Sacred Heart Altarpiece (formerly Virgin of Guadalupe)

This is the main altarpiece in the Chapel of Saint James and current parish church of Saint Mary. It was originally constructed between 1777 and 1778 according to the wishes of Francisco Antonio González de Echavarri. It was to be presided over by a painting of the Virgin of Guadalupe and accompanied on its side panels by those of Saint Francis of Assisi and Saint Anthony of Padua. The design and conditions for its construction were provided by the architect José de Moraza and the painter Pablo Jiménez in 1777. The altarpiece was to be made of pine with a horizontal silver oak plinth, four Corinthian pilasters, several proportioned ovals and four vases on the cornice. The work was completed by the architect Juan Antonio de Moraza and the polychromy was contracted in 1778 by Manuel de Rico and his son Juan Antonio Rico.

This altarpiece remained intact until alterations carried out in the late 19th century or early 20th century. They were perhaps done around 1883, the year indicated in the painting of the Virgin of Aranzazu, positioned on one of the sides outside the altarpiece, thereby making a pair with the Virgin of Guadalupe, which originally presided over the altarpiece. The three original paintings were removed in this renovation and replaced by images. The central panel contains a blessing Sacred Heart of Jesus and the side panels a Sacred Heart of the Virgin and a Saint Joseph with the Child with their respective anagrams at the height of the capitals. A painting by Santiago Matamoros and two carved angels in the spandrels presides over the top.


Ficha técnica

  • Author: Architecture: Juan Antonio de Moraza; Painting: Manuel de Rico and Juan Antonio Rico
  • Date: 1777-1778 (renovated in the second half of the 19th century)
  • Technique: Polychrome stone carving
  • Measurements:
  • Place: Saint Mary’s Cathedral (Vitoria-Gasteiz). Chapel of Saint James. Today’s Saint Mary’s Church.

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, pp. 112-113.

BARTOLOMÉ GARCÍA Fernando R. “El legado de don Francisco Antonio González de Echávarri (1700-1774) a la capilla de Santiago de la catedral de Santa María de Vitoria-Gasteiz”, Akobe. Restauración y conservación de bienes culturales, 9, 2008, pp.13-23.