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: Ecce Homo (1)
Christ: Ecce Homo (2)
Christ in a coffin
Christ in the Pretorium ("Pensive Christ") 1
Christ in the Pretorium ("Pensive Christ") 2
Christ resurrected
Crucifix (1)
Crucifix (2)
Crucifix (3)
Immaculate Heart of Mary
Our Lady of Candlemas
Our Lady of Mount Carmel
Our Lady of Sorrows
Our Lady of Sorrows (Soledad)
Our Lady of the Assumption
Our Lady of the Rosary (1)
Our Lady of the Rosary (2)
Palm Sunday Christ
St. Anthony of Padua
St. Benedict
St. Hyacinth
St. Isidore the Laborer
St. John the Baptist (1)

St. John the Baptist (2)
St. John the Baptist, head of
St. Joseph
St. Nicholas Factor
St. Peter Avril
St. Peter the Apostle (1)
St. Peter the Apostle (2)
St. Simon Stock
Unidentified saint

Other santos not photographed

Our Lady of the Rosary

Our Lady of the Rosary:
Face and hands are elegant, with idealized, elongated features yet realistic skin tones. A serenity of spirit lies in the set of the mouth and the delicately lidded eyes. The child figure is of a different style altogether, with a florid complexion. It wears an exceptionally long curly wig of polyester.

Local Name: La Virgen del Rosario.

Basis for Identification: Full crown, rosary, child in arms with full crown and white robe.

Other characteristics: Stalk of lilies in the child's right hand. Brown and yellow patterned sash around the Virgin's waist. An ex-voto dollar bill held against the sash by a white cincture edged in gold. A crucifix leans against the case (INRI plaque, loincloth and scutum, blood flows, sunburst halo, round dowels with brass ends and some brass cladding).

Site: Church of San Juan Teitipac.

Location: In a glass case on the altar at the north end of the transept (see note).

Media and construction: Wood, gesso, paint, fabric robes. Eyes: glass, no lashes. Hair: wigs.

Size: About feet (135 cm.)

Comparable santos in Oaxaca: Achiutla, Coixtlahuaca, CuilapanTeitipac2,
Teotitlán, Teposcolula, Xoxocotlán.

External Links:
Wikimedia Commons: Statues of Our Lady of the Rosary in Mexico
Wikipedia: Our Lady of the Rosary
Christian Iconography: Our Lady of the Rosary

Next: On the east side of the transept, a statue of St. Peter

Previous santo

Introduction to San Juan Teitipac

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. Many churches are built in the shape of a cross; the transept is the area corresponding to the horizontal arms of an actual cross.

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.