Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Oaxaca. Santa Caterina Lachatao

Located in a rugged area dotted with gold and silver mine workings—some of which are still active—this mountain village lies in the Sierra Juarez, or Sierra Norte de Oaxaca.
Beneath a rounded, scalloped pediment, the honey-colored facade of the church is a mosaic of cut stone: circles, zigzags, coffers, vases, shells, rosettes and expressive statuary. 

John the Evangelist (N Brooker)
St Sebastian Martyr (N Brooker)
St Joseph (N Brooker)
God the Father (N Brooker)
St. Catherine, the patron saint, stands over the doorway; pensive saints and angels occupy the moorish side niches, and a robust Padre Eterno looks out from the lobed gable. 
The nave (N Brooker)
The spacious graystone interior is lined by gilded altarpieces in variable condition. The late baroque Churrigueresque main retablo, atypical for Oaxaca, is the best preserved, its complex estípite pilasters alive with caryatids and cherubs.

With one exception, the side altars are less well preserved, their fine sculptural ornament in need of restoration.

The lateral retablo as restored (N. Brooker)

Numerous carved and painted figures, often battered but of fine workmanship, stand in the church; the high quality of decorative carving and figure sculpture extends to the ornate pulpit.
text © 2007 & 2020 Richard D. Perry
color images by Felipe Falcon except where noted.

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