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"Profanation" of the Burgos Cathedral or...art?

pellegrino

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This is as laughable as it is bizarre. I'm surprised that the ecclesiastical authorities gave the thumbs-up to this project. See link to Change.org petition at end of article:

 
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This is as laughable as it is bizarre. I'm surprised that the ecclesiastical authorities gave the thumbs-up to this project. See link to Change.org petition at end of article:
I find the author of this article on Gronze.com and his style difficult to read so I skipped most of it. But thank you, @pellegrino, for bringing this to the forum's attention.

Based on other news sources, here is a summary: This is a project to replace three neoclassical wooden doors of the Burgos Cathedral by modern bronze doors to celebrate and commemorate the 800th anniversary of the laying of the first stone for this magnificent Gothic building. Photos of the planned project are shown in the next two posts. The artist aims to represent the face of God on the middle door, the Virgin Mary on the left side and Jesus as a young boy in a garden on the right side.
 
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The project to replace three neoclassical wooden doors of the Burgos Cathedral by modern bronze doors to celebrate and commemorate the 800th anniversary of the laying of the first stone for this magnificent Gothic building. This is what it will look like in a few months if the plan is allowed to go through:

Burgos 2.jpg
 
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As I said already, I find the polemics of the Gronze author in question so irritating that I skipped most of the article. I am not against modern elements in Gothic cathedrals, especially not when such a building incorporates already architectural and artistic elements from later centuries. Cathedrals are living houses of God for the faithful, not something that must be preserved at all cost in its state as it is now.

I don't care who and what stood as models for the design. I don't see any "profanation" here, i.e. desecration; defilement; debasement. I don't like the look of it for various reasons and I hope the project will be stopped.

I wonder what this façade looked like originally, i.e. even before they replaced the medieval doors with neoclassical doors. The triangular masonry above the main portal isn't pretty either and it hurts the eye.
 

gns

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As I said already, I find the polemics of the Gronze author in question so irritating that I skipped most of the article. I am not against modern elements in Gothic cathedrals, especially not when such a building incorporates already architectural and artistic elements from later centuries. Cathedrals are living houses of God for the faithful, not something that must be preserved at all cost in its state as it is now.

I don't care who and what stood as models for the design. I don't see any "profanation" here, i.e. desecration; defilement; debasement. I don't like the look of it for various reasons and I hope the project will be stopped.

I wonder what this façade looked like originally, i.e. even before they replaced the medieval doors with neoclassical doors. The triangular masonry above the main portal isn't pretty either and it hurts the eye.
Based on Google translate I think the profanity is the fact that the face of God will it seems be a self portrait of the artist!

You don't need to be religious to take exception to that.
 
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Raggy

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Based on Google translate I think the profanity is the fact that the face of God will it seems be a self portrait of the artist!

You don't need to be religious to take exception to that.
Someone should tell these guys:

Albrecht Dürer as Christ

Pietro Perugino as Baby Jesus & Mary

Rembrandt's Cruxifiction

Van Dyck’s Resurrection
 

gns

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Someone should tell these guys:

Albrecht Dürer as Christ
[URL unfurl="true"]https://www.everypainterpaintshimself.com/article/duerers_self-portrait_as_christ_15001#:~:text=EPPH - Every Painter Paints Himself&text=In the year 1500 Albrecht,identifiable as a self-portrait./[/URL]

Pietro Perugino as Baby Jesus & Mary

Rembrandt's Cruxifiction

Van Dyck’s Resurrection
You learn something every day. Just about forgivable in the case of Rembrandt but still at least conceited for anyone else.
 
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And here's what the façade currently looks like. I realise that this is not the point of this current issue but from what I understand from the Spanish text (written long before 2021) the whole arrangement of the three doors is no longer pure Gothic style but later reconstructions. The iconography / decoration struck me as a bit odd and not very Gothic when I looked at the photos more closely the first time. When I visited Burgos, I barely noticed this West façade anyway although I walked passed it more than once.

Burgos 3.jpg
 

NorthernLight

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So what happens when I want to enter the cathedral through that main door? Do I push on God’s ear? Pull on an earring?

