• The Apse Murals in San Agusti­n de Acolman: Augustinian Friars as the Foundation of the Roman Church in Sixteenth-Century New Spain

      Widdifield, Stacie G; Holzworth, Rebecca Joy (The University of Arizona., 2007)
      This thesis considers the apse murals in the sixteenth-century Augustinian mission church of San Agusti­n de Acolman. These murals feature three horizontal rows of enthroned popes, bishops, cardinals, and friars. I connect these murals to contemporary conflicts between the regular and secular clergy in the New Spanish church, arguing that the Augustinians at Acolman used their apse to hierarchically position themselves within the New Spanish church.The figures in these murals will be identified as an allegory of the Roman Church. Comparisons will be drawn between the murals and the Sistine Chapel, suggesting that Acolman's allegorical image of the Church connoted papal power. I also highlight the position of the friars in the lowest level of the murals. Through a comparison with retablos, I demonstrate that these friars are the foundation of the Church. Finally, I reflect upon the implications of allegorizing the Church as a collection of Augustinians.