Saturday, November 29, 2014

Mexican Crosses: Corupo

We end our current series of posts on Michoacán crosses with a look at the main church of San Francisco Corupo, in the Sierra Tarasca of Michoacán.

San Francisco Corupo  

Located in the purépecha country of highland western Michoacán, the 16th century Templo de San Francisco here at Corupo has many attractions. (see also our page on the barrio chapel of San Sebastián Corupo)
   On its front, plain, broad jambs and arches in 16th century Franciscan style frame the entry and choir window, both of which are surmounted by a square alfiz
   Examples of indigenous stone work across the facade include reliefs of the sun and moon, the pre-hispanic head and tail of a snake above the main door, as well as the scallop shell motifs characteristic of the region.
The Atrium Cross
A tall stone cross in the style of the Lake Cuitzeo crosses is mounted on a large, classically inspired base, set with corner colonettes and battered merlons. 
   The rectangular arms and shaft are edged by a raised border which effectively frames the Passion reliefs carved therein.
A worn Crown of curving, spiky Thorns occupies the axis, flanked on the arms and shaft by stylized Wounds pierced by carved spikes at an angle
The Wounds are formed like bunches of grapes, each with layered, petaled centers and button like drops of blood—making the traditional connection between grape juice and the blood of Christ.
On the shaft, an outsize Rooster struts atop a Column festooned by a Scourge and a Rope folded in a figure eight pattern. Below are reliefs of a Ewer, Ladder, and a crossed Reed and Spear—the latter straddling the date 1661.
© Nikoniano
The interior has been refurbished, sporting a new wood beamed ceiling with large, decorative medallions and interior galleries.  
   Much of the original, sectional wooden floor remains, however, and a neo baroque altarpiece stands at the east end.
text, graphics and photography (except where noted) © 2014 Richard D. Perry
For other carved stone crosses, see our earlier posts on those in Mexico City, the chapels of Metztitlan and elsewhere (search under Mexican Crosses)

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