Thursday, June 30, 2016

Mexican Murals. San Juan Teitipac: The Lost Supper

The Dominican mission of San Juan Teitipac in the Valley of Oaxaca is best known for the suite of processional murals in the entrance to the convento.
Before the tragic destruction of the cloister, many of its other walls were also decorated with murals, most of which have been lost.   
   However until very recently vestiges remained of an extraordinary Last Supper fresco on the rear wall of the former refectory, probably earlier than the porteria murals.
   For many years open to the weather, this mural was almost entirely washed away, save for a single fragment, still framed in part by grotesque bands and friezes.
From the surviving fragment, painted in warm monochrome, we can appreciate the fine quality of the draftsmanship, most noticeably in the sensitive treatment of the faces of the Apostles.
Unfortunately, installation of a new beamed roof on the room contributed to the further effacement of the mural, a loss for early Mexican art and us all.
text © 2016 Richard D. Perry. images by the author 
see our other posts on Mexican Murals:  Cuautinch√°nXometlaCulhuac√°nZacualpan

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