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 El Tule's Church of
Holy Mary of the Assumption:
| Unidentified Saint
saint, possibly St. Joachim or St. Paul
The figure is dressed in gold polychrome edged in brown and highlighted with red. It complements the work of the statue on the right of the altar, which most likely represents St. Anne. Thus it could be that the group of three statues on the central level of the main altar represent Mary's family: St. Joachim, St. Ann, and the young Virgin. However, it is also possible that this is a statue of St. Paul, who is traditionally shown with a long beard and balding from the front of his head. The hands are held one atop the other at clavicle level, palms turned toward the body, so they may have been intended to hold a sword, also a conventional attribute of St. Paul.
Site: Church of the Assumption, El Tule.
Location: Left end of the main altar.Media and construction: Polychrome.
Size: About 4 feet (120 cm.)
Comparable santos in Oaxaca (St. Joachim): We found none.
statue of an unidentified female saint
Introduction to El Tule
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.