Triumph of the Eucharist over idolatry (Triunfo de la Eucaristía sobre la idolatría)
A party of pagans, a bull to be sacrificed, and an angel holding a chalice in his hand are the protagonists of this theatrical triumph, in which the god Jupiter is also present. This piece is very close to ‘Sacrifice of Mosaic Law’, both in the arrangement of the figures and in the contents of the scene, although this composition represents a higher achievement.
In a markedly diagonal composition, the main group of figures shows pagan characters about to sacrifice a bull when the apparition of an angel with a chalice in his hands terrifies them. They cover their faces with their arms, blinded by the light he sheds over them, running violently away from the focus, so that they drop the altar in which ‘IOVI OPTMAX SACRUM’ can be read. In the top right part, other characters poke the fire before Jupiter, represented by a recreation of Phidias’ sculpture of Olympic Zeus.
Despite its great theatricality—it is really a scenario in which the curtains are pulled up by some rings on the upper part—the symbols do not need any particular explanation: the light of the true sacrifice shed by the chalice, the Eucharist, makes false pagan rites retreat, collapsing their world of idols.
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 415 x 600 cm
Location Church of San Millán de la Cogolla, Oncala (Soria)
Origin A donation by Bishop Juan Francisco Ximénez del Río, c. 1800
On display Hangs from the crossing, to the right of the presbytery