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
St. John the Evangelist
| Saint John the Evangelist:
The statue is of one piece with its base. The shape of the eyebrows and face, the delicacy of the features, and the quality of the polychrome suggest that the figure may be an original mate to the statue of Our Lady of Sorrows on the other side of the altar, perhaps by the same artist. The cape has an abstract pattern of feathers in heavy gold. Some of the red paint has darkened to brown. The right foot originally jutted beyond the base but has been broken off and roughly repaired. There is a large starburst halo.
Local Name: San Juan Evangelista.
Basis for Identification: Position
beside crucifix, matching the dolorosa. Eyes raised
Site: Church of the Assumption, Tlacolula.
Location: Right of the crucifix in the Calvary chapel.
Media and construction: Polychrome. Eyes: glass eyes, some lashes missing. Hair: carved.
Size: About 5½
feet (165 cm.)
Introduction to Tlacolula
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.) In the case of the Chapel of the Lord of Tlacolula, which is at right angles to the nave of the church, the altar is thus at the south end and the transept (the wings that give the building the shape of a cross) comprises an east and west section. Actual orientations may differ.
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