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 Teotitlán del Valle:

Christ Child
Christ in a coffin
Christ: Ecce Homo
Crucifix (1)
Crucifix (2)
Our Lady of Sorrows
Our Lady of Sorrows (Soledad)
Our Lady of the Rosary
Palm Sunday Christ
Resurrection of Christ
St. Francis of Assisi
St. Hyacinth
St. John the Baptist
St. John the Evangelist
St. Joseph (?)
St. Mary Madgalene
St. Peter the Apostle (1)
St. Peter the Apostle (2)
St. Sebastian
Trinity

Unidentified Franciscan saint
Virgin Mary (1)

Virgin Mary (2)

Other santos not photographed

Crucifix

Crucifix
The figure is eloquently executed. The slender face expresses both exhaustion and repose. The midsection is somewhat stylized and symmetrical, the ribs forming an elegant and symmetrical, though unrealistic, frame around the sunken abdomen. The arms look stretched to their breaking point, the sockets jutting forth and the tendons rigid beneath the skin. The left shin is angled to suggest the breaking of Christ's legs, and blood flows from the five wounds and from deep lesions at the knees; yet the thinness and linearity of the streams imparts a reticence to the total effect.

There is a loincloth of wood, gesso, and paint beneath the fabric loincloth.

Local Name: El Señor de la Misericordia.

Basis for Identification: Crown of thorns in basketweave pattern, red loincloth with red scutum.

Site: Church of Santa María de la Natividad (Preciosa Sangre de Cristo), Teotitlán del Valle.

Location: In the center of the retablo of the first large altar along the south wall of the nave (see note).

Media and construction: Wood, gesso, paint, fabric loincloth and scutum. Eyes: closed, no lashes. Hair: wig. Closed mouth.

Size: Over 6 feet (180 cm.)

Comparable santos in Oaxaca: Achiutla, Santa Ana del Valle1, Santa Ana del Valle2, Santa Ana del Valle3, Cuilapan, Etla, Guelavia, Mitla, Nochixtlán, Tamazulapan1, Tamazulapan2, Teitipac1, Teitipac2, Teitipac3, Teitipac Our Lady of the Rosary, Teotitlán1Teposcolula1, Teposcolula2, Teposcolula3 (in Rosary case),  Teposcolula Convento1, Teposcolula Convento2, Tilantongo1, Tilantongo2, Tlacolula1, Tlacolula2, Xoxocotlán1, Xoxocotlán2, Xoxocotlán3, Xoxocotlán4, Yanhuitlán1, Yanhuitlán2, Yanhuitlán Convento1, Yanhuitlán Convento2, Yanhuitlán Convento3, Yanhuitlán Convento4, Yanhuitlán Convento5, Yanhuitlán Ayuxi Chapel, Zimatlán.

External Links:
Wikimedia Commons: Crucifixes in Mexico
Catholic Encyclopedia: Archaeology of the Cross and Crucifix
Wikipedia: Crucifix
Christian Iconography: The Crucifixion

Next: On the right end of this altar, a statue of St. John the Evangelist

Previous santo

Introduction to Teotitlán 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.