Column: A Thousand Words
Portico de la Gloria by Master Mateo
by Mary Elizabeth Podles
The Portico de la Gloria was originally the main entrance to the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela (Figure 1), the end point of one of Christendom's principal pilgrimage routes. In the Middle Ages, wealthy European pilgrims traveled to the Holy Land to walk in the footsteps of Jesus; the comfortably well-off crossed the Alps to St. Peter's in Rome; and the rest of Europe went on foot to visit the remains of St. James at Compostela.
The portico itself (Figure 2) is enclosed in a porch-like narthex, and has three entrances opening onto the central nave and the two flanking aisles. Above the left-hand door are carvings depicting the Last Judgment; on the right are saints and Old Testament figures; and in the center sits Christ in Majesty surrounded by the instruments of the Passion, the Evangelists, and the souls of the blessed. Above and around him sit the twenty-four Elders of the Apocalypse, and at his feet,
THIS ARTICLE ONLY AVAILABLE TO SUBSCRIBERS.
FOR QUICK ACCESS:
Mary Elizabeth Podles is the retired curator of Renaissance and Baroque art at the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore, Maryland. She and her husband Leon, a Touchstone senior editor, have six children and live in Baltimore, Maryland.
more on art from the online archives
calling all readers
"There are magazines worth reading but few worth saving . . . Touchstone is just such a magazine."
—Alice von Hildebrand
"Here we do not concede one square millimeter of territory to falsehood, folly, contemporary sentimentality, or fashion. We speak the truth, and let God be our judge. . . . Touchstone is the one committedly Christian conservative journal."
—Anthony Esolen, Touchstone senior editor
• Not a subscriber or wish to renew your subscription? Subscribe to Touchstone today for full online access. Over 30 years of publishing!
Purchase Print &
Get six issues (one year) of Touchstone PLUS full online access including pdf downloads for only $39.95. That's only $3.34 per month!
Get a one-year full-access subscription to the Touchstone online archives including pdf downloads for only $19.95. That's only $1.66 per month!
GIVE Print &
Give six issues (one year) of Touchstone PLUS full online access including pdf downloads for the reduced rate of $29.95. That's only $2.50 per month!
Transactions will be processed on a secure server.
Order Touchstone subscriptions in bulk and save $10 per sub! Each subscription includes 6 issues of Touchstone plus full online access to touchstonemag.com—including archives, videos, and pdf downloads of recent issues for only $29.95 each! Great for churches or study groups.
OR get a subscription to Touchstone to read on your Kindle for only $1.99 per month! (This option is KINDLE ONLY and does not include either print or online.)
Your subscription goes a long way to ensure that Touchstone is able to continue its mission of publishing quality Christian articles and commentary.
more from the online archives