Works of Art in Cádiz

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The ancient city of Cádiz possesses many fine paintings and sculptures, including three excellent Goyas on religious themes, which are fairly unusual for this artist: The Miracle of the Loaves and the Fishes, The Invitation of the Head of the Family and The Last Supper, to be found in the Oratorio de la Santa Cueva, in the Parochial Church of El Rosario.

The city's most precious paintings, housed in the Cádiz Museum, are by 17th century artist Francisco de Zurbarán, which he created for the high altar of the Carthusian monastery in Jerez. There is also a series of paintings on canvas and wood, from the same religious order, and which are considered to be among the his finest works; the Museum also contains The Holy Family and a small, precious painting on copper by the 17th century Dutch artist Reubens. Works of sculpture include the outstanding carvings by Luisa Roldán: her Ecce Homo, carved in 1684, in the intensely dramatic baroque style, is to be found in the Cathedral Museum.

The city's Archaeological Museum contains anthropoid Sarcophagi (470-400 BC) which are unique in the Mediterranean region. The male sarcophagus was discovered in 1887 and the female sarcophagus, similar in style, was discovered a century later. These pieces are characteristic of an Egyptian funereal tradition, and their presence here can be explained by the trade carried on by the ancient city of Gades with the ports of the eastern Mediterranean.

The churches of Cádiz Province are home to two remarkable altarpieces: the high altar of the church of San Pedro at Arcos de la Frontera, by Hernando de Esturnio (1539), whose many works are clear examples of the Flemish influence on Andalucían art in the mid-16th century; and the high altar of the Church of San Miguel, in Jerez de la Frontera, carved by Martínez Montañes (1617-1643), an outstanding example of the artist's finest period.