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-JACA. CATHEDRAL OF SAN PEDRO – CORBELS-

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(LA JACETANIA)

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The corbels are undoubtedly one of the most interesting and varied of the sculptural elements of the cathedral. In the south apse, the only original apse preserved intact, they were placed between sculpted stone plaques and holding up the cornice, which was decorated with the chequerboard pattern on the front-facing section and with geometric motifs on the visible underside.

Most of the corbels of the eastern end of the cathedral, which can be seen from different angles, came from the original central and north apses and were reused here. There are also some decorated metopes to be seen on the north-facing side of the ‘new’ central apse.

The most commented on and most famous of these corbels is undoubtedly that which can be seen in the photos above. It is to be found on the south-eastern side of the central apse, but it is difficult to discern its details due to the height of its location. The importance of the corbel stems from the fact that its sculptural style connects it directly to the marvellous sculptor Tolosano Bernardo Guilduino and/or his workshop.

Having selected and prepared the photos of corbels to show here, I was struck by a feature which appears in many of them. The figures depicted on said corbels are carved on a bed of horizontal rolls; being more or less visible depending on the rest of the carving.

It is as if a traditional Mozarabic roll corbel was used as a base on which to sculpt another figure. The doubt arises as to whether this mode of sculpting was a result of pure chance or was it a symbolic reference to former religious history.

In any case, the corbels in question are very carefully carved and are similar in style to some other sculptures to be found in the cathedral (for example, the symbol of the Evangelist Saint Mark on the vault of the cathedral).

Given that the corbels are well-made and similar in style, it is more than likely that most of them came from the original central apse.


Traducción cortesía de Bridget Ryan.

Asociada de "Amigos del Románico"


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