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 Juan Teitipac:
Christ carrying the Cross
Christ Carrying the Cross
Christ Carrying the Cross (?):
Basis for Identification: The
crown of thorns, streaming blood, and purple robe would
be consistent with identifying this as an "Ecce Homo"
(see "Comparable santos," below). But in that
iconographic type the hands are usually crossed at the
chest or waist, whereas this statue's arms seem
positioned for carrying the cross, so it we prefer to
identify this santo as Christ Carrying the Cross. (The
other santos of Christ carrying a cross that we visited
in Oaxaca all had the streaming blood; all but
Cuilapan's had the purple robe, and the crown of thorns
was included on Achiutla's and Zimatlán's.)
Site: Church of San
Location: Left of a free-standing retablo along the south wall of the nave (see note).
Media and construction: Wood, gesso, paint, fabric robe. Hair: wig.
Comparable santos in Oaxaca
(carrying the cross): Achiutla,
along the south wall, a
crucifix in a glass case
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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