The meaning of the façade

How wonderful to be able to see this portal! The architects who came after me managed perfectly to express what I wanted this façade to convey.

I still remember how I worked during that winter of 1911… While I was convalescing from a long illness that had left me at death’s door, I began to draw the first sketches. My concentration on the design was such that my disciples were afraid to come and consult me on aspects of the work, for fear of disturbing me. The Façade of the Nativity conveys the joy of living, but this Facade of the Passion, does just the opposite. It is about the suffering of Christ and His death. That is why it had to be austere, stark, cold and un-ornate.

I described its nature myself when I said: “Some may find this doorway too extravagant. But I wanted it to inspire fear, and to do so I used plenty of chiaroscuro, recesses and protrusions, all of which provided a gloomy effect. What’s more, I am prepared to sacrifice the very building itself, to break down arches and cut away columns, in order to give some idea of the cruelty of His Sacrifice”.

That is also why the facade faces west, and therefore receives the last rays of sunshine before it gets dark. This layout heightens the symbolic effect of darkness and shadows that I wanted to achieve.

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

Source: Own work
Author: Carlos Marcos (2013)