Tiepolo ... or perhaps Mr Ambassador Richard Walls ... was tactful. There had, after all, been bellicose passages in the historical memories of relations between England and Spain. So, tactfully, S James is not here shown slaying Moors by the million (although if you look carefully between the horse's legs, you will see some old-fashioned bits of military mayhem). But the Saint, his eyes fixed on heaven, moves onwards. True, he carries a drawn sword. True, with that sword he gently bends the head of a kneeling, subjected, Moor.
But the violence is past. The subjected Moor will rise as a Christian. The Spanish Empire, extensive and diverse, has purchased, not without a use of force, a peaceful and a Christian civilisation. I think that is what Tiepolo thought he was painting for the Chapel in London of the Spanish Ambassador.
Is the idea an unworthy one?
My second query: S James of Spain carries a banner. It appears to be white and to bear a red Cross.
You are perfectly aware that I am not an expert on Spanish (or Venetian) art. And negatives are always dodgy things to do business with.
But I don't recall examples of what looks like the flag of S George of England being carried in a Hispanic military context.
What think ye?