This post is the second in a series on the architecture and sculpture of three traditional villages, of Los Reyes, San Lucas and San Juan Evangelista, on the shores of Lake Cajititlan, south of Guadalajara.
Each community boasts a colonial church or chapel, ornamented in exquisite Jaliscan popular baroque style.
Most of the intricately carved portal has survived, its surfaces enlivened with naive reliefs of angels and assorted animals, including a two-headed eagle and several oxen—the emblem of St. Luke—that peer out from the whorls and tendrils of sculpted foliage.Spiral columns wreathed with vines frame the arched entry and choir window overhead, while densely carved foliage fills the intervening spaces.
An effigy of Luke the Evangelist with his Gospel is carved on the keystone while cherubs hurry around the archway, carrying books, Instruments of the Passion or playing antique musical instruments (a design almost identical to that at nearby Santa Anita Atlixtac)
Angels also appear in medallions at each end of the frieze above playing the violin and guitar. Other examples of architectural sculpture adorn archways in the church and adjacent patio, featuring densely carved effigies of eagles and archangels.
A statue of the Virgin of Guadalupe is perched precariously in the choir window.
An inscription with the date 1786 above the sacristy doorway includes the name of master mason Martín Sebastián, one of a family of local stone carvers responsible for the architectural decoration of this delightful church as well as others around Lake Cajititlan.
And inside the church an old stone font bears the effigy of a running bull
text © 2012 Richard D. Perry;
photographic images by the author and ©Niccolo Brooker and Jim Cook. All rights reserved
For more information on the colonial arts and architecture of Jalisco, consult our guidebook, Blue Lakes & Silver Cities,
available from Espadaña Press