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 Santiago Tilantongo:

Christ: Ecce Homo
Christ seated in the pretorium
Crucifix 1
Crucifix 2
Holy Week Group (3 santos)
Our Lady of Sorrows (Soledad)
St. James as Moor-slayer 1
St. James as Moor-slayer 2
St. James as Moor-slayer 3
St. James as pilgrim
St. Sebastian
Virgin Mary 1
Virgin Mary 2

Christ (?)

Christ (?)
The face has a natural sheen, but the hands have a rubbery, redone look.

Basis for Identification: The writing on the little box before the statue reads Una limosna para La Reconstrucción de mi Templo ("A donation for the reconstruction of my church"). The mi templo might refer to St. James, the church's patron saint, whose picture is also on the box. But the santo's gesture, the treatment of the hair and beard, and the absence of any attributes of St. James on the statue itself all lead us to conclude tentatively that this is a statue of Christ.

Other characteristics: Green cape, white robe.

Site: Church of Santiago Tilantongo.

Location: First bay of the south wall of the nave (see note).

Media and construction: Wood, gesso, paint, fabric garments. Eyes: glass, with lashes. Hair: wig over sculpted hair. Closed mouth.

Size: About feet (105 cm.)

Next: In the same bay, a case with a statue of Saint James as Moor-slayer

Previous santo

Introduction to Tilantongo

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.