PRE-ROMANESQUE SCULPTOR, Visigothic
(active 8th century in Burgos)

Interior slab

8th century
Stone
Santa Maria, Quintanilla de las Viñas (Burgos)

The carving on the interior slabs in the building is in a style that may be found at this time over a wide area: Italy and France in sculpture, Ireland and northern England in manuscript illumination. On the slab with Christ and two angels, the third dimension has been completely abandoned in favour of a strictly linear interpretation; the background is completely flat. The design is asymmetrical: the angel to Christ's right occupies more space than his counterpart on the left, even though he is shown with only one wing. The wing is replaced by a hand holding an even-armed cross. Christ is carved strictly frontally and also holds a cross in his right hand. His halo is but a rope twisted around his head. The angel on the left touches the halo with his left hand and with his right Christ's shoulder. The angel's garment brushes the field of the design at the bottom left; his wing remains parallel to the top left border, while the wing of the angel to the right touches the border along its length, and his garment floats above the bottom right border.

The sculptor was working intentionally rather than incompetently, consciously avoiding any sense of the Classical tradition. He even varied the width of the two fillets used as a moulding around the edges, giving a rough or unfinished look to the plaque.