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 Mitla:

Calvary group
Christ: Ecce Homo
Christ in a coffin

Christ resurrected
Immaculate Heart of Mary
Our Lady of Sorrows
Our Lady of Sorrows (Soledad)
Our Lady of the Assumption (1)
Our Lady of the Assumption (2)
Palm Sunday Christ
St. Anthony of Padua
St. John the Baptist
St. Joseph (1)
St. Joseph (2)
St. Paul (1)
St. Paul (2)
St. Peter
Unidentified saint

Other santos not photographed

St. Paul

St. Paul:
It would appear that the statue began as a blue and gold polychrome, was later repainted in blue, and then still later received its latest coat of green and gold paint. The painter of the gold and green neglected to paint the left shoulder, which because of the raised book cannot be seen from the pews. The shoulder has two shades of blue and an irregular patch of gold whose shininess suggests it to be polychrome leaf rather than paint.

Local Name: San Pablo.

Basis for Identification: Sword in right hand, book raised in left. Large red and gold vertical halo.

Other characteristics: Dark hair in "Biblical" style. Green robe.

Site: Church of San Pablo Huitzo.

Location: In a glass case in the center of the retablo of the main altar.

Media and construction: Polychrome.  The garments are carved from the wood.

Size: About 3 feet (90 cm.)

Comparable santos in Oaxaca: Etla, Mitla1Huitzo, Teposcolula1, Teposcolula2.

External Links:
Wikimedia Commons: Statues of St. Paul in Mexico
Catholic Encyclopedia: St. Paul
Wikipedia: Paul the Apostle
Christian Iconography: Saint Paul the Apostle

Next: On the right of this statue, one of Our Lady of the Assumption

Previous santo

Introduction to San Pablo Mitla

Santos Home Page

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.