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
St. Peter the Apostle
| Saint Peter:
This figure was certainly originally intended as Saint Dominic. It has a tonsure and the characteristic star-tipped cross between the eyes. (In this case the cross is red.) The figure wears a white cassock and a chasuble of red brocade with exactly the same Trinity design as the other Teotitlán St. Peter's chasuble. The face is delicate and has slightly slanted eyes; a long, aquiline nose; and ears close to the head. The barrel shape taken by the cassock suggests the statue may have solid clothing beneath, perhaps of polychrome. Another indication that the statue may be from the time of polychrome is simply the fact that this is St. Dominic and the Dominicans were expelled from Oaxaca in the seventeenth century. The halo is of elaborate cutwork. The left hand is chipped.
Local Name: San Pedro.
Basis for Identification: Identified as San Pedro by a woman in the congregation.
Other characteristics: Red chasuble over white cassock.
Site: Church of Santa María
de la Natividad (Preciosa Sangre de Cristo),
Teotitlán del Valle.
Location: On an altar along the south wall of the nave, just past the narthex (see note).
Media and construction: Wood, gesso, paint, fabric garments. Eyes: glass.
Size: About 3 feet (90 cm.)
External Links (St. Peter):
Next: A statue
of the Virgin Mary
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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photographers, Claire and Richard Stracke, without
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