The lion is a symbol of Christ, who was called in the New Testament the Lion of the Tribe of Judah. He tramples a dragon, the personification of evil. In the background is the Coronation of the Virgin flanked by the archangel Gabriel and St. Leonard, patron saint of prisoners, shown here freeing two captives from their chains. The relief originally flanked the church portal.
From the Chuch of San Leonardo at Zamorra; [ Emile Pares, Paris (until 1916)]
Spanish Medieval Art: A Loan Exhibition in Honor of Dr. Walter W.S. Cook. New York: Institute of Fine Arts Alumni Association, 1954. no. 42.
Verdier, Philippe. Le Couronnement de la Vierge: Les Origines et les Premiers Développements d'un Thème Iconographique. Paris: Librairie philosophique J. Vrin, 1980. p. 111, pl. 5.
Simon, David L. "Romanesque Art in American Collections. XXI. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Part I: Spain." Gesta 23, no. 2 (1984). no. 2, pp. 149-51, fig. 5.
Schrader, J. L. "A Medieval Bestiary." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, n.s., 44, no. 1 (Summer 1986). p. 47.