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Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Mexican Crosses: Huandacareo

From Capacho we move west along the north shore of Lake Cuitzeo to Huandacareo.
Huandacareo
The imposing neo baroque temple of El Señor del Amparo is the principal church in this resort town near the lake.  Its eponymous crucifix, famous for its healing powers, attracts pilgrims from a wide area including the disabled and infirm from nearby hospitals.


The Atrium Cross
Even in this area of intensely sculpted crosses, this one is exceptional for the range and confidence of its relief carving, spreading across all four sides.  
   The iconography in particular, which has no obvious connection to the shrine or any health related theme, comprises an extraordinary panoply of Passion related objects.
Atrium cross: front
Mounted on a replicated foliated base, the front of the cross is notable for its unusual and expressive figure of Christ as the Man of Sorrows, set at the axis and carved in the round with crossed arms.  
The complex head, with flowing hair on either side, is tilted, encircled by a minimal crown of thorns on the brow, and capped by a now broken halo. A rope is tied around the neck and hands.
   A ladder and two ewers flank the figure, and three elongated, comma shaped, bleeding Wounds project from the arms and shaft.
   The scrolled plaque at the head is inscribed with a misspelt INRI acronym.
No fewer than six heads appear on the cross, all shown in profile.
On the front a bust of Judas is depicted with a purse around his neck and rows of silver coins below.
Atrium cross: reverse side (Jaime Lara)
Two other heads are seen on the side, one wearing a helmet and the other with his tongue out, probably indicating Roman soldiers. A relief hand grasping a hank of hair is shown between them.
   Another head, also uttering an imprecation, appears on the reverse side, which is finely carved with a detailed image of the Column and Cockerel.  The arms and crossing are plain except for star shaped rosettes.
More complex rosettes with veined petals cap the robust fleurs-de-lis finials sprouting on the arms and head of the cross.
text © 2014 Richard D. Perry.  
images by the author, Jaime Lara and Jose Antonio Flores Juanto

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