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 Santa Ana del Valle:

Christ: Ecce Homo
Crucifix (1)
Crucifix (2)
Crucifix (3)
Crucifixion Group
Holy Family
Our Lady of Sorrows
Palm Sunday Christ
St. Anne (1)
St. Anne (2)
St. Anne (3)
St. Joseph
St. Peter of Verona (Peter Martyr)

Other santos not photographed

Our Lady of Sorrows (Soledad)

Our Lady of Sorrows (Soledad):
This Soledad is not in the tradition of the aquiline-nosed, long-faced beauty of the statue in Oaxaca. The Virgin suggests rather a lady of the 18th court, haughty, reserved, and merely pretty. The shape of the clothing indicates that this is frame statue. The crown is shaped of 6 metal leaves rising from a circle and is decorated with glass stones. It is topped by an orb and cross.

Local Name: Nuestra Señora de la Soledad.

Basis for Identification: Black and silver mantle, lace wimple enclosing the face, lace cuffs, full crown, lily in hands.

Site: Church of Santa Ana del Valle.

Location: In a glass case in a niche in a baroque retablo along the north wall of the nave, between the narthex and the first rib (see note).

Media and construction: Wood, gesso, paint, fabric garments, metal crown. Eyes: painted.

Size: About 3 feet (90 cm.)

Comparable santos in Oaxaca: AchiutlaCoixtlahuaca, Cuilapan, Ejutla, Etla, Huitzo, Mitla, Teotitlán, Teposcolula1, Teposcolula2, Tilantongo, Xoxocotlán, Yanhuitlán, Zimatlán.

External Links:
Wikimedia Commons: Statues of Mater Dolorosa

Next: Moving farther along the north wall, we come to another statue of Our Lady of Sorrows.

Introduction to Santa Ana del Valle

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.