Santos in Oaxaca's Ancient Churches
A study of santos in 16th-century and other churches in Oaxaca, Mexico
Funded by a grant from the Rockefeller Foundation.
San Juan Bautista Coixtlahuaca:
Christ at the Pillar
Christ Child (1)
Christ Child (2)
Christ Fallen with the Cross
Our Lady of Sorrows
Our Lady of Sorrows (Soledad)
Our Lady of the Rosary
St. Anthony of Padua
St. Isidore the Laborer
St. Martin de Porres + 2 angels
St. Peter of Verona (Peter Martyr)
Unidentified Dominican saint
Unidentified, possibly St. Lucy
Unidentified saint (1)
Unidentified saint (2)
Unidentified saint (3)
Virgin Mary (1)
Virgin Mary (2)
Virgin Mary (3 - in a coffin)
Santos not photographed
Child, possibly a home-made rendering of the Santo
Niño de Atocha:
The flat-topped red hat has a gold band and is held to the chin by a string. The hair is waist-length and brown. The figure carries a basket and sits on a red chair in a capacious off-white robe embroidered in gold, with three gold buttons at the neck.
Basis for Identification: This
appears to be the Santo Niño de Atocha, who is
typically represented seated on a chair, with long hair,
a broad-brimmed hat, a basket in one hand and a
traveler's staff in the other. Here
have no staff, but the right hand is curled as if to
It is also just possible that this
could be the Virgin Mary: the hair is much longer than
figure's usually shoulder-length style; the hat is gaily
colored (the Niño's is usually
brown) and is consistent with the broad-brimmed hats on
adult Virgin Mary statues in Achiutla,
all of which also wear white.
Site: Church of San Juan Bautista
Location: In a glass case set into the bottom center of the retablo in the second bay in the north wall of the nave (see note).
Media and construction: Wood, gesso, paint, fabric robe, wooden chair. Eyes: glass, with lashes. Hair: wig.
Size: About 12 inches (30 cm.)
the same retablo, a
statue of a female saint who may be St. Lucy.
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.