potencias de Cristo

English translation: Christ\'s rayed nimbus

GLOSSARY ENTRY (DERIVED FROM QUESTION BELOW)
Spanish term or phrase:potencias de Cristo
English translation:Christ\'s rayed nimbus
Entered by: kikiya

09:30 Jul 31, 2019
Spanish to English translations [PRO]
Art/Literary - Art, Arts & Crafts, Painting / texto religioso
Spanish term or phrase: potencias de Cristo
Buenos días, en un texto religioso habla de "...las potencias, que son atributo de su divinidad...".

Nos han comentado que se refieren a las piezas de orfebrería llamadas así, son como los tres rayos de luz que le salen a Cristo de la cabeza representados de distintas formas.

¿Conocéis un término exacto para esto?

Gracias, es urgente!
kikiya
Spain
Local time: 03:18
Christ's rayed nimbus
Explanation:
In the past I've used the Spanish word and added "rays of light" in parentheses, since that is what potencias means, but looking at it again now I think you could use this term.

Christ's potencias are His particular form of halo, or nimbus, to use a more technical term. They are rays that appear to emanate from His head. This form of halo or nimbus in iconography goes back to pre-Christian times, but it was particularly promoted for images of Christ in the Counter-Reformation.

"Halo, also called nimbus, in art, radiant circle or disk surrounding the head of a holy person, a representation of spiritual character through the symbolism of light. In Hellenistic and Roman art the sun-god Helios and Roman emperors often appear with a crown of rays. [...]
In Flemish painting of the 15th century, it began to be represented as rays of light; under the influence of the Counter-Reformation, which sought to restore a glorious conception to religious art, this form was adopted by Italian artists of the late 16th century, notably Tintoretto, as a realistically rendered light emanating from the holy person’s head. This new interpretation was the standard one in the Baroque period and in most subsequent religious works."
https://www.britannica.com/art/halo-art

"In Rome the halo was first used only for deceased emperors as a sign of celestial bliss, but afterwards living rulers also were given the rayed crown, and after the third century, although not first by Constantine, the simple rayed nimbus. [...]
http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/11080b.htm (article "Nimbus")

"In portrayals of God the Father, of Christ, and of the Holy Ghost, the Trinity is often symbolized by three rays of light issuing from the head to form a rayed nimbus."
George Wells Ferguson, Signs & Symbols in Christian Art
https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=GF4XDp-eSTwC&pg=PA149&lp...

"It incorporates a fragment of the True Cross set in a rayed nimbus"
https://collections.vam.ac.uk/item/O115695/cross-pyne-benjam...

"The figure of Christ is in relief and from head to foot is 14cm long. [...] The head is surrounded by a rayed nimbus"
https://www.museum.ie/The-Collections/Documentation-Discover...
Selected response from:

Charles Davis
Spain
Local time: 03:18
Grading comment
Muchas gracias!
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer



Summary of answers provided
4 +3Christ's rayed nimbus
Charles Davis
3Crown/halo of three rays for Christ
Toni Castano
3Christ's three-ray nimbus
Chema Nieto Castañón


Discussion entries: 10





  

Answers


23 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +3
Christ's rayed nimbus


Explanation:
In the past I've used the Spanish word and added "rays of light" in parentheses, since that is what potencias means, but looking at it again now I think you could use this term.

Christ's potencias are His particular form of halo, or nimbus, to use a more technical term. They are rays that appear to emanate from His head. This form of halo or nimbus in iconography goes back to pre-Christian times, but it was particularly promoted for images of Christ in the Counter-Reformation.

"Halo, also called nimbus, in art, radiant circle or disk surrounding the head of a holy person, a representation of spiritual character through the symbolism of light. In Hellenistic and Roman art the sun-god Helios and Roman emperors often appear with a crown of rays. [...]
In Flemish painting of the 15th century, it began to be represented as rays of light; under the influence of the Counter-Reformation, which sought to restore a glorious conception to religious art, this form was adopted by Italian artists of the late 16th century, notably Tintoretto, as a realistically rendered light emanating from the holy person’s head. This new interpretation was the standard one in the Baroque period and in most subsequent religious works."
https://www.britannica.com/art/halo-art

"In Rome the halo was first used only for deceased emperors as a sign of celestial bliss, but afterwards living rulers also were given the rayed crown, and after the third century, although not first by Constantine, the simple rayed nimbus. [...]
http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/11080b.htm (article "Nimbus")

"In portrayals of God the Father, of Christ, and of the Holy Ghost, the Trinity is often symbolized by three rays of light issuing from the head to form a rayed nimbus."
George Wells Ferguson, Signs & Symbols in Christian Art
https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=GF4XDp-eSTwC&pg=PA149&lp...

