The Cathedral of Saint Mary of the See is located in Seville. It is Gothic in style. It is the largest cathedral in the world. The Unesco declared in 1987, with the Real Alcázar and the Archivo de Indias, Heritage and, on July 25, 2010, Good of outstanding universal value. According to tradition, the construction began in 1401, although there is no documentary evidence of the beginning of the works until 1433. The construction was carried out on the site that was left after the demolition of the old aljama mosque in Seville, whose minaret (La Giralda) and patio (patio de los Naranjos) are still preserved.
One of the first masters of works was Master Carlin (Charles Galter), from Normandy (France), who had previously worked in other great European Gothic cathedrals and arrived in Spain believed to be fleeing the Hundred Years War. On October 10, 1506, the last stone was placed in the highest part of the dome, with which symbolically the cathedral was completed, although in fact work continued uninterruptedly throughout the centuries, both for the interior decoration, such as to add new rooms or to consolidate and restore the damage caused by the passage of time, or extraordinary circumstances, among which it is worth noting the Lisbon earthquake of 1755 that produced only minor damage despite its intensity. The architects Diego de Riaño, Martín de Gainza and Asensio de Maeda intervened in these works. Also at this stageHernán Ruiz built the last body of the Giralda. The cathedral and its outbuildings were completed in 1593.
The Metropolitan Cabildo maintains the daily liturgy and the celebration of the Corpus, Immaculate and Virgin of the Kings festivities. This last day, August 15, is also the titular festival of the temple, Santa María de la Asunción or de la Sede, and is celebrated with a solemn third and pontifical procession.
The temple houses the mortal remains of Christopher Columbus and several kings of Castile: Pedro I el Cruel, Fernando III el Santo and his son, Alfonso X el Sabio.
One of the last important works carried out took place in 2008 and consisted of replacing 576 ashlars that made up one of the great pillars that support the temple, with new stone blocks of similar characteristics but with much greater resistance. This difficult work was possible thanks to the use of innovative technological systems that showed that the building suffered oscillations of 2 cm daily as a consequence of the expansion of its materials.
Cathedral of Seville has one of the richest artistic treasures preserved in ecclesiastical spheres and is considered one of the best art galleries in Spain. Many of the paintings are first-rate works and their updated inventory comprises eight hundred and thirty-three records.
This treasure, which we now disclose in a very small part, has been formed over the centuries as a result of the Council’s own desire to enrich its cathedral and by the eagerness of many of its canons who commissioned paintings to adorn altarpieces and chapels. Likewise, the main Sevillian families who chose the cathedral as the site for their burials, adorned their chapels with pictorial compositions, in addition to those who, in their wills, left part of their collections to be placed in their dependencies. In this way, from the 15th century to the 19th century, the history of painting appears profusely represented in the Seville cathedral.
Worthy mention deserve the wonderful bars of the different chapels and altars that, with their solemn bars, have decisively contributed to the fact that, today, we can see the works placed there as if they had just been invoiced, in addition to being the distance from the outside of the themselves, to which the author would suppose that his work would be admired. This was vital to ensure the adequate conservation of the paintings that were not within the direct reach of the viewer.
The sculptural heritage of the Cathedral of Seville has works from late antiquity until the end of the twentieth century and includes not only devotional images, monumental sculpture, graves, tombstones and inscriptions but also much of the altarpieces and some furniture, indicated in other sections.
The most remote pieces are various Roman, Visigoth and Islamic tombstones and the Patio de los Naranjos fountain. The oldest images were donated by Fernando III and Alfonso X to the Chapel of the Kings and to the main altar of the Cathedral; the Virgen de los Reyes, patron saint of the city, is a work directly linked to the holy king and the Virgen de la Sede presides over the main altar since the last quarter of the 13th century. The Virgin of Battles accompanied King Ferdinand III at his grave and two tombstones with inscriptions in Spanish, Latin, Arabic and Hebrew commissioned by his son have remained on the burial monument.
