Friday, May 24, 2019

Treasures of Mexico City: San Lorenzo Totolinga

Although much remodeled over time, the chapel of San Lorenzo, located in the Naucalpan district north west of the City proper, is thought to have been a visita of the former Franciscan doctrina of San Gabriel Tacuba
The chapel retains its attractive early sculpted doorway, set in a typical square front in 16th century fashion. Divided jambs densely carved with foliated motifs enclose a Plateresque like pilaster and support a low basket handle archway also with carved relief ornament incorporating letters that appears to spell out a name or invocation.

   Narrow bands carved with foliage rise on either side of the doorway to support a rectangular alfiz, carved at either upper corner with paired relief bands.
Mounted outside the chapel of San Lorenzo, we see another example of early stoneworking: a tall stone cross carved with several unusual elements.  A wavy, much eroded Crown relief is contained within a square border at the axis. This motif is echoed by pairs of small square frames on the neck, shaft and tapered arms—some with Nails, and others with indistinct, button-like protrusions. No other Passion objects appear, aside from two drippy Wounds pierced by Nails on the lower shaft.
details © Eleanor Wake
The cross stands on a broad pedestal carved with a partially hidden Skull and Bones. One atypical adornment is the worn, formerly gold painted, stone relief of the Virgin of Guadalupe affixed to the foot of the cross.
More Treasures: San BernardoTepepanSan CosmeSan Felipe El NuevoSanta Isabel TolaAcolmanTlalmanalcoTlalnepantla
text and graphic © 2019 Richard D. Perry
color images courtesy of Eleanor Wake and Niccolo Brooker

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