Arts & Crafts - Works of Art in Sevilla

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Seville cathedral
Seville cathedral

There are many works of art in the Seville Cathedral (the "Giralda"), such as the great High Altar (1482-1525), carved by the Flemish artist Peter Dancart. In the Scalas chapel, the 15th century Altarpiece of the Virgin of the Pomegranate, by Andrea della Robia, is an exquisite work molded in clay by one of Florence's greatest 15th century artists.

In the San Hermenegildo chapel is the remarkable Tomb of Cardinal Cervantes, by Lorenzo Mercadante (1458), carved in alabaster. The main Sacristy contains the outstanding Descent from the Cross, painted on wood by Pedro de Camaña, (1547). The Sacristy of Los Cálices is home to a magnificent carving of Christ on the Cross by Martínez Montañes', in the Sevillian baroque style; as well as a large painting of Saint Anthony, by Murillo (1656), in the Baptistery. Behind the high altar is a lavishly colourful Triumph of the Eucharist by Herrera el Mozo (1656). The Sacristy of Los Cálices also holds a large Goya depicting Seville's two saints, Justa and Rufina (1817).

Three fascinating pieces exhibited in the Archaeological Museum are the Phoenician bronze figure of Astarte, a statue of Trajan from Italica (2nd century), shown as emperor and hero-god, and, also from Italica, a sculpture of Venus (4th century BC), and a striking statue of Aphrodite Anadyomene, carved in translucent marble.

Mosaic at the Casa de Pilatos
Mosaic at the Casa de Pilatos

The Fine Arts Museum of Seville is home to many fine artworks, such as the splendid portrait of Jorge Manuel Theotocópuli by El Greco (circa, 1605); and Saint Ildefonsus Receiving the Chasuble by Velázquez (circa, 1623), a painting of great emotional intensity. The Apotheosis of St Thomas Aquinas by Zurbarán is a hallmark in the annals of Spanish baroque painting; also by Zurbarán is the series from the monastery of Santa María de las Cuevas. There is a finely painted Madonna, by Murillo. The Cigar Makers, by Gonzalo Bilbao (1915) reflects the late 19th century trend for impressionism and social realism. Valdés Leal's "Hieroglyphs towards the End of Life" (1671-72) are an impressive allegory on life and death in two remarkable paintings found in the Hospital de la Caridad. The Casa de Pilatos is home to the ceiling fresco "Apotheosis of Hercules" by Pacheco (1640), various paintings by Sebastiano del Piombo, Pantoja de la Cruz, Carreño de Miranda, Van Loo, Lucas Jordan, and an exquisite bullfighting scene by Goya.

Religious statuary is infused with unbridled baroque passion and tragedy, as seen in the "Jesús de la Pasión" by Martínez Montañes (1610-15) and the "Cristo del Amor" by Juan de Mesa (1618-20) in the church of El Salvador, as well as the "Jesús del Gran Poder", also by Juan de Mesa, in the basilica at Plaza de San Lorenzo. The "Cristo de la Expiracíon", known as El Cachorro, by Antonio Gijón (1682), is the object of deep popular devotion, in the chapel of El Patrocino.

The provincial towns of the region possess many artistic art treasures, such as the processional monstrance by Francisco de Alfaro (1579-84), a fine masterpiece created by the silversmiths of Seville, housed in the church of Santa Maria at Carmona; "The Calvary" by Rivera (1625-26), painted in Naples for the Duke of Osuna and installed in the Colegiata of Osuna; an El Greco, "The Penitent Magdalene", in the church of San Eutropio at Paradas, and a painting on wood attributed to Bernardino Luini, a disciple of Leonardo da Vinci, in the church of Santa María de la Mesa, at Utrera.

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