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:
St. Michael the Archangel
| Saint Michael the Archangel:
The statue may originally have been a Mary Magdalene, with sorrowful face, glance cast up and to the right, a long wig, and hands held up in prayer. The sword has been tied onto the right hand and the vexillum leans into the crook of the left arm. The right calf is showing and is finished and realistic. The greaves are realized in cloth, as are the armor and what appears to be intended as a helmet. The fingers of both hands are severely damaged, with only stumps remaining in the left hand. The right foot also shows deterioration.
Local Name: San Miguel.
Basis for Identification: Military tunic and stockings, sword, vexillum.
Other characteristics: Red cape.
Site: Church of San Pablo Huitzo.
Location: On the left of an altar along the south wall of the nave (see note).
Media and construction: Wood, gesso, paint. Eyes: glass eyes. Hair: wig. Parted lips.
Size: About 4 feet (120 cm.)
along the south wall, a statue of Christ fallen
under the cross
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
of the nave on the
north and south. (The
nave is the long central section.)
Actual orientations may differ.
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photographers, Claire and Richard Stracke, without
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