From the primitive Mudejar cathedral we keep other images such as the Virgen de los Olmos, the Crucificado del Millón from the end of the 13th century that crowns the main altarpiece, some funerary tombstones and tombs such as that of Mate de Luna (+1299). According to the documentation, the first tombs with sculpted effigies were those of the Pérez de Guzmán family and that of the archbishop Don Gonzalo de Mena (+1401) is a burial mound with the effigy of the deceased lying and reliefs of the life of Christ and the Virgin. alabaster.
The works of the Gothic temple were advanced, when Cardinal Juan de Cervantes died (+1453) and the council commissioned his alabaster tomb from the Norman sculptor Lorenzo Mercadante from Brittany, whose stay coincided with the heyday of flamenco forms in Seville and the beginning of the monumental sculpture on the western covers, of the Nativity and of the Baptistery, whose figures and reliefs he modeled in clay.
The monumental sculpture in fired clay constitutes a late medieval plastic manifestation, which in Seville reached high levels of quality since the middle of the 15th century and continued in later periods, mainly due to the lack of nearby stone quarries suitable for sculpted carving. Pedro Millán modeled, at the beginning of the 16th century, the images for the altar of the Virgen del Pilar and completed the sculpture of the western covers, one of the most interesting sets of European monumental sculpture.
At the beginning of the 16th century, other sculptors such as Sebastián de Almonacid made images for the platforms of the triforiums, for other altars endowed by various members of the council and Doménico Fancelli was in Seville to install the tomb of Cardinal Hurtado de Mendoza in the chapel of the Antigua, which had been commissioned by the Duke of Tendilla to host the remains of his uncle. The assembly of the sepulcher in 1510, marked a deep mark in the Renaissance works of the alabaster chapels. Works from the first renaissance are the decoration of the main sacristy, baptismal font and two imported reliefs from Andrea de la Robbia’s Florentine workshop and the sculpted decoration of the main sacristy.
In the first decades of the 16th century, Miguel Perrin was in charge of creating the new baked clay images for the closing of the collapsed transept in 1510, the Renaissance sculptural program that renewed the Perdón door in 1519-1521 and provided it with Renaissance iconography. the two eastern gates, the Epiphany and the Entry into Jerusalem. Likewise, in 1522 the completion of the main altar led to the completion of an ambitious iconographic program of fifty-six fired clay figures for its exterior walls and head of the main chapel, which was started by the same sculptor and concluded by Juan Marín and Diego de la Fishing in the third quarter of the 16th century.
The mannerist period left splendid samples in the times of the greatest master Hernán Ruiz and his successors, with whom the sculptors Juan Bautista Vázquez el Viejo, Diego de la Pesquera and Juan Guillen collaborated. These together with others carved the reliefs of the chapter room and the antechamber, completed the expansion of the main altarpiece, the exterior walls of the main altar, made pieces for the liturgical furniture and the monumental vane that Bartolomé Morel cast in 1568 to finish off the bell tower of the Giralda.
The most famous sculptors of the Sevillian school of Baroque undertook the altarpieces of numerous chapels whose titular images enjoy great devotion, carved tombs and furniture, reformed the Easter monument and sculpted images including those of San Fernando, canonized in 1671 Works by Juan Martínez Montañés, Pedro Roldán, Juan de Arce, Francisco and Dionisio de Ribas, Juan de Mesa, Alonso Martínez and Francisco Ruiz Gijón occupy the altars and chapels of this temple, where, in addition, we can find interesting ivory carvings of different origin and characters.
Neoclassicism and the 19th century
The new flooring of the Cathedral in the 18th century moved the most important graves, whose slabs were renovated, and caused the loss of numerous Renaissance and Baroque tombstones. At the end of the 19th century, the sculptors Ricardo Bellver, Agapito Valmitjana, José Esteve, Pedro Arnal, Alfonso Bergaz and Adolfo López Rodríguez made the graves of the cardinals of Lastra, Cienfuegos and Lluch Garriga and undertook the monumental sculpture of the covers of the Assumption , Ascension and San Cristóbal with an accentuated neo-Gothic character. In 1899 the remains of Admiral Don Cristóbal Colón arrived in Seville, placed three years later in a mausoleum designed by Arturo Mélida and Alinari in 1891.
