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.
In San Pedro y San Pablo
Christ Fallen Under the
| Christ Fallen Under the Cross:
The face, gazing upward, is sensitively portrayed, without the usual gore but with an expression of deep and patient suffering. The figure holds the cross on the left shoulder. The cross is truncated at the back, and the transverse piece is disproportionately small. The right hand rests on a velvet cushion supported by a metal drum embossed with a scene of classical design. The metal crown of thorns is worked in a stylized scroll.
The andas is unusual in the elaborateness of its design and the symmetrical flower pattern formed by the metal studs. The figure wears a blue velvet robe over a white cotton gown. From the robe hang dozens of votive offerings in the form of photographs, amulets, ribbons, and flowers. A large metal heart, gold in color, is pinned to the left breast.
Basis for Identification: Cross, cruciform halo with crown of thorns.
Site: Church of San Pedro y San Pablo Etla.
Media and construction: Wood, gesso, paint, metal halo and crown. Eyes: glass. Hair: wig. Sculpted teeth.
Next: In a
niche on the right, a statue
of St. Paul
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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photographers, Claire and Richard Stracke, without
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