Sunday, October 7, 2012

Missions of Michoacán: San Nicolás de Obispo 2

In our second post on San Nicolás, we consider the church interior.  There are two main features of interest here: the ceiling and the main altarpiece. First we look at the ceiling:

The artesonado ceiling facing towards the apse

The Ceiling

The most interesting artifact is the intricately crafted, wooden artesonado ceiling that stretches from the choir to the apse—an especially striking feature, resting atop the largely unadorned white walls of the nave.
The artesonado ceiling facing west towards the choir 
In addition to the ceiling, the 18th century wooden choir loft has also survived complete with its carved beams and balustrade.
San Nicolás: ceiling detail
In an unusual colonial survival, the painted planks and beams of the ceiling are secured by leather latticework and accented with red and blue stars.  Ornamental carved wooden corbels, or zapatas, support and strengthen the beams and crossbeams along the nave.
San Nicolás: carved corbels

text ©2012 by Richard D. Perry. photography by Niccolo Brooker

Our guide to west Mexico, including Michoacán

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