Soldier and mother of the Massacre of the Innocents
Workshop from Compostela of Matean tradition, Ca. 1250-1350. Granite with remains of polychrome. Unknown original location in the cathedral.
The passage of the Massacre of the Innocents appears in the Gospel of St. Matthew and was also broadly featured in the apocryphals. It subsequently jumped from mediaeval liturgical drama to the visual arts, especially from the 13th century within the cycles dedicated to the Childhood of Christ.
In the course of the archaeological excavation in the Crypt of the Pórtico of Glory, a series of interesting relief pieces dedicated to the Massacre of the Innocents cycle were recovered, of unknown original provenance and which had been reused there as simple construction materials.
The scenes follow the usual iconographic style used in Hispanic art during the last centuries of the Middle Ages; with an evident narrative sense and taste for details, recreating the cruelty of the Massacre carried out by order of King Herod.
In this set, the influence of the workshops that continued the Mateo tradition that continued to be active in the cathedral in the 13th and 14th centuries is noticeable, while they progressively evolved and incorporated Gothic elements.