With the door open, God gets to look at the entrance wall?

That all strikes me as sacrilegious...
 
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Based on Google translate I think the profanity is the fact that the face of God will it seems be a self portrait of the artist!

You don't need to be religious to take exception to that.
The translation says "himself (the artist), his wife, and his son". That's pretty elevated, if it is true...
 
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The translation says "himself (the artist), his wife, and his son". That's pretty elevated, if it is true...
Most of the handful of articles I had looked at, and most of them written last summer before the current campaign against the project had been started, say that the inspiration are the artist's daughter and grandchild and que usa como modelo – como siempre sucede con él – a su propia familia. So that's apparently nothing unusual.

I had never heard of this artist Antonio López. When they decided on who would get the contract, they apparently had the choice between Antonio López and another well-known artist called Cristina Iglesias. The latter, apparently, works in an an-iconic, non-figurative language, and the doors would have been exclusively non-figurative doors. Definitely my choice.

The fundamental question, however, is whether there is a need for such new doors and whether there is a need to commemorate a 800th anniversary in such a way.
 
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Most of the handful of articles I had looked at, and most of them written last summer before the current campaign against the project had been started, say that the inspiration are the artist's daughter and grandchild and que usa como modelo – como siempre sucede con él – a su propia familia. So that's apparently nothing unusual.
Yes, it seems this specific artist always uses his family as models. Not sure if I like it... But, who am I? :)
 
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A comparison of the West façade of the Burgos Cathedral as shown in an engraving from earlier times versus a photo with the view as we see it today confirms that the current arrangement is a fairly modern design. Sometime during the last 200 to 250 years, they knocked off all the Gothic sculptures, added these oval windows above the two side portals and what I would call an abomination above the main portal. It doesn't please my eyes.

This state of affairs is apparently also one of the reasons why they opted for putting the controversial commemorative doors on this façade and not anywhere else.

(Click to enlarge for details)
Burgos 1771 vs 2020.jpg
 
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Further news is reported 18/02 !in The Guardian re a public protest of the project.
This Guardian article provides another (visual) view of what it could look like if the bronze doors were installed. I must say that I would have no issues with the motif on the right side, and I would have no issues with new bronze doors as such. The more I think about it, the more I like this image that covers the whole door, instead of a number of small rectangular cases depicting various scenes from the Bible or the life of a saint or similar, a style which I think it is not uncommon.

Burgos portals.jpg
 
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For comparison, below is a view of the bronze door of the Holy Door of the Santiago Cathedral. It was installed in 2004 for the celebration of a Jacobean Holy Year.

While looking for a suitable photo, I learnt that this current Holy Door in Santiago is not the Holy Door through which medieval pilgrims walked because the earlier original Holy Door opening was filled with masonry and disappeared altogether when the sacristy of the San Juan chapel was built in the 16th century. It was only then that the current Holy Door was created. This was some 500 years after the first stone for the Cathedral had been laid in 1075.

There were, of course, no change.org petitions in those days in the 16th century. 😇

Bonze door Santiago.jpg
 
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So what happens when I want to enter the cathedral through that main door? Do I push on God’s ear? Pull on an earring?
I think you need to be concerned about this only if you are taller than 3 metres or so 😄. The portals are enormous. People enter and leave through the smaller portals on the right and left side and even these smaller portals are still so tall that there will be only a relatively small opening in the lower third of the doors where you walk through. Theses photo montages don't show where the bronze doors will open but you can see it in earlier drawings.
 
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NorthernLight

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I think you need to be concerned about this only if you are taller than 3 metres or so. 😄
Well, I do like to be concerned for my very tall friends. Heightism being what it is.

Good catch.

The central door is likely only opened on special occasions, like when the knights need to ride in on their horses, but still awful.
 
