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 Pablo Huitzo:
|Other Santos in the Church|
Youthful, bearded male in a collared robe and draped mantle caught at waist.
The right hand is held at chest level, palm inward. The robe is green; the mantle is gold and has a geometrical design. The strongly linear folds suggest the polychrome is on wood rather than stiffened cloth.
Media and construction: Polychrome, 2½ feet tall (75 cm.)
Location: In a glass case at the center of the entablature of the third altar along the north wall of the nave.
Across the statue's chest is a polychrome rope that may originally have tied the figure to the tree. An arrow is still in the right thigh, but only wounds are left in the lower left thigh and the chest. This San Sebastian is naturalistically rendered, without the exaggerated shoulders seen in most Oaxaca Sebastians. The right hand is delicately sculpted and has an incongruously relaxed look. The polychrome loincloth is mostly gold with some touches of red.
Local Name: San Sebastián
Basis for Identification: Long hair,
wearing only a loincloth, right hand to ear level and
left hand palm down at hip level, arrows in body, halo.
Other characteristics: No tree.
Media and construction: Polychrome, about 2½ feet tall (75 cm.)
Location: On the right side of the entablature of the
fourth altar along the north wall of the nave.
The statue has been repainted and some of the
paint is chipping on the right side of the bib. Two
long pieces of fabric hang to the ground from the left
hand, which is held palm-up. The size, the pleasing
line of the figure, and the carefully executed profile
suggest that this is a polychrome statue.
Basis for Identification: Painted entirely black. Friar's habit with bib, mantle, cord with four knots, stole. Tonsure.
Location: On the right side of the entablature of the fourth altar along the north wall of the nave.Media and construction: Wood? about 2½ feet tall (75 cm.)
This virgin is smiling, with wide open eyes.
The head tilts down and the hands are folded in
prayer. The head is bald under a wig.
Media and construction: Wood, gesso, paint, fabric garments. Hair: bald under a wig. About 18" (45 cm.)