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.
St. Peter of Verona (Peter
| Saint Peter of Verona (Peter Martyr):
The polychrome is in excellent condition and the workmanship, though stylized, is of great delicacy. The face is long and rectangular. The effect, in spite of the bleeding head wound, is of restraint in the midst of great suffering.
The major block of the statue, the white and gold robe, on being tapped, proved to be of a solid piece of wood. The black and gold mantle and cape are of stiffened cloth. Three different patterns of complicated arabesques decorate the robe, apron and mantle. The lining of the cape, where it is intended to be seen, is deco-rated in a bold black check with broad scratches of gold. The areas under and behind the arms are of cream color with slight scratches of gold.
The right hand lacks the index finger and part of the pinky, and the right eye has slipped a little into the head cavity. The martyr's palm and book have been tied on, the first to the right hand and the second to the left. They are carved of wood and polychromed. Their workmanship would suggest that they are original to the statue, as is the axe. A long staff decorated in bold stripes of plastic holds a circle of woven straw decorated in yarn and has been tied to the hand that holds the palm.
Local Name: San Pedro Mártir
Basis for Identification: Dominican holding book and palm branch, axe in head.
Site: Church of Santo Domingo Díaz Ordaz.
Location: On the altar along the north wall of the nave, just past the narthex (see note).
Media and construction: Polychrome.
Size: About 3 feet tall (90 cm.) on a solid wooden base atop a polychromed octagonal that is about 18 by 6 inches (46 by 15 cm.)
the same altar, a statue
of St. Peter the Apostle
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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