Sculpture during the 20th century has had a marked funerary character since in 1812 Joaquín Bilbao concluded the grave of blessed cardinal Marcelo Spinola. Then Mariano
Decorative arts Collection
The movable heritage of the Cathedral of Seville includes the choral choir stalls of the largest and chapel altar , Real, baroque set of portable chorus of the Corpus, other works of liturgical furniture, swing doors, cabinets and, among others, armchairs protocol.
The oldest works conserved are the doors of the Puerta del Perdón and those of another door that was located in the Sagrario chapel of the original Mudejar cathedral. The former are Almohad work plated with knockers and cast bronze plates; the second ones in gilded wood constitute a reference work among his Mudejar contemporaries, made in Toledo and Seville in the mid-14th century.
The monumental choir stalls of the main chapel consist of one hundred and seventeen seats, high and low, made by Nufro Sánchez and Pieter Dancart between 1464 and 1479; reformed in 1511 and had a major restoration in the late 19th century. The backs of the high seats are Mudejar lattice panels and on the bottom there are reliefs from the Old and New Testaments. The iconography is completed by an extensive program of prophets, apostles and saints located in the streets and upper part of the canopy, together with the allegorical motifs of mercy.
The monumental choir facistol is a Renaissance work in wood and bronze made by Juan Marín, Bartolomé Morel, Francisco Hernández, Juan del Pozo and Bautista Vázquez, the Elder; the reliefs in the lower part illustrate historical aspects of the furniture, instruments and musical instruments of the Seville cathedral in the time of the chapel master Francisco Guerrero (1549-1599). Works from the same period are the preserved Renaissance reliefs of the drawers of the Sacristía Mayor and the door wings of the same area carved by Diego Guillent Ferrant, Diego de Velasco el Mozo, Juan Bautista Vázquez el Viejo, Alonso Ruiz, Cornielles and Jerónimo de Valencia between 1548-1551. The Archbishop’s chair made by Diego de Velasco and Andrés de Ocampo in 1592, and the seat of the Cabildo secretary are preserved in the Chapter Hall.
The collaboration and commissions to sculptors of the cathedral furniture continued during the Baroque period. Pedro Duque Cornejo carved in 1743 the reliefs of the large cabinets that keep the different pieces that make up the silver altar and trousseau, placed in the access space to the main sacristy. The most important ensemble of the Baroque period is the portable furniture for sacramental celebrations: the monumental lectern of gilded and polychrome wood for the canticles and that of the altar, attributed to the sculptor Francisco Antonio Gijón at the end of the 17th century.
Among the baroque and rococo furniture, the golden benches and seats made by a chapter agreement of 1777 for the festivities of Corpus and Maundy Thursday, two archbishop seats in gilded wood, a set of eighteenth-century Spanish armchairs, several hip chairs covered in red velvet stand out. , two gilded wooden consoles and two baroque confessionals. The doors of the choir that give access to the organ boxes are the work of Luis de Figueroa (1633), the doors of the presbytery doors of the Antigua chapel and those of the access doors to the choir made in ebony, hawksbill and bronze inlays correspond to the third decade of the 18th century.
Neoclassical works are the stalls and facistol of the choir of the Royal Chapel paid for by Carlos IV and the cabinets of the old Accounts room (1790). The two neo-Gothic gates of the cruise were made at the beginning of the 20th century.
The bars of the cathedral of Seville are an extraordinary set to observe the stylistic evolution of the art of gridwork in Andalusia. These closures protect the enclosures, they are openwork screens through which light penetrates and produce an atmosphere of mystery that modifies, enhances and transforms the spaces of worship and prayer. Supported by the Cabildo and by individuals who had endowed chaplaincies, their close relationship with architecture led to the direct participation of the Master Master, who provided designs and drawings for their realization on numerous occasions.
The lack of nearby deposits forced the import of iron, which was sold by Biscayan and Guipuzcoan merchants. The teachers who made the bars of the cathedral had their workshops and houses for rent in outbuildings near the Corral de San Miguel, in front of the Temple steps, or in the Postigo del Carbón, near the River and the Atarazanas. The large size of the bars of the High Altar and choir motivated its construction in some buildings of the Alcázar.
