TOMÉ, Narciso
(b. 1694, Toro, d. 1742, Toledo)


Stucco, bronze, marble
Cathedral, Toledo

The extraordinary Transparente set behind the main altar of the 'capilla mayor' in Toledo Cathedral originated in the wish of Bishop Diego de Astorga y Céspedes to mark the presence of the Holy Sacrament with a glorious monument. Owing to its fantastic nature, the complexity of the forms, the mingling of stucco, painting, bronze, and all varieties of coloured marbles, the quality of this decoration can not be grasped from a photograph. It is a sort of frenzy of images and symbols projected into space; of fluid, vaporous forms reminiscent of Art Nouveau but more passionate and explosive. This monument cost 200,000 ducats and provoked prodigious enthusiasm, expressed in a poem wherein it was acclaimed 'the Eighth Wonder of the World.'