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
San Miguel Achiutla:
Christ carrying the Cross
Our Lady of Sorrows (Soledad)
Our Lady of the Rosary
Sacred Heart of Jesus + Christ Child
St. John the Baptist
St. Michael (1)
St. Michael (2)
St. Michael (3)
St. Michael (4)
St. Peter of Verona (Peter Martyr)
St. Rose of Lima
Unidentified Dominican saint
Virgin Mary Altar
Virgin Mary in White
| Christ Carrying the Cross
This is an unusual statue. The figure has abnormally long hands and an elongated face. The cross is only half as high as the figure and is also unusual in being a combination of two common, and one would think incompatible, designs. Like dowel-and-endcap crosses, it is painted a vivid green, has brass endcaps, and is distinctly abstract. But it also resembles another type common in Oaxaca, the more realistic tree-like cross with a rough surface and cut-off "branches." This cross has such "branches," but they are hardly realistic, having the same vivid green as the main crosspieces, and the same brass endcaps and thick dowel shape.
Basis for Identification: Cross, crown of thorns, purple robe
Site: The Church of San Miguel
Location: In a glass case on the second altar along the north wall of the nave (see note).
Media and construction: Wood, gesso, paint. Eyes: painted. Teeth: sculpted.
Size: About 6 feet (185 cm.)
Next: On the same altar, Christ at the Pillar
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
of the nave on the
north and south. (The
nave is the long central section.)
Actual orientations may differ.
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