Sancho Muñoz and Fray Francisco de Salamanca introduced in the diocese the technical innovations of the 16th century grid. With their collaborators, they made the choir gate (1518-1523), which had serious damage in 1888, and the two sides of the main altar (1518-1523). The main grille, designed by Bartolomé de Jaén, is the work of Fray Francisco de Salamanca and Juan de Ávila, authors also of the pulpits (1524-1533)
Most of the 16th century altars still have contemporary railings and railings. The one on the Altar of Mercy is attributed to these masters and the rest follow designs by the architects Hernán Ruiz II, Martín de Gainza and Miguel de Zumárraga. The Salamanca man Pedro Delgado, documented from 1535 to 1571, made under the direction of the former the bars of the Mariscal chapels, of the chantre Luis de Medina, of Scalas and that of the Star (1568) that served as a model in the 17th century for the other three alabaster chapels.
The slow execution of the grille of the Antigua chapel forced successive interventions by the masters Juan López, Juan Barba and Rodrigo de Segovia (1565 – 1601). The grill
The monumental grille of the Chapel of the Conception stands out from the seventeenth century. It was made by Pedro Muñoz and polychromed by Juan de Valdés in 1654, inspired in 1778 by Fray José Cordero for the chapel of San Pedro. Carlos III donated the Royal Chapel grate that Sebastián van der Brocht designed and crowns a group of the sculptor Jerónimo Roldán (1773). The chapels of San Laureano, del Pilar, San Leandro and San Isidoro have bars from the 18th century. The neo-Gothic bars of the chapels of San Andrés and Evangelistas stand out from the 20th century.
The preserved documentation shows numerous ceramic commissions, carried out by individuals or by the Cabildo, to cover not only the fronts of the gifted altars and the grave graves, but to pave the chapels, the choir, the courtyards and, among others, to cover with ceramics glazed the dome in 1508-1511, the lantern of the main sacristy (1543) or the dome of the Royal chapel (1583)
This information contrasts with the few preserved testimonies. Archeology works have revealed the character of the pavement of the square ceramic slabs of the Almohad mosque, the rectangular ones of the Gothic paving along with other testimonies of 14th century sepulchral tiles that represent glazed heraldic elements, made with mold and were very common in contemporary burials.
In the Mudejar cathedral it had numerous altars covered with ceramics, which became widespread in the Gothic building at the end of the 15th and 16th century with edge or basin tiles. The front of the sacristy of the Chapel of the Maidens has preserved a good testimony of this technique; Attributed to the workshop of the Pulido brothers, active in Seville in the third decade of the 16th century, it presents decorative elements that imitate a medieval fabric, combined with the coat of arms of García de Gibraleón, patron saint of the chapel.
These ceramic fronts presented a perimeter band that enclosed the decorative front with figurations alluding to the dedication of the altar or its patrons, between two rectangular lateral falls. Decorative cloths that imitated fabrics were kept in the Sevillian tradition during the Baroque period and then inspired the generalized historicists in the Triana workshops in the late 19th century. José Gestoso designed the fronts of the altar of the Incarnation and the chapel of the Immaculate, made by the ceramists Manuel Ramos (1909) and Manuel Amores (1908), respectively.
The baroque flooring of the cathedral at the end of the 18th century and the neoclassical transformations of the following century eliminated most of the ceramic coatings on the altars, reformed with jaspers and wood imitating marble. However, the plain tiles with vegetal decoration, arranged as a checkerboard, of the altar of the Assumption and the Renaissance flooring that still covers the Mariscal’s courtyard (c. 1591) remain.
Cathedral preserves approximately nine hundred pieces of silverware that, recently inventoried, are faithful testimony to the wealth of its liturgical trousseau, the jewels commissioned by the council, those paid for by donations from devotees and numerous legacies.
The reliquary triptych, called “Tablas alfonsies” is possibly one of the oldest works in the collection, which entered the Cathedral through the testamentary legacy of Alfonso X and is attributed to the goldsmith Jorge de Toledo, to whom the same monarch commissioned a canopy for the Virgin of the Kings. From the time of the holy king Fernando III are two swords, venerated as relics.
Among the works from the Gothic period, the works donated by Cardinal Gómez Barroso (+1390) stand out, as well as the portapaz of Felipe V of France and Juana de Burgundy made in Paris around 1317 that Cardinal Don Jaime de Palafox y Cardona (1701) left. ).
