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
of Sorrows (Soledad)
of Sorrows (Soledad):
There is some departing from the usual look of a Soledad. There is no crown, the mantle does not close off one's view of the neck, and it is black with blue embroidery rather than the traditional black and silver. The gaze is straight ahead rather than downward. The hands are about to close together in prayer. They are realistically done, with just a touch of rubberiness. The face has a healthy and lifelike glow.
Local Names: Nuestra Señora de la Soledad, La Virgen de la Soledad.
Basis for Identification:
Head-to-floor mantle making a triangular overall shape,
dark garments, hands closing in prayer.
Site: Church of San Miguel Achiutla.
Location: In a glass case in the south wall of the apse (see note).
Media and construction: Wood,
paint. Eyes: glass, with lashes. The statue is bald
under the mantle.
Size: About 42 inches (107 cm.)
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.