"It incorporates a fragment of the True Cross set in a rayed nimbus"
https://collections.vam.ac.uk/item/O115695/cross-pyne-benjam...

"The figure of Christ is in relief and from head to foot is 14cm long. [...] The head is surrounded by a rayed nimbus"
https://www.museum.ie/The-Collections/Documentation-Discover...

Charles Davis
Spain
Local time: 03:18
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 246
Grading comment
Muchas gracias!

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
neutral  Toni Castano: Have to express my misgivings on this one, Charles, and my point is as clear as water. // Yes, we do, but there is nothing wrong with that. Different opinions expressed with respect, as in this case, can enrich all debates.
1 hr
  -> Well, we disagree. Your point is indeed clear, but I don't think it's right.

agree  Beatriz Ramírez de Haro
3 hrs
  -> Many thanks, Bea :-)

agree  Chema Nieto Castañón: I have posted a defense of "three-ray nimbus" instead of rayed nimbus or rays of light but wanted to acknowledge your answer and explanations as I fully agree with you. Cheers!
4 hrs
  -> Thanks very much, Chema! I think mentioning three is reasonable, though arguably not essential :-)

agree  JohnMcDove: "Tres eran tres las hijas de Elena , tres eran tres y ninguna era buena..." I understand Toni's point. But at this point seems more a matter of what is "label" that is understood in English...
4 hrs
  -> Many thanks, John :-) I understand it too.
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4 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5
Christ's three-ray nimbus


Explanation:
Charles is right. If you check it out, the origin of the Potencias are the three visible arms of a "Greek cross" (the crux quadrata) behind the head of Christ which is pictured within the nimbus. It is later on that the halo disappears, leaving the three visible arms of the cross alone, pictured as "rays". And it is a bit later that those rays are not portrayed in a cross-like fashion but close together at the top of Christ's head.

I would keep the number three though when translating. In Spanish, there is no ambiguity when referring to the Potencias. But in English, rays of light or rayed nimbus might miss the relevance of the (three) Potencias -allegedly memory, understanding and (free) will.

I have found three-ray nimbus referring mainly to certain images of the dove (the holy spirit as part of the Trinity) that do actually look exactly like the "modern" iconography (procesional por ejemplo) of the Potencias. Lacking a more precise description (other than using the Spanish "Potencias" and a explanation) I would use this for Potencias de Cristo; (the) three-ray nimbus of Christ / Christ's three-ray nimbus.



se introduce en la circunferencia de su nimbo una cruz griega de la que sólo son visibles tres brazos, ya que el cuarto queda oculto tras la cabellera [Cristo Pantócrator]
(...)
La evolución de la cruz griega inserta en una aureola derivaría con el paso del tiempo a los tres rayos que hoy vemos en las mayoría de las imágenes cristíferas y que parte del Renacimiento de la mano de autores como Alberto Durero o el Greco
https://www.google.es/amp/s/cordobacofradiera.wordpress.com/...

En las primeras representaciones iconográficas de Jesús se situaba tras su cabeza una cruz griega (con los cuatro brazos iguales) que al quedar oculto el brazo inferior, se convirtió en las actuales, antes colocadas perpendiculares las laterales a la central. En el renacimiento y sobre todo en el barroco se unen algo las potencias quedando en la disposición actual.
http://elblogdellilu.blogspot.com/2012/04/el-significado-de-...

Three-ray nimbus
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-religion/2322109/replies...
https://www.google.es/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=http://t...

This Vesicas and Appliqué of the Victorious Triumphant Lamb of God, depicts the Lamb of God with a three ray nimbus, carrying the Banner of Victory
https://www.worthpoint.com/worthopedia/vestment-victorious-l...