The transition from the Gothic period to the Renaissance is magnificently represented by another portapaz that belonged to Cardinal Pedro González de Mendoza or by the altar service of Cardinal Diego Hurtado de Mendoza. The reliquary of the “lignum crucis”, called by Constantine, is a delicate Renaissance piece bequeathed by Archbishop Fonseca.
The maintenance of the silver trousseau of the Cathedral was the obligation of the master silversmith, chosen and appointed by the council since, at least, the end of the XV century. The council, apart from the works of these artists, made orders for the liturgical trousseau to the best workshops established in the city. During the Renaissance the boxes of the medieval reliquaries were renewed and, in the mid-sixteenth century, they commissioned Hernando de Ballesteros, the Mozo, other new silver urns, two portapaces for the main altar, four chiselled silver candlesticks, called the « giants ». Works from the same period are the oil jugs, which were used until a few years ago, along with the “tiller ewer” and two jugs made in Antwerp, bought in 1564.
In 1580 the council accepted the model, which is preserved, of Juan de Arfe to carry out the new processional custody, which, concluded in 1587, was considered the best of its kind. Around the same time, the council commissioned other important pieces from silversmith Diego de Vozmediano, Francisco Merino (1586) and Juan de Alfaro, the imposing tabernacle in gilded silver (1593-1596), among other pieces.
The Cathedral preserves a good collection of silver trays from different times and origins, some cruets and a golden chalice bequeathed by Archbishop Delgado Venegas and even a gold ciborium with emeralds, diamonds and rubies still used in Holy Thursday celebrations. In the mid-18th century, Archbishop Vizarrón y Eguiarreta, who had been viceroy of Mexico and formerly canon of Seville, bequeathed an altar service and twelve imposing Mexican silver candlesticks. In 1681, Archbishop Palafox donated the extraordinary reliquary bust of Santa Rosalía, a panoramic work by Antonio L. Castelli, and promoted the creation of the large silver altar that they installed on the main altar during Holy Week and at the choir on the occasion of the festivities. the Corpus, the Immaculate Conception and the carnival triduum,
In 1671, on the occasion of the canonization of Saint Ferdinand, the civil and ecclesiastical authorities saw the need to project an urn for his remains, which today presides over the Royal Chapel, being carried out by Juan Laureano de Pina.
Neoclassicism and the 19th century
The various events that occurred in the reigns of Charles IV and Ferdinand VII led to the seizure of the jewels of the temples to attend to the needs derived from the French occupation. In response to these superior orders, the Cabildo had to deliver in payment numerous works among which was the custody of gold carved in 1752-1791. Then, the immediate invasion, made it necessary to transfer all the silver to the Customs of Cádiz, where it remained for three years. In 1815, when the Treasury and trousseau returned, the continuous payments demanded had melted almost half of the silver altar along with a significant part of the candlestick, trousseau pieces and reliquaries of the temple.
Stained glass Collection
The windows as the Cathedral of Seville is one of the largest sets, homogeneous and best preserved of the Spanish cathedrals. The one hundred and thirty-eight stained glass windows preserved also represent a magnificent chapter to learn about the history of this technique in the Iberian Peninsula, from the 15th to the 20th century.
The shape of the windows and the iconography of their vitreous surfaces obey the different orders made and the construction stages of the building. The openings in the western half of the temple and the central nave correspond to the oldest period of construction, they have a greater width than those located from the transept to the head.
Gothic stained glass window
The oldest stained glass windows are the seventeen that close the openings located on the side chapels and main nave in the west, made by the Alsatian Enrique Alemán, who also worked in the Cathedral of Toledo and is documented in Seville from 1478 to 1483.
His technique is a good testimony of his training and the technique developed by the German Peter Himmel von Andlau. The perfectly individualized figures with great graphic precision, located spatially under Gothic canopies, are arranged according to their iconography: prophets, apostles and saints linked with the diocese and with the most widespread devotions in the late Middle Ages.
Renaissance stained glass
After the Gothic construction was completed, the Cathedral commissioned the stained glass windows of the main altar, transept and eastern naves, both located on the chapels and on the entrances and most of which close the openings of the perimeter chapels.
