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
| St. Luke:
The left hand is on the chest and the right points heavenward. The figure has a dark, curly beard and a receding hairline. The robe and mantle are both cream-colored and trimmed in gold. The mantle is draped in the manner typical of representations of biblical figures. The long, angular body, the lifted right hand, and the bold carving of the robe match the saint with the gray beard in the corner diagonally opposite. If the latter is indeed Saint Peter, this one may originally have been a Saint Paul, the patron of the church. In this respect the dark beard may be significant.
The statue is hollow and has been heavily repainted. The left foot is rotten and its toes are gone. Wood is visible where the bottom right of the robe is chipped. The left pinkie is missing. As a further indication of the polychrome construction, clearly visible is the line marking the end of the neck and head and the beginning of the torso.
Local Name: San Lucas.
Basis for Identification: Identified by a workman, Sr. Carlos Espinoza.
Site: Church of San Pedro y San Pablo Etla.
Location: In the courtyard of the former convento.
Media and construction: Wood, gesso, paint. Eyes: glass. Hair: carved. Closed mouth.
Size: About 5 feet 6 inches (168
Comparable santos in Oaxaca: We did
not observe any.
Next: A statue of St. Thomas
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