Tuesday, November 22, 2022

Puebla. San Agustín.

Although its formal name is "Temple of the Incarnation of Our Lady" or "Santa María de Gracia", this city church is best known as San Agustín after the religious order that built it. Construction began in 1555, however,  it was not opened for worship until 1612, still unfinished.
The west front is designed in classic 
sober Pueblan style, and dates from the 17th century. It is divided by Doric-style pilasters, some fluted, that enclose shell niches housing sculptures of notable saints of the Order: Saint Monica and, among others, San Nicolás Tolentino, San Guillermo de Tolosa and San Juan de Sahagún.
statues of St Monica (l) and John of Sahagún (r)

San Agustín relief - detail
In the upper part there is a marble relief representing "The vision of Saint Augustine" The saint is seen praying on his knees flanked by Latin inscriptions: hence I feed from the wound, hence I nurse to suckle, referring to reliefs of Christ crucified and the Virgin Mary respectively in the upper corners of the tableau.

The renovated interior of the church is distinguished by the imposing statue of St Augustine above the main altar, and a old, scarred crucifix known as El Santo Cristo de Burgos.
text © 2022 Richard D. Perry
images from online sources
for other posts on Puebla search under that heading

Sunday, November 13, 2022

Morelos. San Agustín Tepetlixpita

The chapel of San Agustín Tepetlixpita is one of several isolated open chapels dating from the early years (mid-1500s) of the evangelization of the region by the Augustinians; in this case as a visita of nearby Totolapan and Huatlatlahuca.
elevations by JB Artigas
Although altered over the centuries, the basic plan and structure has endured; it consists of a square apse with a rectangular transverse nave attached in front. 
The apse is framed by battlemented walls with a belfry, and capped by a dome.
current view -2021
The nave is fronted by a plain triple arcade braced by intervening buttresses; all archways were open at one time but are now partially blocked with the exception of the altered central arch now framing the entry.
A rare early regional example of a chapel with a transverse nave in this region.

text © 2022 Richard D. Perry
Graphic © Juan Benito Artigas. Photography by Niccolo Brooker and Robert Jackson

Tuesday, November 1, 2022

Puebla. San Jerónimo Coyula

Following our post on St Jerome, we now visit a church dedicated to the saint.

Located near the historic Pueblan town of Atlixco, and best known for its former grand hacienda, now in ruins, San Jerónimo Coyula is also home to a later colonial parish church.
The renovated church front features a plain arched entry flanked by paired spiral columns on two levels. 
The gable is rimmed by an arched cornice and encloses a shell niche containing a battered statue of the patron in a penitential pose—kneeling while mortifying himself with a stone beside a lion, his animal companion. 
Folkloric reliefs of archangels stand on either side, while a large, fanciful relief of a rampant lion brackets the gable on its south side.
   A handsome two tier bell tower flanks the facade on its north side, the elongated openings framed by estípite pilasters with mask like capitals.
Cut stone crosses cap the gable and stand in the adjacent cloister patio.

text © 2022 Richard D. Perry
photography  courtesy of Niccolo Brooker and Diana Roberts