LUCÍA GÓMEZ-CHACÓN, Diana, "Reflexos dirige calles. The Iconographic Program of the Monastery of Santa Maria la Real de Nieva’s ecclesia fratrum (1414-1432)", Hortus Artium Medievalium, 22 (2016), pp. 451-461.
The Monastery of Santa Maria la Real de Nieva (Segovia, Spain) was founded by Queen Catherine of Lancaster in 1399. This former Dominican convent’s ecclesia fratrum is decorated with a series of sculptural motifs, which, up to now, had been dismissed by scholarship as mere marginal elements, the product of the sculptors’ inventiveness and sense of humour. However, a detailed analysis demonstrates their iconographic relevance, as they constitute a message addressed to the friars who contemplated them every day. The representation of Friars Preachers in completely opposed attitudes visually documents the two different religious lifestyles that coexisted in Dominican communities when the Monastery of Santa Maria la Real de Nieva was being enlarged. The observant friars, larger in number than the monastic brethren depicted inside this mendicant church, suggest an attempt by the designer or designers of the iconographic programme to include a hopeful and reformist message in the church’s decoration through which the religious community, and especially its novices, could be instructed in regular observance.