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Rebekah Scott

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We of the 21st century have something to add to the beauties of the past. How many of us ever noticed the church doors before now? Why are the old ones suddenly so important?
It's taken me some time to come to a conclusion on this issue, but I've decided I rather like the current proposal. It's a little bit of 21st century pasted onto the historical pastiche that's already the front of that noble old church. The artist's identity will vanish in time, and the egotism of our time (if the plan goes through) enshrined there for ages to come. They will, in turn, venerate these bronzes as The Art of Our Ancestors!
If we do not add to the glories of the past with our own expressions in our own style, we are turning our cathedrals into mausoleums and museums of the past. Churches are living places, after all!
 

David Tallan

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Well, I do like to be concerned for my very tall friends. Heightism being what it is.

Good catch.

The central door is likely only opened on special occasions, like when the knights need to ride in on their horses, but still awful.
I thought it was opened to let the bicyclists in to start their race. ;)
 
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This Guardian article provides another (visual) view of what it could look like if the bronze doors were installed. I must say that I would have no issues with the motif on the right side, and I would have no issues with new bronze doors as such. The more I think about it, the more I like this image that covers the whole door, instead of a number of small rectangular cases depicting various scenes from the Bible or the life of a saint or similar, a style which I think it is not uncommon.

View attachment 93900
What I personally find objectionable is the return of portraying God the Father as an old human. (Yes, I know, Sistine Chapel and all that, but still...) The ancient, and wise, tradition is to indicate the Father as a beam of light, in many cases, a lone hand dispensing light beams in some Eastern icons, and making a huge face like this just reminds me way way too much of the giant head thing as illustrated in the famous Apple commercial some years back. (Pace some sculptures of the Holy Trinity that we saw in Portugal.) The side door with toddler-Jesus playing is nice. A little over-scaled IMHO but not as scarey as the center door proposed. I don't see a good look at the other side door. It's the center one that bothers me.

And I like the bronze Holy Door at Catedral de Santiago. There is more to meditate upon, should one be inclined, in the sextet, and less of the overpowering poster-of-local-dictator overtones. But as I'm just about as relevant to the project as pond scum...so aside from a little venting...

YMMV if course (edited for spelling, Eastern not Easter, oops!)

BC ASAP to all
 

JabbaPapa

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I'm surprised that the ecclesiastical authorities gave the thumbs-up to this project
Sadly I'm not -- and although it falls short of a profanation as such, it's clearly so in intention.

Such glorification of Self is antithetical to the purpose of a church, let alone a Cathedral, let alone one of the most historic Cathedrals in Europe.

Those who approve of and promote such things have no respect whatsoever of not just Catholic Christianity, but of Tradition and History and Culture themselves.

I urge everyone to sign the petition :

 
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Arn

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Yes, it seems this specific artist always uses his family as models. Not sure if I like it... But, who am I? :)
This seems rather common when an artist is commissioned to create an item that will be publicly displayed. If not a family member, then a close friend Mona Lisa (da Vinci), the Naked Maja (Goya), a number of military statues are modeled by family members. If a aspiring writer is told write what you know, then I guess a sculptor is likely to sculpt who he knows...best.
 
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So that's apparently nothing unusual.
This is beyond unusual, it's deliberately insulting to Catholics.
Usually I don't bother when one of my remarks is taken out of context. In this case, I got curious what on earth I had possibly said. I had quoted a news article where the writer had remarked that the artist, Antonio Lopez, had often used family members as models throughout his long career. Antonio Lopez does not specialise in religious art. What I've seen of his paintings is pretty secular. For the life of me, I cannot imagine that this is "deliberately insulting to Catholics". I guess you probably wanted to express something else ...
 
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What I personally find objectionable is the return of portraying God the Father as an old human.
Or, more to the point perhaps, an old man with a beard. I share your personal opinion. I've refrained from expressing my personal opinion about this motif in particular. Forum rules ... 🤐

This aspect isn't central to the protests, though.

In any case, this was an interesting excursion. I usually like to inform myself thoroughly before I sign a petition. Also, I had paid zero attention to this West façade although I've walked past it a few times. I now know a bit more about it. I've visited the Burgos Cathedral twice and wouldn't mind a few more times. I vividly remember the south façade and also the north east/north façade when approaching the Cathedral from this direction.
 
