Triumph of divine Love (Triunfo del Amor divino)
This is considered by some authors as the first piece in the series, inasmuch as the Eucharist only makes sense because of divine Love. The triumph of divine Love is celebrated in heaven by eleven cherubs forming a circle around the head of the feminine figure. Everything is represented in the theatrical manner which the painter conceived for this series.
Love holds her son in her arms
On top of a chariot pulled by two lions, a feminine figure stands as a symbol of Love, holding her son in her arms, and of Charity, because at the same time she takes care of two other children. A pelican appears at her feet hollowing its chest in order to feed its flock, symbolizing the sacrifice of Christ and foretelling the Eucharist.
In the classical manner
Rubens conceived this triumph in the classical manner. To clear all doubts, he placed a sign on the top part which reads ‘AMOR DIVINVS’. Still, the feminine figure presents an iconography halfway between Marian representations and those of pagan goddesses, despite all symbols being Christian such as the angel scaring off two serpents representing envy and hatred
The passage of time
This is the copy which has suffered the most with the passage of time, showing visible needlework which could barely be concealed in the recent restoration.
Series Apotheosis of the Eucharist
Model Cartoon copied from an original by Rubens
Manufacture Brussels. Manufacture by Frans van den Hecke. Mid-17th century
Fabric Silk and wool, 7/8 warps per cm
Size 425 x 475 cm
Location Church of San Millán de la Cogolla, Oncala (Soria)
Origin A donation by Bishop Juan Francisco Ximénez del Río, c. 1800