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 Tlacolula:

Christ: Ecce Homo
Christ in a coffin
Christ in the pretorium (Pensive Christ)
Crucifix 1
Crucifix 2
Our Lady of Sorrows
Our Lady of the Assumption
Palm Sunday Christ
St. Anthony of Padua
St. John the Evangelist
St. Peter of Verona (Peter Martyr)

Other santos not photographed

Our Lady of Sorrows

Our Lady of Sorrows:
The carved hair spills out of the veil in heavy locks onto the breast. The artist has used gold lavishly and to good effect in the full-length veil, which has a design of flowers and grapevines. The figure wears a large silver diadem and a silver heart pierced by a dagger with the curved handle of a Spanish short sword. These seem to have been added. Very fine work, especially in the natural skin tones and the delicate suggestions of skeletal structure at and below the chin.

Local Name: La Madre de los Dolores.

Basis for Identification: Praying hands, eyes cast upward, silver diadem, silver heart pierced by a dagger.

Site: Church of the Assumption, Tlacolula.

Location: Left of the crucifix on the main altar in the Chapel.

Media and construction: Polychrome. Eyes: glass. Hair: carved.

Size: About feet (165 cm.)

Comparable santos in Oaxaca: Achiutla, Santa Ana del Valle, Coixtlahuaca, Cuilapan1, Cuilapan2, Ejutla, Mitla, Nochixtlán, Ocotlán, Díaz Ordaz, Tamazulapan, Teitipac, Teotitlán, Teposcolula (in Calvary group), Xoxocotlán, Yanhuitlán (?), Zimatlán.

External Links:
Wikimedia Commons: Mater dolorosa
Wikipedia: Our Lady of Sorrows
Christian Iconography: Mater Dolorosa, The Sorrowful Mother

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

Previous santo

Introduction to Tlacolula

Santos Home Page

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.