Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Puebla. San Diego Huejotzingo

In a previous post we looked at two side altars in the chapel of San Diego Huejotzingo, Here we take a broader view of the chapel and its other features of interest.
We begin with the eclectic chapel front, which although refaced in faux brickwork, retains its generous Mannerist doorframe and in the gable ring a venerable, battered statue of Virgin and child, and above that, a worn statue of the titular saint.

A blind arcade on the north side of the church frames a large relief of St Francis, receiving the Stigmata?
But the church interior holds the finest pieces, notably the retablos and the spectacularly roofed sacristy.
   As noted, we have already described the side altars; here we look at the expansive main altarpiece—a worthy companion to its 16th century counterpart at San Miguel Huejotzingo. Framed with spiral columns, this 17th century retablo showcases canvases illustrating scenes from the life and miracles of San Diego de Alcalá; his statue looks out from the upper middle niche.
Death of St Joseph;             Coronation of the Virgin
Two large paintings of a later date flank the main altarpiece to either side. One depicts the coronation of the Virgin and the other what appears to be the Death of Joseph.
Aside from the previously mentioned side altars, another, fashioned in late baroque estípite style stands out: that devoted to the Immaculate Conception. The statue of the Virgin is flanked by portraits of her parents Sts Joachim and Anne.

In front of the main retablo stands the original well around which the chapel was built. There is also an early stone font ringed by the Franciscan cord and and Isabelline "cannonballs."

Another treasure here is the church sacristy, roofed by an elegant mudéjar style wooden artesonado paneled ceiling dotted with star shaped bosses.

text © 2021 Richard D. Perry
color images © Niccolo Brooker and 
José Ignacio Lanzagorta

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