Narciso Tomé

(Toro, Zamora, 1694-Toledo, 1742)

Within this style associated with the European Rococo, one figure in Spain stands out from the rest: the architect and sculptor Narciso Tomé. He remains one of the most enigmatic figures in Spanish art due to the fact that nothing is known of his training and possible contacts in Europe. The scant available information on Tomé indicates that he was born in the city of Toro (Zamora) around 1694. He must have trained with his father sculptor, as did his brothers. In 1721 he was appointed Head of Works at Toledo cathedral, replacing Teodoro Ardemans. Tomé accepted the commission to work on the project for the retro-choir of the cathedral. After just three months, in June he presented his designs for this work, which were approved with unanimous satisfaction. The most striking of them is for the Transparente, a break in the wall of the apse designed to allow light to fall on the tabernacle. It is conceived in terms of a two-storey altarpiece, with an oculus between the two levels that symbolises the sun with its bronze rays surrounded by figures. As a whole, the design is an apotheosis of forms in movement, finely sculpted marbles and jaspers, and gilt bronzes with narrative reliefs.

Decorative Frieze