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Oh, before the thread gets closed: the artist himself didn't say that the large middle door is a self portrait. Others have made this claim. I can see a resemblance. OTOH, the visual looks pretty generic to me. Older man with beard, resembling other older European men.
 
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MichaelB10398

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Our modern times, in so many ways, has really lost the appreciation and concept of what is and what is not beauty. When looking at modern art we see more about color, texture, and a rather twisted sense of what is form. Most of our architecture is utilitarian rather than being designed for beauty. There are always exceptions and I am speaking in generalities.
I agree that modern society can add to a sense of beauty, but it must be beautiful first. I don't see that here on these doors. Give me the serene, the peaceful, the eternal; inspire the mind and the spirit to recognize what is going on behind those doors.
Instead of bringing us closer to where God is, these doors bring God down to the mundane.
 
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JabbaPapa

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Usually I don't bother when one of my remarks is taken out of context. In this case, I got curious what on earth I had possibly said. I had quoted a news article where the writer had remarked that the artist, Antonio Lopez, had often used family members as models throughout his long career. Antonio Lopez does not specialise in religious art. What I've seen of his paintings is pretty secular. For the life of me, I cannot imagine that this is "deliberately insulting to Catholics". I guess you probably wanted to express something else ...
Or perhaps I simply disagreed in that manner with your actual comment.
 
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just reminds me way way too much of the giant head thing as illustrated in the famous Apple commercial some years back. (Pace some sculptures of the Holy Trinity that we saw in Portugal.)
I'm just genuinely curious: Where these sculptures Romanesque? I think I know what you mean. I've not seen it in real life but in an online course about Romanesque art in Spanish churches, and this Burgos project reminded me of it.
 

pellegrino

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We of the 21st century have something to add to the beauties of the past. How many of us ever noticed the church doors before now? Why are the old ones suddenly so important?
It's taken me some time to come to a conclusion on this issue, but I've decided I rather like the current proposal. It's a little bit of 21st century pasted onto the historical pastiche that's already the front of that noble old church. The artist's identity will vanish in time, and the egotism of our time (if the plan goes through) enshrined there for ages to come. They will, in turn, venerate these bronzes as The Art of Our Ancestors!
If we do not add to the glories of the past with our own expressions in our own style, we are turning our cathedrals into mausoleums and museums of the past. Churches are living places, after all!
Rebekah - I certainly agree with your general idea that, in art, as in many things, the "new" should not be rejected out of hand, simply for being different than what we are accustomed to. However, these new doors are just a smidge hideous for my taste and detract from, rather than add anything to the cathedral.
 
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I found a more detailed drawing of how the façade looked like before the "mutilation" in previous centuries. It illustrates the original "iconographic programme" of the Gothic era which is all gone now and which, according to Cathedral sources, the new doors are supposed to pick up or express in a contemporary way, though not very successfully it appears, given the strong objections.

And I found a podcast where the artist himself says something about what the three motifs on the new doors show: un Dios universal, de todas las religiones, un ser supremo, el creador de todo, el ser protagonista; la Virgen asistente (I noticed something in the sky above her that could be the shape of a dove or represent something more spiritual]; Jesus niño, no hombre, niño, niño de dos, tres años, riente, jugando, en un jardín, al fondo Santa Ana y la Virgen, una escena familial, and I can't clearly hear the words of the rest of what he says.

Burgos before 1800.jpg
 
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I found a more detailed engraving of how the façade looked like before the "mutilation" in previous centuries. It shows the original "iconographic programme" of the Gothic era which is all gone now and which, according to Cathedral sources, the new doors are supposed to develop or express in a contemporary way, though not very successfully it appears, given the strong objections.

And I found a podcast where the artist himself says something about what the three motifs on the new doors show: un Dios universal, de todas las religiones, un ser supremo, el creador de todo, el ser protagonista; la Virgen asistente (I noticed something in the sky that could be the shape of a dove or represent something more spiritual]; Jesus niño, no hombre, niño, niño de dos, tres años, riente, jugando, en un jardín, al fondo Santa Ana y la Virgen, una escena familial, and I can't clearly hear the words of the rest of what he says.

