St. James the Pilgrim, 2010:
acrylic on scallop shell (6.5"x6") - sold,
In around 800 AD, so the story goes, the remains of the apostle James were found at a site in Galicia, the northwestern region of Spain. This amazing discovery made the site (from then known as Santiago de Compostella) one of the foremost pilgrimage sites in medieval Europe. In fact, throughout the Middle Ages, Santiago de Compostella ranked as the 3rd most popular pilgrimage site, only behind Jerusalem and Rome. The shrine at Santiago de Compostella remains, the pilgrimage route across northern Spain can still be traveled today, and one can still see pilgrims bearing the iconographic scallop shell, identified with the pilgrimage of Saint James. Saint James appears in two different incarnations in his iconography - one is the bellicose, sword-wielding Matamoros, and the second, the one I have depicted here, is of St. James as a pilgrim to his own shrine - scallop shell insignia, walking stick, boots and all.