“Narciso Tomé, Master Architect of this “Santa Catedral Primada” (Holy Prime Cathedral*), drew, sculpted and also painted by himself this work composed and built of marble, jasper and bronze” – So reads the Latin translated inscription found in the inferior angle to the right of the “Transparente“, considered the masterpiece of this architect-sculptor. This sculptural work was perfomed between 1729 and 1732. It is found on the “apsidal” mural of the main retro-choir.Its style is Churrigueresque Baroque. The Churrigueresque term is derived from the Family name of baroque architects, “Churriguera”. Thier works were characterized by a heavy packed decorations. This has resulted in the term being used to catalogue the spanish bqroque works of the first third of the XVII century. At the foot of this altar we find the tomb of archbishop Diego de Astorga y Céspedes , patriach during that period (1720 – 1734).
The “Transparente” was built using marble imported from “Genova” as well as jasper and bronze. With the objective to illuminate the tabernacle just behind, the retro-choir is broken creating an opening or eye. This “eye” is fed by the skylights found in the apse above, in this manner the”Transparente” is lit while at the same time lighting the tabernacle.
The structure was conceived as a sort of altarpiece in two bodies joined high above and separated by an “eye” as a symbol of the Sun with its rays accompanied by a series of angels in different postures. The work is enclosed within four archangels, landscapes of “Gedeón” and prophets bearing phylacteries with the text of their divination.
*Translated from Spanish which could also be referenced as the First Holy Cathedral or Holy Primate Cathedral