Monday, December 9, 2019

San Rafael Ixtapalucan: the atrium cross

We add to our previous posts* on the crosses of Puebla, with this example at Ixtapalucan, located in the tongue of northwestern Puebla.
The church of San Rafael Ixtapalucan boasts a distinctive stepped front faced with red ladrillo tile regularly interposed with glazed azulejos in the poblano style.
Our interest here is the unusual atrium cross standing just beyond the similarly tiled atrium gateway.
The carved front faces the church. An eroded face of Christ with flowing locks occupies the crossing, imposed on what appears to be a square "veronica" plaque. 
All front faces of the stone cross—arms, neck and shaft—are bordered with undulating swags that serve to frame a variety of Passion objects in relief, including hands and other implements such as nails, pincers, etc.  Above crossed corn? plants on the neck rests an also eroded, barely readable INRI inscription.
While the reverse side is plain, the cross stands on a layered pedestal boldly carved with a skull and crossed bones.
text © 2019 Richard D. Perry
images courtesy of Niccolo Brooker & online sources
See our other posts on Pueblan crosses: Huaquechula; Tepeapulco

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