctive, deep-set eyes and the bewildered look of a mortal man. The crown is in the basketweave pattern but is not green. There are wounds as if from rope burns on the left wrist and a mark beneath the left eye as if the figure had been punched. Not much blood flows from the crown of thorns. The crosspieces are dowel-shaped, and the finishing layer is peeling away from the ends, which may once have been protected by the brass tips common in other crucifixes.

Basis for Identification: Crown of thorns, cross on shoulder, wounds, purple robe.

Other characteristics: The right hand leans on a pillow set upon a stylized rock.

Site: Church of San Pablo Huitzo.

Location: In a niche in the upper retablo of the altar along the south wall of the nave (see note).

Media and construction: Wood, gesso, paint. Eyes: glass. Hair: sculpted.

Comparable santos in Oaxaca: Coixtlahuaca, Etla, Guelavia, Teposcolula, Zimatlán.

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

Next: Also along the south wall, a statue of Christ at the pillar

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.