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 Mitla:
Other santos not photographed
| Other Santos in the Church
Local Name: El Señor de la
Location: North wall of the narthex (see note).
Comparable santos in Oaxaca: Achiutla,
Santa Ana del
Ana del Valle2, Santa Ana del
Etla, Guelavia, Nochixtlán,
(in Rosary case), Teposcolula
Xoxocotlán1, Xoxocotlán2, Xoxocotlán3, Xoxocotlán4, Yanhuitlán1, Yanhuitlán2, Yanhuitlán
Convento5, Yanhuitlán Ayuxi Chapel, Zimatlán.
Local Name: San Francisco
Basis for Identification: Saint in flames. Identified for us as St. Francis by members of the Hermandad de la Virgen del Carmen. See the "Figure in Flames" section of the Ejutla Other Santos page for a discussion of the iconography.
Media and construction: Plaster? Repainted.
Size: About 8 inches (20 cm.)
Christ with the Four Evangelists
The upper section of the Mitla retablo is a large
semicircle into which are set four shelves at 9, 11, 1,
and 3 o'clock. These bear respectively the figures of
Mark (with a lion), John (an eagle at the right foot),
Matthew (with an infant), and Luke (the left foot on an
ox). Christ emerges from the backing of the retablo at
12 o'clock. The thick edges of the polychrome garments
suggest they are of wood rather than stiffened cloth.
The faces have little sheen, but this may be due to
Location: Upper section of the retablo of the main altar.
Media and construction: Polychrome. Eyes: painted.
Size: About 2½ feet (75 cm.)
Note: On this site, 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 walls of the nave on the north and south. (The nave is the long central section.) Actual orientations may differ.