Tomb of Martín Sáez de Salinas

This arcosolium can be found in the centre of the ambulatory in the transept. It dates back to around 1530 and is stylistically situated in the Early Renaissance. Influences from the Burgos centre can be noted and it has been associated with works by Diego de Siloé. It must have been commissioned during the lifetime of Martín de Salinas, although his father Martín Sáez de Salinas was also buried here, as stated in the inscription on the central niche cartouche: “Here lies Martín Sáez de Salinas, treasurer of the Catholic Queen Isabella. His body was transferred here by his son Martín de Salinas, chamberlain to the most serene king of Romans and Hungary and Bohemia and his ambassador to the emperor and king our lord, whose tomb lies at the foot of this tomb”.

The tomb consists of two sections, although it originally had three. The lower section contains the coat of arms of the Salinas family, supported by two winged genii and flanked by two niches decorated with grotesques. The second section is the sepulchral niche, formed by a lowered arch, framed by pilasters on balusters and surmounted by a frieze with cherub heads. The niche includes the figure of the recumbent deceased with his head lying on a double cushion. He is fashionably dressed in a cloak with slashed sleeves and a cap, his hands joined together in eternal prayer and holding a rosary as a symbol of piety and a means of divine salvation. The inner part of the lowered arch that shelters the deceased is coffered and the jambs on both sides bear images of Adam and Eve. The third section was made up of a large coat of arms of the Salinas family that had to be moved a few metres higher in 1740 and was lost when the walls of the altarpiece were removed.


Ficha técnica

  • Author: Anonymous. Circle of Diego de Siloé
  • Date: c. 1530
  • Technique: Stone carving
  • Measurements: Approx. 326 x 300 x 110 cm
  • Place: Saint Mary’s Cathedral (Vitoria-Gasteiz)

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. 105.

ECHEVERRIA GOÑI, Pedro L. “Renacimiento”, En: GONZÁLEZ DE SAN ROMÁN, Miguel (dir.). Vitoria-Gasteiz en el Arte. Vitoria-Gasteiz: Gobierno Vasco, vol. 2. 1997. pp. 338-342.

MARTÍN MIGUEL, María Ángeles. Arte y cultura en Vitoria durante el siglo XVI. Vitoria-Gasteiz: Ayuntamiento de Vitoria-Gasteiz, 1998, pp. 316-318.

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.