View attachment 93950
Once again, thank you for your very thorough research.

I think that the size of the figurehead on the door is in keeping with the grandeur of the overall cathedral.
 
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Another thing: I'd like to appeal to everyone to keep their personal religious beliefs TO THEMSELVES, to the extent that the thread remains open. I've not revealed mine. I rarely do. I try to understand things, how others view them, how they are generally viewed. I often like to share what I discovered.

During my long walk to Santiago, I developed an interest in medieval iconography and in these visual "programmes" as they are called and that we can see on so many Romanesque and Gothic portals and capitals of columns along the Camino. When we did the forum threads on Romanesque and Gothic art, I think nobody mentioned that these sculptures are not just pleasing art, they carry messages for the observer that are not so easy to decipher today as they were then. These visuals are often called the "Bible of the Poor" because, unlike us, medieval men and women did not have easy access to print material let alone the internet.
 
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Another thing: I'd like to appeal to everyone to keep their personal religious beliefs TO THEMSELVES, to the extent that the thread remains open. I've not revealed mine. I rarely do. I try to understand things, how others view them, how they are generally viewed. I often like to share what I discovered.

During my long walk to Santiago, I developed an interest in medieval iconography and in these visual "programmes" as they are called and that we can see on so many Romanesque and Gothic portals and capitals of columns along the Camino. When we did the forum threads on Romanesque and Gothic art, I think nobody mentioned that these sculptures are not just pleasing art, they carry messages for the observer that are not so easy to decipher today as they were then. These visuals are often called the "Bible of the Poor" because, unlike us, medieval men and women did not have easy access to print material let alone the internet.
“They carry messages for the observer...” I thought immediately of the high crosses and Ogham stones in Celtic culture. They served that purpose, I believe. Jump to the twentieth century and you find examples of street art and architecture with a similar purpose: educating the people. Actually, don’t jump. Go carefully through history and all of art! See you back here in ten years or so!
 
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a Virgen asistente (I noticed something in the sky above her that could be the shape of a dove or represent something more spiritual];
It is a flock of birds flying in formation and at the same time a reflection of the "Mystery of the Incarnation" and the "Holy Spirit".

I've got this from a webpage set up by the Chapter of the Burgos Cathedral; it was published yesterday. They explain the "iconographic program" of the three portals/doors and their belief that the placement of the new doors "represents an aesthetic and iconographic enrichment for a temple artistically fossilised for 200 years". One doesn't have to like their project but at least they deserve to be heard ...
 
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I'm just genuinely curious: Where these sculptures Romanesque? I think I know what you mean. I've not seen it in real life but in an online course about Romanesque art in Spanish churches, and this Burgos project reminded me of it.
I think it was a crucifix with God the Father as embracing older man and I think Holy Spirit as dove...let me see if I took a photo, I think it was the castle in Tomar entrance? I think the artist was expressing the Crucifixion (sp?) as a gift, now I'm not sure where the HS is portrayed in the statue, I just was in the line and noticed and took the photo.
Edited to add, I am not familiar enough with various art eras to know it it is a Romanesque one or not. The general posture does remind me of the many, many Virgen de Puy statues on the Frances...a large flock of which are in the museo de Navarra.
 

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it was a crucifix with God the Father as embracing older man and I think Holy Spirit as dove.
Thank you for indulging my curiosity, @Texas Walker. This is not as unusual as the Romanesque sculptures that I had in mind, also related to the concept of Trinity. The dove is portrayed right above the top of the cross, btw.
 

AlwynWellington

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Above I have read a lot of noise and fury, signifying nothing.

Go to Familia Sagrada, Barcelona to see all manner of a current style

Go to Canterbury Cathedral, Kent to see current styles of depicting people.

Look at Trinity by Anton Rublev.

Look around most large churches established from the 12th century to see so many styles as the building developed as builders and materials were available.

