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 María de
la Natividad, Tamazulapan:
Christ Seated in the
Pretorium ("Pensive Christ")
Christ Seated in the Pretorium
Basis for Identification: Seated in
a purple cape and loincloth with the head resting on the
left hand. Holds a sceptre and flower in the right hand.
Bloody wounds, several of them streaming from the crown
of thorns. The crown of thorns is in an
overlapping-circles pattern and attached to a tripartite
halo. A gold-colored tasseled lasso, tied at the
collarbone, hangs from the neck to the thighs.
Site: Church of Santa María de la Natividad, Tamazulapan.
Location: In a glass case along the north wall of the narthex (see note).
Moving into the church proper, we find on our left, in
the first bay of the north wall, a chapel with a number
of important santos. The first of them is a statue of St.
Peter the Apostle.
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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