The tympanum

The tympanum is presided by a majestic Christ with sad eyes, who reveals his suffering by the wounds in his hands and feet. The open clothing reveals the wound in his side.

Arranged around him are the four evangelists, with their emblems. John has his eagle, Luke a bull, Mark has a lion and Matthew is seated at a desk with an angel.

The group is completed by a number of figures showing the symbols of the Passion and Death of Jesus. On the left, a kneeling man holds the column where Jesus was whipped. Next to him two angels are carrying the cross and a third holds the crown of thorns. At the other end of the tympanum, another angel is holding the nails of the crucifixion and the spear that the Roman soldier Longinus used to pierce Christ’s ribs. Other angels hold the jar containing the vinegar he was given to drink, the whip used for the flagellation and the cane holding the sponge soaked in vinegar, while a number of angels are spreading incense. The rest of the space is filled with small figures representing saved souls who have reached Heaven.

The composition is completed with the seated figures of the twenty-four elders of the Apocalypse, attributed to Master Mateo. These characters and talking to one another while they wait for the moment to begin to play in God’s honour. Have you noticed their musical instruments? These perfect carvings of a hurdy-gurdy, 14 zithers, 4 psalteries, 1 organistrum and 2 harps, have made it possible to copy these instruments and perform concerts with them. There are only two figures that are not playing, as they are holding golden goblets containing the prayers of the just. Can you see them?

(c) (R) 2013, MUSMon com S.L.
Text (a) Diego Laforga Marcos

Picture: Tympanum. Pórtico de la Gloria
Source: Wiki Commons
Author: Tpedronchi (2008)
Licence: This file is licensed under the Creative Commons