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:
Virgin and Child
| Virgin and Child:
The two figures are not of the same maker. The statue of the child seems of an earlier date. The face lacks the chubby baby look of many representations of the Christ child. It has a long nose and thin lips and looks as if it were the portrait of a specific person. The hair is very curly, light chestnut in color, and combed high with sideburns. The skin is exceptionally light. The body beneath the clothing is naked, with highly detailed feet and legs.
On the left hand, only the thumb is complete. On the right hand (which holds the rosary), the ring finger, index, and pinkie are missing.
The Virgin has an assembled look. The head is too large for the body, and the right hand is too large for the head, as if it were a male hand; the right index finger is missing. The left hand cannot be seen.
Basis for Identification: Full
crown, white veil, blue mantle and dress.
Other characteristics: Rosary in the child's hand.
Site: Church of San Pablo Huitzo.
Location: In a glass case, on the center of the fourth altar along the north wall of the nave (see note).
Media and construction: Wood, gesso, paint, fabric garments, metal crown. Eyes: glass, with lashes. Hair: wig.
Size: Life size.
Moving ahead to the main altar, we find a statue of Our Lady of Mount
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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