La Casa de Villaraza

18th century (the plaque over the portal says 1802)

Oblique view of front

Now the Tamayo Museum (founded by the famous Oaxacan artist Rufino Tamayo), this former elegant residence was named for the Spanish official Francisco Antonio Villaraza.

Main entrance

Classified as "baroque" in style, the decorative stonework is unique--with a curved gable with scallop designs which terminates at the end of the building in scroll forms and is joined in the center by tiny scrolls. (See below.) Incised decorative motifs surround the second story window and are on the shallow pilasters flanking it while bas relief designs occupy the lintel below. The half-columns flanking the portal terminate in eccentric "capitals" with ribbon-like swags. Beautiful ironwork, characteristic of much secular colonial architecture in Oaxaca, is featured on the balcony above the entrance portal and in front of the side windows.

The entrance portal


Works consulted or quoted:

Richard D. Perry. Exploring Colonial Oaxaca. The Art and Architecture. Santa Barbara, CA: Espada Press, 2006.

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© 2009 Mary Ann Sullivan. I have photographed (on site), scanned, and manipulated all the images on these pages. Please feel free to use them for personal or educational purposes. They are not available for commercial purposes.