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Saturday, October 5, 2013

Missions of Michoacán. Uruapan and its murals: San Francisquito



San Francisquito Uruapan

The little walled chapel of San Francisquito, with its monolithic brownstone cross out front, was one of the nine original barrios founded in Uruapan by Fray Juan de San Miguel, the Apostle of Michoacán. 
Behind its shell-dotted facade is an intimate interior of great charm with wooden piers, carved roof beams and a painted ceiling.

A steeply pitched, hipped ceiling covers the center nave supported by wooden pillars similar to those at nearby Zacán but much smaller in scale.  
The suspended ceiling is divided by ribs into seven sections with fanlike avenerados at each end and is currently painted reddish brown.  
Painted oval panels adorn alternating sections on either side, some with floral decoration. others with portraits.

Eight surviving cartouches frame full length figures of archangels and selected Franciscan saints with their attributes, outlined in red, black and blue against clouds or landscaped backgrounds.

 
Michael;                Gabriel; 
Raphael;                              Guardian Angel
The figures are confidently drawn in a folkloric style similar to that at Nurio, another painted chapel in the area, quite possibly by the same artist. They comprise the three principal archangels: San Miguel, San Rafael, San Gabriel plus a Guardian Angel; together with the Franciscan saints San Diego, Santa Clara, San Pascual Bailón and San Roque.


San Diego,              St. Clare, 
San Pascual Bailón,             San Roque.
Surprisingly St. Francis and St. Anthony of Padua are not included in the company, although they may just have been erased. However, an elongated statue of St Francis, holding cross and skull, looks down from the altarpiece.
text © 2012 Richard D. Perry
images © Niccolò Brooker.  Thank you Nick
All rights reserved.

for more details on the old churches of Michoacán and West Mexico
consult our popular guidebook



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