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Pórtico de la Gloria - iconographic program


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Pórtico de la Gloria - ... la-gloria/

Significado Iconografico

"Sobre el significado de esta escenificación teológica se ha especulado mucho, aunque en general casi todos los estudiosos coinciden en que se re presenta a Cristo glorificado, según la visión apocalíptica de San Juan, en el arco central; al Pueblo Judío y escenas del Antiguo Testamento, en el de la izquierda, y a los gentiles o Pueblo Pagano, en el de la derecha.
Es prodigiosa la riqueza escultórica del tímpano, arquivolta, parteluz y columnas del arco central.

En el tímpano destaca la figura de Cristo resucitado mostrando las llagas en manos, pies y costado, hecha de tamaño mucho mayor que las demás, con el propósito de resaltar su Majestad; le rodean los cuatro evangelistas, que se apoyan para escribir: San Juan, sobre un águila; San Lucas, sobre un toro; San Mateo, sobre las rodillas, y San Marcos, sobre un león; ocho ángeles portan los símbolos de la Pasión; las otras 40 figuras, a ambos lados de Cristo, representan a los elegidos.

En la arquivolta, colocados en sentido radial, están los 24 ancianos del Apocalipsis, figuras sedentes dispuestas por parejas y tocando instrumentos musicales que afinan o tañen, formando el Concierto Celestial; en manos de las dos figuras centrales se identifica el organistrum, antiguo instrumento que requería dos ejecutantes y era similar a la zanfoña, típica de Galicia

El parteluz es otra extraordinaria pieza del conjunto en el que culminan dos popularísimas tradiciones; una estatua del Apóstol Santiago, llena de expresiva y serena belleza en su rostro, sostiene en la mano un pergamino con la inscripción: «el Señor me en vio», que se inserta en el equilibrado y elegante juego de pliegues del ropaje; descansa sobre una columna de mármol, primorosamente labrada, en la que se narra la genealogía de Cristo o Arbol de Jessé, hasta llegar a la Virgen María, cuyo capitel representa la Santísima Trinidad.

Sobre los cinco huecos que hay en esta columna se cumple el rito de apoyar la mano y hacer peticiones al Apóstol, tal como han hecho miles de peregrinos durante siglos. Esta columna se inserta en un haz de ellas, representando las tentaciones de Cristo en el capitel"

in babblefish translation:

Iconographic meaning

"On the meaning of this theological staging much has been speculated on, although generally almost all the students agree in which re appears Christ glorified, according to the apocalyptic vision of San Juan, in the central arc; to the Jewish Town and scenes of the Old Testament, in the one of the left, and to gentile or the Pagan Town, in the one of the right.

She is prodigious the sculptural wealth of the eardrum [probably: tympanum? -gb], archivolt, parteluz and columns of the central arc. In the eardrum he emphasizes the figure of revived Christ showing to the sores in hands, feet and flank, done of size much greater than the others, in order to emphasize his Majesty; the four gospellers surround to him, that lean to write: San Juan, on an eagle; San Lucas, on a bull; San Mateo, on the knees, and San Marcos, on a lion; eight angels carry the symbols of the Passion; the other 40 figures, both sides of Christ, represent the chosen ones.

In the archivolt, placed in radial sense, they are the 24 old ones of the Apocalypse, seated figures prepared by pairs and playing musical that they sharpen or they toll, forming the Celestial Concert; into the hands of the two central figures the organistrum, old instrument that required two executants and was similar to zanfoña, typical of Galicia is identified

Parteluz is another extraordinary piece of the set in which two most popular traditions culminate; a statue of the Santiago Apostle, full of expressive and calm beauty in its face, maintains in the hand a parchment with the inscription: “the Gentleman in saw me”, that he is inserted in the balance and elegant game of you fold of the clothes; he rests on a marble column, primorosamente fallow ground, in which the genealogy of Christ or Arbol de Jessé is narrated, until arriving at the Virgin Maria, whose capital represents the Santísima Trinidad.

On the five hollows that there are in this column he fulfills the rite to support the hand and to make requests to the Apostle, as they have done thousands of pilgrims during centuries. This column is inserted in a beam of them, representing the temptations of Christ in the capital"

and on the south portal:

Reading Romanesque Sculpture: The Iconography and Reception of the South Portal Sculpture at Santiago de Compostela - Karen Rose Mathews - Gesta, Vol. 39, No. 1 (2000), pp. 3-12 - Published by: International Center of Medieval Art :

"Although recent scholarship and reception theory have demonstrated the importance of audience in the actualization of meaning in images and texts, more concerted attention is necessary to understand the polyvalent iconographic readings of Romanesque sculpture.

Imagery on the south portal of the cathedral of Santiago conveyed messages of ecclesiastical authority to specific audiences, namely the cathedral chapter and inhabitants of the town. The unseverable link between the cathedral of Santiago and pilgrimage, however, has caused scholars to overlook the importance of the local population as an audience for the cult of St. James and the art patronage program of the cathedral's bishop, Diego Gelmírez (1100-1140).

This paper will explore the reception of the iconography of the cathedral's south portal by various audiences in the twelfth century. The cathedral canons and townspeople may have responded to the imagery in a manner diametrically opposed to the prescribed reading of this sculptural ensemble commissioned by the bishop.

The audiences' multiple readings, mis-readings, and non-readings of the south portal imagery demonstrate the indeterminacy inherent in the iconography of Romanesque sculpture and highlight the importance of the dialectical relationship between production and reception to its understanding."

Have a nice Santiago Day!


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