Seville Painting and Sculpture

There are many works of art in Seville's Cathedral, such as the great High Altar (1482-1525) designed by Pyeter Dancart from Flanders. In the Scalas chapel, the 15th c. altarpiece of the Virgin of the Pomegranate by Andrea della Robia is an exquisite work in terracota by one of the great artists of the Florentine 15th century. In the San Hermenegildo chapel, there is the tomb of Cardinal Cervantes by Lorenzo Mercandante (1458), a remarkable monument of alabaster. In the main Sacristy, the Descent from the Cross by Pedro de Campaña is an outstanding painting on wood (1547). In the Sacristy of Los Cálices, Martínez Montañés' Christ of Mercy (1606) is a really beautiful carving of Christ on the cross, of Sevillian baroque. There is a large painting of St. Anthony by Murillo (1656) in the Baptism Chapel. Behind the high altar, there is a sumptuously coloured Triumoh of the Eucharist by Herrera el Mozo (1656). The Sacristy of Los Cálices also holds a large painting of Saints Justa and Rufina by Goya (1817).

There are three most interesting archaeological troves: Astarte, a Phoenician bronze exponent of the feminine religious principle in the eastern Mediterranean; a figure of Trajan from Italica (2nd c.) as emperor hero-god and Venus of Italica (4th c. BC) and exceptional figure of Aphrodite Anadyomene with marine attributes, done in specially transparent marble (Archaeological Museum).

There are various paintings well worth seeing in Seville; in the Fine Arts Museum, there is a splendid portrait of Jorge Manuel Theotocópuli by El Greco (ca. 1605); St. Idelfonsus Receiving the Chasuble by Velázquez (ca.1623) is a remarkable painting of special intensity. The magnitude and quality of the Apotheosis of St. Thomas Aquinas by Zurbarán makes it one of the emblems of the baroque painting. By the same painter, there is the series from the monastery of Santa María de las Cuevas. There is a Madonna by Murillo with the painter's best features, the Cigar Makers by Gonzalo Bilbao (1915) is the synthesis of impressionist and social realism tendencies of the end of the 19th century. Valdés Leal's Hierogliphs towards the End of Life (1671-72) are an impressive allegory on life and death in two remarkable paintings in the Hospital de la Caridad. The Apotheosis of Hercules is on a ceiling painting by Pacheco (1640), master of Velázquez, and it may be seen among the large collection of paintings by Sebastiano del Piombo, Pantoja de la Cruz, Carreño de Miranda, Van Loo, Lucas Jordan and an exquisite Goya with a bullfighting scene in Casa de Pilatos.

Carvings of religious images are prodigal in the art of the best baroque pathos, thus Jesús de la Pasión by Martínez Montañés (1610-15) and Cristo del Amor by Juan de Mesa (1618-20) are first class examples in the church of El Salvador, as are Jesús del Gran Poder, also by Juan de Mesa at the basilica in Plaza de San Lorenzo, and Cristo de la Expiración called El Cachorro by F. Antonio Gijón (1682), object of deep popular devotion at the chapel of El Patrocinio.

There are real art treasures dotted about in the provincial towns, such as the processional monstrance by Francisco de Alfaro (1579-84), a real jewel of sevillian silversmiths, to be seen in the church of Santa María at Carmona; the painting of the Calvary by Riviera (1625-26) done in Naples on order from the Duke of Osuna may be seen at the Colegiata in Osuna; another painting by El Greco, the Penitent Magdalene in the church of San Eutropio at Paradas, or a painting on wood said to be by Bernardino Luini, a disciple of Leonardo's, in the church of Santa María de la Mesa at Utrera.

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