In this follow up post on other murals there we start with another unusual mural on the north wall in this same area, also conceived in the form of a triptych.
In the center panel the Virgin Mary as Queen of Heaven holds the Christ Child, who gestures towards the mitered St. Augustine beside him. Augustine holds his traditional bishop's crozier and a (flaming?) heart. Mary is flanked by her parents, Saints Joachim and Anne, portrayed life size in painted niches on either side.
Although in poor condition, this monochrome mural skillfully accentuates the detailed contours of the costumes and draperies of the figures, based on a northern European print source.
Two Crucifixion scenes
The first mural is set in the lunette above the entry to the Sala de Profundis inside the convento. Christ on the cross is accompanied by the two thieves, Dismas and Gestas, tied to crosses on either side. Devils and angels hover over the pair.
A local landscape of trees and distinctive outcroppings is spread out behind, while the sun and moon shine in darkened sky above. Saints Peter and Paul appear in painted shell niches on the inner archway of the entry.
In contrast to the boldly drawn outlines of the earlier triptych, the figures here are more softly molded, and shaded in a warmer tones, with the crosses accented in a now faded red.
A second Crucifixion also appears in a lunette on the end wall of the convento museum, the former refectory. Here, the crucified Christ is alone, although curiously observed by kneeling saints on either side partially hidden behind trees—possibly Peter and Paul again. Birds and animals cavort in the heavily wooded background.
And the treatment of the figures is closer to the earlier triptych in style, with an emphasis on sharper outlines and realistic details of foliage, etc.
text © 2017 Richard D. Perry