Today we show you this newly created tabernacle inspired in The casket of the enamels, one of the main jewels of peninsular Romanesque art.
A NEW TABERNACLE INSPIRED BY THE ONE KEPT AT SAN ISIDORO DE LEÓN
Our collection of Granda liturgical art includes several tabernacles based on works of great historical and artistic importance. Today we show you this enameled chest inspired in a Reliquary dated from the end of the 12th century, beginning of the 13th century. which today is in the Treasure of the Collegiate Church of San Isidoro de León, a place that houses one of the most valuable collections of medieval liturgical art in the world.
The original reliquary has an interior structure of oak wood covered with seventeen gilded and enameled copper plates. The new model from our workshops no longer has the old wooden structure but has been made directly in metal, with the interior completely gold plated.
For the enameling of the new tabernacle the champlevé technique, the same used by medieval enamelists, has been employed, which consists of engraving or carving the designs on the metal surface and then filling them with vitreous enamel. Subsequently, the pieces are fired until the enamel melts and, once out of the muffle, when they are cold, they are polished. In this way the metallic sectors that have not been carved frame and define the enamel-colored designs. This style of enameling, called opus lemovicense, was popularized by workshops in the French city of Limoges and is one of the most attractive decorative techniques developed in the Middle Ages.
Both the old casket and the new tabernacle contain the themes of Christ crucified and of Christ triumphant, showing his majesty. There are also the twelve apostles, Mary and John next to the Cross, as well as angels in an attitude of adoration.
The range of colors is varied in both designs, although the most important ones are the cold colors, especially blue, a color obtained by subjecting cobalt oxide to high temperatures in the muffle.
The new tabernacle has the following inscription on the inside in gold "ADOROTE DEVOTETE, LATENS DEITAS", "I worship You with devotion, hidden God"The prayer is taken from the prayer of Eucharistic adoration composed by St. Thomas Aquinas.
The origin and authorship of the medieval ark are subject to some debate. Originally, the reliquary was attributed to the Limoges workshops. However, recent studies propose that the reliquary was made by a different workshop in northern Spain or by one of the itinerant workshops that traveled the Camino de Santiago de Compostela. According to this scenario, the reliquary found its way to León as a gift or votive offering to the Basilica by a pilgrim.
An international team of researchers is currently working on thirty-three pieces from the Treasury's collection. trying to document its origins, authorship and history. Simultaneously, the Granda Restoration team is in the final stage of the restoration of a number of mural paintings of the Cámara de Doña Sancha, dating back to the 16th century.