I understand the controlling authority of Burgos Cathedral continue to promote this project. The equivalent In England and elsewhere is the Dean and Chapter. There is a similar controlling authority at Santiago.

My questions:

What style should be used?

Who should be the models?
 
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There is an interactive multimedia video on the website of the archdiocese Burgos. It allows a simulation of the visual impact of the doors and their patinas. I cannot activate the sound. Does the metal change colour as time passes? I vaguely remember having read that the colour of a metal sculpture can be set to anything nowadays or does this refer only to copper where I know that the colour of a statue can be artificially aged?

The multimedia video allows three different colour settings (2-4) and a view of the façade with the old doors (1) or the proposed new doors (2-4). I wonder whether these are the three potential colour choices or whether the colour ages from greenish to brown to a darker shade not unlike the current doors? Apart from the controversial motif of the main portal, I find the new colours less distracting and less obtrusive than the old doors when looking at the whole composition.

(Click to enlarge)
Brugos colour.jpg
 
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Who should be the models?
The author of the Gronze article that is linked in the first post writes that "basically, God the Father is a large-scale self-portrait of António López [the sculptor], the Virgin Mary his wife, and the Child God his son". He calls the sculptor egomaniacal. The organiser of the Change.org petition campaign also speaks of "egotistical". That helps to whip up the emotions, I guess.

The sculptor has two daughters and no son so that's already not quite correct and poor or sloppy journalistic work. The sculptor makes no secret of the fact that the young woman and the small boy are images of one of his daughters and of his grandson - whether a realistic rendition or merely inspired I don't know, nor would I care. Their facial features look like the features of many others. It's not that they look like say a member of the family of Charles V with an easily recognisable "Habsburg jaw" for example or wear an easily recognisable moustache like Dalí. They could be anyone.

As to the facial features on the main portal ... maybe I am not good at face recognition and I don't have facial recognition software to check it. The artist has not claimed that it is a self-portrait and I don't think it is. Again, I could find dozens of faces of people who show a similarity. It could be the former Spanish king Juan Carlos [just in case someone believes this: it most certainly isn't a portrait of Juan Carlos] - so many around here have a roundish squarish shaped face, that kind of nose, ears, receding hairline, beards. It's everyone and no one.

The artist also uses the word "allegorical" when describing the scenes on the three doors.
 
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David Tallan

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2018
I tend to find myself in agreement with Rebekah, in post #22 above.

Not being a Catholic myself, I am not in a position to judge whether it is, as JabbaPapa asserts, deliberately insulting to Catholics. I would assume that the leaders of the Burgos diocese possess the expertise I lack in Catholicism and wouldn't want to grace their cathedral with an imposing insult to their religion.

Personally, I find the central door a little much, but who knows how history will treat it? I know that, were I in Santiago de Compostela in the 18th century, I would certainly have found the proposed Baroque facade a little much and would likely have complained about a gaudy curtain hiding the marvels of the beautiful Romanesque facade. People don't seem to complain about it too much now, though.
 

Rebekah Scott

Camino Busybody
Year of past OR future Camino
Many, various, and continuing.
I don't think the cathedral doors insult Catholicism, or even Catholics. I think they insult JabbaPappa, who identifies with both the above.
The people who commissioned these works are bona fide Catholics of the Spanish Bishop kind, who specialize in advising the Vatican on how to be Catholic. Who better to choose the old white Spanish guy images for their church doors than more old white Spanish guys? It makes perfect sense.

Justice will be done in the end. If the doors do end up being installed, just imagine what a hundred years of passers-by will do to that guy's big bronze nose.
 
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To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
I am not familiar enough with various art eras to know it it is a Romanesque one or not. The general posture does remind me of the many, many Virgen de Puy statues on the Frances...a large flock of which are in the museo de Navarra.
I was fascinated by the display of a whole wall of Romanesque and Gothic Marys with Child in the excellent museum attached to the Pamplona Cathedral. While we were looking at it, someone happened to be there who explained the postures and differences and meanings of the various statues to his companion and we caught some of it. I tried to find a source with such explanations on the internet later but no success. The Child ("Baby Jesus") is sometimes represented not as a baby or toddler but as a minuscule adult with adult facial features which looks odd to the contemporary observer.

