Violence & Grace (Mission Dolores)


Extraordinary works of religious art and devotion from the 18th century colonial Mexico, these carved figures of violence and grace are brought together at Mission Dolores in San Francisco. Inside the basilica, they threaten and swoon under the traditional Ohlone designs in vegetable dye that decorate the ceiling and arches. Outside in the cemetery, the sense of history is more peaceful. A traditional Ohlone structure renders the place more complex. About the Ohlone people at the Mission, there’s this Youtube clip here. If I had more time, I’d make it to a library. For now, you can see here for a larger picture of old basilica with more detailed information about individual figures.

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About zjb

Zachary Braiterman is Professor of Religion in the Department of Religion at Syracuse University. His specialization is modern Jewish thought and philosophical aesthetics.
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