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

Unidentified Saint

Unidentified saint, possibly a Dominican:
The saint looks up. He has a full beard. We could not see whether he has a tonsure. The habit is like that of Dominicans in details (the mantle, the cincture), but not in color. The figure wears shoes and not sandals. The neck of the mantle has a tall, curving collar which closes at the nape. It is folded back only enough to frame the hands, which are clutching the opening of the robe and pulling it back to display a long diamond of bare chest. A medallion has been hung from the neck by a gold cord.

The habit is decorated in red, brown and gold polychrome with a simple pattern of swirls. It is belted with a smooth polychrome sash. The statue is in very good condition. Only at toe of the left shoe can chipping be seen. There wood is revealed.

Site: Church of San Pablo Huitzo.

Location: On a shelf in the north wall of the nave between the second rib and the apse (see note).

Media and construction: Polychrome. Eyes: glass. Set-in teeth.

Size: About 3 feet (90 cm.)

Next: Near this statue we find one of Our Lady of the Assumption

Previous santo

Introduction to San Pablo Mitla

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. Actual orientations may differ. (The nave is the long central section; the apse is the area beneath the half-dome at the end of the building where the main altar is located.)

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.