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 San Lorenzo Zimatlán:

Christ carrying the Cross
Christ fallen with the Cross
Our Lady of Mount Carmel
Our Lady of Sorrows
Our Lady of Sorrows (Soledad)
Sacred Heart of Jesus
St. Isidore the Laborer
St. John the Baptist
Virgin Mary

Other santos not photographed

Christ Fallen with the Cross

Christ fallen with the Cross:
The figure wears a robe of purple/lavender brocade, no clothing underneath. The right hand rests on velvet-covered cushions; its fingers have lost some of their gesso and paint, apparently from being rubbed by the devout. Raised veins show on the left hand, which has painted-on blood and scrapes; several amulets have been hung from this hand. The face is rather dark. Blood flows copiously from a lesion on the left cheek and from the crown of thorns.

Basis for Identification: Cross, crown of thorns in basketweave pattern, blood and lesions.

Site: Church of San Lorenzo Zimatlán.

Location: In the baptistery.

Media and construction: The legs are wood, painted and gessoed. Eyes: glass, with lashes (none missing). Hair: new wig. Sculpted teeth. Beard and mustache: finely carved.

Comparable santos in Oaxaca: Coixtlahuaca, Etla, Guelavia, Huitzo, Teposcolula.

External Links:
Wikimedia Commons: Jesus Fallen Beneath the Cross
Catholic Encyclopedia: Way of the Cross
Wikipedia: Stations of the Cross

Next: Along the north wall, a statue of the Sacred Heart of Jesus

Introduction to San Lorenzo Zimatlán

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.