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 the church of Santo Domingo Yanhuitlán:

Christ carrying the Cross
Christ Child
Christ Child (with Crucifix 1)
Christ seated in the pretorium ("Pensive Christ")
Crucifix 1
Crucifix 2
Main altar
Our Lady of Guadalupe

Our Lady of Sorrows
Palm Sunday Christ
St. Dominic 1
St. Dominic 2
St. Michael
St. Michael (with Crucifix 1)
St. Peter
St. Raphael (with Crucifix 1)
St. Sebastian
Soledad (?)
Trinity 1
Trinity 2
Unidentified Dominican nun

Unidentified Franciscan
Unidentified saint 1
Unidentified saint 2 (Christopher?)
Unidentified saint 3
Virgin Mary 1
Virgin Mary 2

Other santos not photographed

Tour of the Museum
Tour of the Ayuxi Chapel
Unidentified Saint

Unidentified saint:
The work is greatly damaged; the lower left arm is missing, paint and gesso are gone from the carved hair and forehead, and part of the cape has broken away. Part of the decoration of the cape may be polychrome; gold has been painted onto the robe over the red. The cape was originally held on with a thich sash of cloth tied in an unusual knot. The garments and the whole of the body are carved of wood. The right hand is raised in blessing.

Basis for Identification: Full dark beard and long hair, one large curl at top, red robe.

Site: Church of Santo Domingo Yanhuitlán.

Location: Lower left of the first of the four retablos along the north wall of the nave (see note).

Media and construction: Wood, thick gesso or plaster, paint. Eyes: glass, with lashes.

Size: About 4 feet (120 cm.)

Next: Moving to the second retablo, we find a crucifix in a glass case.

Previous santo

Introduction to the church at Yanhuitlán

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.