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 Teotitlán del
|Our Lady of the Rosary
| Our Lady of the Rosary:
The Virgin's polychrome robe has a fanciful design of red, black, and gold. It falls straight down from the neck, caught loosely by a belt at the waist, with few folds. The sleeves are narrow and long. There is long carved hair under the wig. The face is plain, the mouth pinched, the nose pointed. The hands are carefully detailed. The fingers are held in the sign of benediction rather than in a position more natural for holding a rosary, suggesting the figure may originally have had a different purpose. The child too seems extraneous to the original composition. It seems out of proportion and is undistinguished and probably modern. At the feet of the statue is another Christ child (wood, gesso, and paint).
Local Name: La Virgen del Rosario.
Basis for Identification: Rosary in Virgin's right hand, child sitting on palm of left hand with rosary hanging from the neck.
Other characteristics: Full crown on the Virgin, diadem on the child. Red cape on theVirgin, with a white lining.
Site: Church of Santa María
de la Natividad (Preciosa Sangre de Cristo),
Teotitlán del Valle.
Location: In a glass case on an altar at the east end of the south wall of the nave (see note).
Media and construction (Virgin): Polychrome, fabric cape, metal crown. Eyes: glass. Hair: wig. Closed mouth.
Size: About 4 feet (120 cm.)
Also near the east end of
the south wall, a statue of St. John the
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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