The Renaissance glassmakers continued to work on it until the third decade of the 16th century, when they practically completed the general program after a hundred years.
The Frenchman Jean Jacques made the two stained glass windows of the main altar (1511-1518), which are the first Renaissance in this temple. With the arrival of Arnao de Vergara, the humanist proposals in the stained glass technique were clearly manifested: new closure of the transept, Virgin of Mercy of the chapel provided by Micer García de Gibraleón, San Sebastián of the stained glass window located on the cover of Los Palos that presents the features of Carlos I, and that of the Assumption of the Virgin that closes the great oculus of the southern transept (1525-1537)
A few years later, his brother, Arnao de Flandes is documented in the cathedral from 1534 to 1557 where he made the stained glass window of the Ascension of the Lord for the opposite side of the gable end of the transept, thirteen stained glass windows with saints on the transept and all of which present scenes of the life of Christ in the eastern ships. The stained glass windows located in the chapels of Saint Peter, Saint Paul, Saint Francis and the Evangelists are also his.
The stained glass window that closes the north arm of the transept, represents the Resurrection of the Lord and is a documented work of Carlos de Brujas (1558). During the second half of the 16th century, Vicente Menardo was commissioned with the three stained glass windows on the west façade and other scattered ones. In 1578, when this mannerist glazier died, the entire program of stained glass in the Cathedral was practically completed and carried out.
Baroque stained glass and neoclassicism
In the seventeenth, eighteenth and nineteenth centuries other artists made stained glass windows of interest that demonstrate their evolution during the Baroque and Neoclassical period.
From the Baroque period, the stained glass window of Santa Justa and Santa Rufina stands out, in the chapel of San Antonio, made by Juan Bautista León in 1685 and renovated in 1813, and the anagrams that close the side windows of the chapels of San Pedro and San Pablo in the 1780s.
The stained glass window in the chapel of San Hermenegildo (1819) is practically the only evidence of the neoclassical stained glass window.
Stained glass window of the 20th century
At the end of the 19th century, the state of conservation of stained glass made it necessary to start a restoration campaign and complete other slopes in the area of the header and skylights. To the Zettler house in Munich, he made the stained glass window of Saint Ferdinand in the Chapel of Antigua, designed by the historian José Gestoso, three of those destroyed in the collapse of the transept in 1888 and that of Pentecost in the chapel of Scalas (1880) .
Years later, Otto Kruppel of the Casa Maumejean designed the stained glass window in the San José chapel, taking advantage of ornamental elements from a 16th century stained glass window. This same house manufactured three more stained glass windows, undertook the first systematic restoration campaign of the 20th century, and included among its workers or collaborators Vicente Prianes, whose marks appear on numerous architectural elements of the windows dated 1930-1932
XV century. Enrique Alemán, author documented in Seville from 1478 to 1483. He made the oldest stained glass windows in the cathedral that correspond to the seventeen that close the openings located over the chapels and the main nave in the west. They denote the art of a glazier trained in Alsatian workshops, in which the different flamenco influence is appreciated from that of other authors who also intervened later.
He also worked in the cathedral of Toledo, where you can see the similarity of styles that he gave to the development of all his achievements, demonstrating in his art a dependent on the solutions of the Alsatian stained glass window, specifically, those developed by Peter’s workshop Hemmel von Andlau, who implants in an important series of stained glass windows for the Cathedral of Seville.
The start of the stained glass program is explained by the state of construction of the new building; presumably, the commissioning of the work had a very fast execution if we look at the number of works it carried out.
As we will see below in a sample of its value, it is appreciated that in all his stained glass windows, the master followed a same disposition that denotes the Germanic formation of the author in which his own solutions for Flemish painting are projected with formal precision and own drawing of an engraver, that is, trying to approach the painting. After his departure, there is an important documentary silence in the creation of new works, since the immediately subsequent masters will work in conservation works of what already existed until 1510 when the figure of another master appears.
Century XVI. Jean Jacques, master successor of Enrique Alemán in the creation of new stained glass windows, is of French origin and is documented in Seville from 1511 to 1518. In him, the influence of French solutions of around 1500 is very sensitive. In the documents in which it is mentioned, it appears with different names, always referring to the teacher in question. He was Flemish, specifically from Zeeland and in 1508 he contracted with the chapter of the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela the execution of the stained glass window of the rose window on the western facade. From there he went to Portugal and then settled in Seville, probably attracted by the prestige and flourishing of the city.