As to the statue you photographed, there is for example a similar sculpture in the Cathedral of Santo Domingo de la Calzada (Dove, Father, Son, see below). I had been thinking of other Romanesque attempts at expressing the difficult concepts of the Trinity and the Divine in European Christian art (God creating Adam, three-headed, see below), again quite alien to a contemporary observer.

Romanesque.jpg
 
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The more I see, the more I like it!
I think so too. One should be careful about judging: I have a perfact example from my own home town, up here in the Arctic: 60 years ago, a new church was built here. It was VERY modern, and the protests were many and strong: Disgusting architecture, not a church, unworthy, etc. etc. Today, it is an international symbol and icon for our town, admired by tourists, and loved by us all. There is also a Norwegian postage stamp dedicated to it. See pictures of the church here. The official name is The Arctic Sea Cathedral.
 
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Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
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Today, it is an international symbol and icon for our town, admired by tourists,
Alex, it's a lovely structure!
I am a FLW fan, although not always an admirer of all of his architectural designs. I've read similar stories about some of his churches and the Guggenheim museum in NYC.
Screenshot_20210223-082143~2.png Screenshot_20210223-081726~2.png
 

pellegrino

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Various since 1998
Very interesting discussion!

Human beings can adapt to any situation….including having to look at aesthetically “blah” bronze doors day after day for the rest of their lives. So, whether these doors are installed or not, at least the cathedral is being noticed and discussed, which is a good thing.

That being said, I am very interested to hear what folks think about one of the underlying ideas being put forth in this discussion.

The underlying idea can be expressed thusly: “This business with the doors is a non-issue. We, from our limited vantage point and lack of expertise, are unable to appreciate the genius of these doors, which will only be given due reverence a hundred years from now. That’s how it always goes – the Sagrada familia, et al. So, just relax, have a cup of Sanka, and finish your sudoku.”

What I am wondering is this: Should the citizens of Burgos have to endure public art that they find offensive to the eyes because the “authorities” are “uniquely positioned” to dictate taste, unlike the consumers of this art? Is the fact that “people will eventually stop caring” about the blah bronze doors a compelling enough argument for the lay people to defer to the authorities in this and related matters? Yes, experts and municipal authorities know a thing or two. They can also mess things up (see recent botched Spanish art restorations).

On a side note: This discussion is tangentially related to the Cruz de Ferro redevelopment plan (here and here) where the “authorities” hope to “improve” that area by, among other things, paving the walkway up to the cross and lining it with cypress trees - something analogous to “improving” the Mona Lisa by putting her in a really expensive, jewel encrusted frame.

My apologies for the excessive use of air quotes…. :/
 
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To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
Should the citizens of Burgos have to endure public art that they find offensive to the eyes
I'm not sure that this is the right question or the only question to ask. Not only the citizens of Burgos but also others from further away feel that they should have a say because they love the building and because we may feel that it doesn't belong to the Cathedral clergy but to "all of us" because it is part of the world's heritage.

After having overcome my first shock ☺️ and upon further reflection I think that it is not so much public art as religious art and sacred art. I find the narrative of the Cathedral Chapter credible: they regard the rich artistic and architectural patrimonio of their diocese not only as a cultural asset but also as pastoral elements and a medium for evangelisation (which I think means communicating the messages of Catholic belief). See also: Interview with Pablo Gonzalez Camara. I detect very little in the public discussion about this aspect. The main objections to the design of the new doors seem to be: I don't like the look of it; Doesn't fit visually with the Gothic aspect of the rest of the façade; Costs too much.

It is not true that the face of Dios Padre is a self-portrait of the artist and that the project will be financed by public money. In recent days, the Cathedral even spoke of a defamation campaign in this respect. Neither the initiator of the Change.org campaign nor the author of the article linked in the first post have found it necessary to correct their words although it would be easy to do as it is all merely published on internet websites where a correction doesn't take more than a few strokes on their PC keyboards.
 
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