Thursday, March 25, 2021

Tlaxcala: The Huamantla altarpieces

We are always surprised at the elaborate and costly altarpieces still found in the churches of this marginal colonial province.
   In our continuing series on these altarpieces, we look at examples in the town of Huamantla in the eastern part of the state.
   The retablos stand in the parish church of San Luis Obispo and the former conventual church of San Francisco, located in a barrio of the pueblo.
San Luis Obispo Huamantla

San Luis Obispo
The nave of the parish church is lined with altars from many periods, most notably several from the late baroque times. 
The gilded main altarpiece dating from the late 1700s is prominently fashioned with extended estipite columns that frame a series of ornate niches containing statuary of Franciscan and other saints including the patron.
Side altars of interest include one in the earlier baroque Solomonic style whose three tiers of painted panels are framed with gilded helical columns.
The third retablo of note is that devoted to the Virgin of Guadalupe, designed in an even more ornate manner than the main altarpiece.
San Francisco
This extraordinarily broad and complex retablo fills the east end of the conventual church at the end of a long nave. Replete with multiple tiers and calles, it is fashioned in terminal baroque style. The numerous niches, or interestípites, retain statuary of male and female saints, with a florid Holy Trinity relief at the apex.

text © 2021 Richard D. Perry
images courtesy of Niccolo Brooker and from online sources

see our posts on other Tlaxcalan retablos: AmaxacTepeyancoZacatelcoSan José de TlaxcalaSanta Cruz de Tlaxcala; ApetatitlanTlaxcoMetepecSan Pablo del Monte; 

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