Church Doctors and Fathers

These eight oval canvases are located on the pendentives of the sacristy and depict various Church Doctors and Fathers. The four Latin Doctors (Saint Ambrose, Saint Augustine, Saint Jerome and Saint Gregory the Great) are from the former chapter house and were cut out in oval form in 1734 by the painter José de Rada to be adapted to the tondos of the sacristy’s pendentives. They were retouched by Epifanio Díaz de Arcaute in 1886, which can be confirmed by the abundance of repainting that can be seen, especially in the image of Saint Ambrose. They appear to date from the late 17th or early 18th century and are technically correct and quite skilfully executed. Engravings from a series of the four Church Fathers by Aegidius Sadeler II (1570-1629) have been used as a source of inspiration to execute and compose these works .

The remaining four paintings – Saint Bonaventure, Saint Isidore, Saint Damasus and Saint Thomas – are in an entirely different style from the previous works. Those of Saint Bonaventure, Saint Damasus and Saint Isidore were painted in 1734 by José de Rada, a painter from Vitoria, although entirely redone by Epifanio Díaz de Arcaute in 1886. They are very academic in style and are notable for their correctness, simplicity and certain stillness.


Ficha técnica

  • Author: Various (José de Rada, Epifanio Díaz de Arcaute)
  • Date: 18th and 19th centuries (1886)
  • Technique: Oil on canvas
  • Measurements: 51´5 x 66 cm
  • Place: Saint Mary’s Cathedral (Vitoria-Gasteiz). Sacristy

Image gallery


AZCÁRATE RISTORI, José M.ª de. “Catedral de Santa María (catedral Vieja)”. En: PORTILLA VITORIA, Micaela J. et al. Catálogo Monumental Diócesis de Vitoria: Ciudad de Vitoria. Vitoria-Gasteiz: Obra Cultural de la Caja de Ahorros Municipal, tomo III, 1968, p. 108.

BARTOLOMÉ GARCÍA, Fernando R. “Conjunto pictórico en la sacristía de la catedral de Santa María de Vitoria-Gasteiz”. Ars Bilduma, n.º 1, 2011, pp. 67-86.

BARTOLOMÉ GARCÍA, Fernando R.; PARDO, Diana. “Restauración del conjunto de la sacristía de la catedral de Santa María de Vitoria-Gasteiz”, en La restauración en el siglo XXI. Función, estética e imagen. Madrid, Árgoma Servicios Editoriales, 2009, pp. 103-112.