Saturday, August 25, 2018

Oaxaca: San Juan Tabaá

The Sierra de Juárez in central Oaxaca is richly endowed with imposing churches lavishly furnished with colonial art and artifacts of high quality, often located in remote mountain villages. 
   Among the churches of the region, that of San Juan Tabaá, in the Villa Alta area, stands out for its handsome facade and fine baroque altarpieces.  It also possesses an extraordinary painting of the Last Judgment, which we describe on our sister site.
Anchored like so many other Oaxaca church fronts by massive bell towers, the broad retablo facade at San Juan Tabaá features ample but empty shell niches framed by pairs of fluted Plateresque columns. Bands of carved rosettes arch over the lofty doorway and recessed niches alike.
The sanctuary arch and main retablo - detai
In contrast to the sober facade, the church interior is a riot of colors, textures and styles, especially in its varied retablos.  Framed by an artesonado style sanctuary arch, the sumptuous main altarpiece fills the apse with its golden glow.
Designed in the classic Oaxacan baroque manner, with twisting spiral columns and gilded cornices hung with spindles, the central pavilion of the altarpiece projects forward into the nave, flanked by flared outer calles that act to draw in the attention of the viewer. 
Statues of saints occupy the lavishly framed shell niches, several of which are unusually embellished with large, beautifully carved and painted figures of archangels.
St, Anthony of Padua;                                  La Soledad.
Oaxacan style Trinity (Throne of Mercy)
   A rich, late colonial treasure in this remote mountain region.
                       Nuestra Señora del Socorro;                                             La Candelaria;   
Several other baroque retablos line the nave, mostly dedicated to the Virgin Mary in her various guises, including those of La Candelaria, El Rosario and El Socorro.  
 text © 2018 Richard D. Perry
color images © 2018 Niccolò Brooker, who brought San Juan Tabaá to our attention.
please visit our other posts in this series: San Miguel del Valle;  Santa Ana del Valle;  Santo Domingo del Valle;  Santiago Zoochila; San Baltazar Yaztachi el Alto; San Juan Tabaá; San Mateo YucucuiSanto Domingo Tomaltepec

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