Among the items made by Master Mateo are 2 voussoir stones decorated in relief. These would have been part of the cathedral's primitive western facade and probably located in the southern arch, based on the themes depicted. There would have been a clear conceptual unity to each part of the portico, both on the inside and the outside. This section, for example, was dedicated to the Final Judgement.

These voussoirs survived the 16th-century remodeling of the facade but were dismantled when work began to build the current Obradoiro Facade in 1738.

The scenes depicted are obviously crude and allude to the punishment of lust. In one of them, a male character appears completely naked with a snake coiled around his body, biting him in the crotch, while a second reptile climbs up from below and devours his penis. The other voussoir shows a woman whose breasts are being bitten by snakes, while other animals attack her face and legs.


  • Title: Voussoirs with the punishment of lust
  • Creator: Master Mateo
  • Date Created: h. 1188
  • Location: Santiago de Compostela, Spain
  • Physical Dimensions: 60 x 29 x 19,5 cm / 60 x 23 x 29,5 cm
  • Type: Voussoirs
  • Medium: Granite with remains of polychromy

Get the app

Explore museums and play with Art Transfer, Pocket Galleries, Art Selfie, and more


Google apps