Friday, July 19, 2013

The Tiled Churches of Puebla: San Marcos

San Marcos Evangelista 
(Reforma 700)
Founded as a modest chapel in this famous Pueblan potters’ barrio, west of the zócalo, the church was greatly enlarged in the latter 1600s and dedicated to St. Mark, patron saint of the local cofradia whose annual procession in his honor was legendary.  

The tall church front, refaced again in 1797, is capped by a handsome scrolled gable and faced with red, lozenge shaped  ladrillo tile set against traditional blue petaled azulejos in an intriguing diamante pattern.

Nine narrative panels of richly hued Talavera tile in foliated blue frames adorn the façade. 
On either side of the spartan stone porch, are portrayed the robed figures of St. Joseph and the Virgin of La Purísima in blue, green, and gold—both perched on globes. 
Above them stand St. Anne and St. Joachim, the parents of the Virgin, also clad in swirling rococo draperies.
Two of the Four Evangelists flank the choir window, notably the patron St Mark with his lion on the left. 
The Archangels Michael, Raphael and Gabriel occupy the upper facade with St. Michael in the large frame at the top. The entire façade is outlined by alternating plain blue and white tiles.

The Archangel Michael 
San Gabriel;                   San Rafael

text © 2013 Richard D. Perry. 
Photography by the author, and courtesy of Niccolò Brooker

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