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.
(Possibly St. Joseph)
The base is an integral part of the sculpture
and is shaped like two simple triangles of wood
set at a 90-degree angle to match the position of
the feet. The face resembles that of the
Resurrected Christ on the same wall, especially
the slant of the eyes and the set of the
The neck is executed with remarkable realism, showing the musculature and Adam's apple. The hair frames the head then flows in smooth waves over the shoulders and back, in the manner of an Asunción.
Site: Basilica of Santiago Cuilapan.
Location: Right of the glass case on the wooden altar along the north wall of nave (see note).
Media and construction: Repainted polychrome over gesso and wood. Hair: sculpted. Eyes: glass. Mouth, open as though to speak, reveals sculpted tongue and teeth.
Size: About 3 feet (90 cm.)
the second bay of the north wall, a Palm Sunday Christ
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.
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
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