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:
St. Isidore the Laborer
| Saint Isidore the Laborer:
The tunic was made by applying cloth to wood before the polychroming. At the bottom left of the tunic, the polychrome pattern shines through the recent paint. The statue shows deterioration. The left boot is chipped and the rotting wood and worn cloth can be seen. The left hand, which holds the basket, has broken middle and pinkie fingers; the right pinkie has been glued on crookedly.
From the extended right arm, the full sleeves of the tunic hang down to hip level; the belted tunic closes with four black buttons. At the neck, the white collar of the shirt shows. The oxen have been decorated with necklaces of blackware beads. The basket is of Tlacolula design.
Local Name: San Isidro Labrador.
Basis for Identification: Yoked white oxen, goad, white straw hat, short brown tunic, basket, sheaf of straw carried on the back.
Other characteristics: Bead
necklaces on the oxen.
Site: Church of San Pablo Huitzo.
Media and construction: Repainted polychrome. The oxen are of modern wood, gesso, paint. Woven straw hat. Split-bamboo basket.
Size: About 2½
feet (75 cm.)
Moving ahead to the second altar along the north wall,
we find a statue of
St. Anthony of Padua.
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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