Monday, May 2, 2011

Nurio's Painted Chapel is Breathtaking

Now that Easter week and all the activities are behind us, I thought I would follow up on more of my adventure that I had when lead my Artisan & Architecture tour.  It seems like ages ago that we had left San Miguel de Allende and settled into our cozy little hotel in Patzcuaro.  Day five of my tour was indeed another exciting one.
We had already made a few stops, but the one in the town of Nurio was exceptional.  Lucky for us it was their market day and we were able to see many of the women in the native attire; the tightly pleated skirts, embroidered blouses and the typical navy rebozos.
I stopped at this man's temporary stall and bought a watermelon for our picnic lunch.
This simple little adobe chapel was built in the 1500's.  It was Don Vasco who came from Spain, that founded a series of model Christian villages, each with a mission hospital dedicated to the Virgin Mary.  The stone door frame is original with its reliefs of the sun and moon, all indigenous motifs.
The interior is "popular Mexican Baroque." 
The Retablo has 18th century gilded images that are really ornate.
I love the simplicity of the altar table with the freshly cut lilies that had been placed in a large tin can that once held pickled chili peppers.
The tiny corner choir made out of carved wood and painted with a floral motif is quite unusual. 
The World Monuments Fund contributed funds to restore the elaborate murals.  This artesonado ceiling of pine beams and boards span the entire chapel.  The ceiling was painted in 1803 in bright reds, blues and earth tones with the Virgin Mary at the center above the altar.  It is a depiction of heaven with saints, apostles, doctors of the church, archangels and cherubs.
A series of archangels adorn the panels above. 
These panels feature Mathew, Mark, Luke and John.  You can spend hours looking at the naive and ceiling.  It is a beautiful little chapel and one not to be missed.

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