Miss Long mentioned numerous others: eye, hand of God, the three ray nimbus, the crown, crosses and monograms.
https://archive.org/stream/episcopaliancros06epis/episcopali...



Chema Nieto Castañón
Spain
Local time: 03:18
Native speaker of: Native in SpanishSpanish
PRO pts in category: 4
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23 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5
Crown/halo of three rays for Christ


Explanation:
Never heard before. A new concept to me, even in Spanish. If there is another, more specific term in English, it is unknown to me.

https://www.religiousarticles.net/power-with-silver-plated-b...
Crown of three rays for Christ figurine, other information
The power is a group of three rays of light that are put in the head of the images of Jesus. The symbolizes the divinity and the light of Jesus. The powers tend to be three because they reflect the three faculties of the soul: intellect, will and memory.
The source of the power is located in the first representations of Jesus, which were made with a Greek cross (a cross that is characterized by having the four arms equal) over your head. One of the arms was hidden behind the head of Christ, which resulted in its suppression. Settling in this way the powers of three beams as the main method of representing jesus Christ.

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Note added at 1 hr (2019-07-31 10:57:28 GMT)
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After conducting some more research (I love art, but this specific question was really new land to me) and examining Charles´answer carefully, I tend to think that the word "crown of rays" (three actually) is ideal in this context. "Halo" is not and neither is "nimbus", in my view.
This is what the experts “on the matter” have to say regarding the search term. It is important to point out that the three “potencias” are metal pieces put on Jesuschrist´s head. They do not configure a nimbus or halo or the like, so I have to rectify my initial suggestion: Crown is okay, halo (shown very clearly by the way in my first reference, next to the crown of rays) is not.

https://cordobacofradiera.wordpress.com/2014/03/27/represent...
REPRESENTACIÓN DE LA DIVINIDAD (II). Las potencias
(…)
Para ello, usamos un elemento de gran tradición como son las potencias; formalmente, un conjunto de tres rayos ubicado en la cabeza de Cristo que normalmente suele contener las siglas JHS (Iesus Homini Salvator) o decoración variada. Se ha querido justificar este número de tres relacionándolo con las tres potencias o facultades del alma: voluntad, memoria y entendimiento; aunque si nos remontamos al origen del uso de las potencias en la figura de Cristo vemos que no es precisamente así.


Here you can see the “potencias” very distinctly. There is no halo, no nimbus whatsoever. Just a kind of crown consisting of three protruding metal pieces attached to Christ´s head:
https://www.alcielocofrade.com/2017/01/.



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Note added at 1 day 50 mins (2019-08-01 10:20:31 GMT)
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It is very recommendable to read this information, which is my final contribution to this KudoZ:
http://www.jdiezarnal.com/glosario.html
Potencia: Nos referimos a las potencias de Cristo. >b>Son los tres rayos de luz que sobresalen de la cabeza de Cristo. Originalmente adoptaban forma de cruz y se sitiaban en el nimbo de la corona para representar al personaje como a Cristo. Posteriormente el nimbo crucífero evolucionó hasta convertirse en tres rayos que sobresalen de la cabeza y que simbolizan la luz. Potencia puede ser sinónimo de facultad o poder. Según la tradición clásica cada rayo significa una facultad: memoria, entendimiento y voluntad que son atributos que identifican a Cristo, cada uno de ellos con una significación distinta

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Note added at 1 day 53 mins (2019-08-01 10:23:55 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Son los tres rayos de luz que sobresalen de la cabeza de Cristo. Originalmente adoptaban forma de cruz y se sitiaban en el nimbo de la corona para representar al personaje como a Cristo. Posteriormente el nimbo crucífero evolucionó hasta convertirse en tres rayos que sobresalen de la cabeza y que simbolizan la luz.

Toni Castano
Spain
Local time: 03:18
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in SpanishSpanish

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
neutral  Charles Davis: But they represent a halo or nimbus, imitating the representation of one in painting; they do not represent a crown, which is entirely the wrong iconography for Christ. // No, not just Byzantine art; where did you get that idea?
1 hr
  -> Thank you for your input, Charles, I was actually waiting for it. I have already expressed my opinion, very clearly I believe. If you use nimbus you are using a wrong word, would be okay for Byzantine art, but not in this case.
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