Sunday, July 16, 2017

El Señor de El Llanito

This is one of three posts on the murals and paintings of the historic church of El Llanito, Guanajuato, by the noted colonial mestizo artist Antonio Martínez de Pocasangre.
The venerable church of El Llanito, just outside Dolores Hidalgo, is one of the earliest temples in the region and the shrine of El Señor del Llanito (aka San Salvador de los Afligidos)a miracle working crucifix with a large following among the indigenous Otomí of the areawhose feast day on August is widely celebrated in the region.
   This scarred, 16th century cristo de cañamost likely created in Michoacán, was probably brought to the area by the early missionaries.
El Señor del Llanito, detail
According to legend, in 1559 a passing bullion train heard cries and the muleteers discovered the crucifix beneath a mesquite tree by the river. They took it to the historic local Hacienda de la Erre, where it was placed in the hacienda chapel.
   After it went missing on several occasions, only to be found under the same tree, the hacendado, the Mariscal de Castilla, donated the miraculous object to the villagers where it was kept in a primitive chapel duly erected on the spot. Much later it was installed in the current riverside shrine, built in the 1770s, where the image now rests on a special altar.
  The 1559 event is memorialized in one of several large paintings mounted along the nave, now attributable to the regional painter Antonio Martínez de Pocasangre, who also executed the murals in the entry porteria and the adjacent Loreto chapel.
Other paintings in the nave—all in need of conservation—include a Deposition and a Last Supper.
The Deposition
The Last Supper
text © 2017 Richard D. Perry
color images courtesy of Niccolò Brooker

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