It was formed with a plastic language, proving an assimilation of the solutions of Flemish painting in contact with the French. His work focused mainly on the stained glass windows of the main chapel and the dome, presenting important novelties and differences. His art denotes a training in the solutions of flamenco painting, but, using a stylization, elegance and color harmony typical of an artist endowed with a strong and original personality; he is the first to make stained glass windows with compositions, divided by several mullions.
The abandonment of the Flemish solutions of the 15th century and the implantation of new Renaissance proposals have a period of interruption in the creation of new stained glass windows, until, in 1525 and after the master’s departure, a new one is documented: Arnao de Vergara .
Arnao de Vergara, with whom the forms of the Renaissance are introduced into the manufacturing style of the new stained glass windows. From a formal point of view, the implementation of the program of the stained glass windows of the cathedral of Seville experienced from 1525 onwards a decisive change of direction. He is the first Spanish teacher to intervene in them, introducing a fundamental change in stylistic evolution based on the change towards clearly mannerist approaches. In his creations the contradiction between traditional elements and the presence of Italian elements is resolved, using the architecture of the framing, the decorative elements, the perspective representation of the space, the chromatic harmony and the smooth cadence and rhythm of the proportions proposed by certain Italian painters of around 1500; the dichotomy between the expressiveness of the models and the classicism of the decorative elements is evident based on the exaltation and the cult of the grotesque. Probably born in Burgos and the son of the glassmaker Arnao de Flandes “the old man”, he received his Renaissance training in the artistic climate of Burgos imbued with Italianism. His work in Seville was not limited only to the work of the cathedral, but he also made stained glass windows for the alcazar, Jerez and Osuna, also appearing as a miniaturist to do work in the Las Cuevas monastery. His work as a glazier went solo until 1534 when he appears working with his brother, Arnao de Flandes until he moved to Granada,
Arnao de Flandes appears as a glazier in the cathedral in 1534, collaborating with his brother Arnao de Vergara before he left for Granada where he would die. In his creations, he proposed a change in the way of understanding the composition and proportion of the figures, but without distancing himself, especially at the beginning, from the harmonious and balanced figures of the previous classicism that was transformed into the characteristic mannerism of almost all their accomplishments.
When he arrived in Seville, he was an artist with a coherent sensibility and orientation that made him possess the ability to leave absolute classicism behind by introducing new gothic elements that come back into force.
sacred ornaments of the Cathedral of Seville attest to the magnificence of the ceremonial with which religious festivities were celebrated. The collection is important for the quantity, quality and variety of ancient pieces, which continue to enhance the most solemn ceremonies. Due to the changes in the liturgical uses, lately those motivated by the new missal of 1969, some liturgical garments ceased to be used, such as maniples, calyxes, amitos, cloths from the pulpit and indulgences, altar veils and others; planets and guilds had already fallen into disuse. All these pieces, as well as many others that are not commonly used, are stored in drawers, cabinets and adequate warehouses.
The Cathedral commissioned, through contracts, the ornaments to different workshops and appointed a prestigious embroiderer to examine the entire process and assess, by report, the price. In addition, for centuries, the canons and dignitaries wore important layers of imagery in processions and other ceremonies, which each paid for with their income.
The fragility of the fabrics, the continued use of the ornaments and their wear, need continuous attention. In the Cathedral of Seville, the position of «master of ornaments or clothing», in charge of the care, maintenance and repair of these fabrics, which is currently carried out by restorers and specialized workshops, has been documented since the 15th century.
There are still iconographic and documentary testimonies of the medieval trousseau, but also extraordinary remains of the vestments of Saint Fernando and his Banner. This insignia, hoisted by Christian troops on the day of the conquest of Seville, November 23, 1248, is an exceptional piece that, made in the first half of the 13th century, originally had four barracks with castles and lions, arranged diagonally and embroidered using the figure fitting technique. His son Alfonso X the Wise ordered in his will that the ornaments of his chapel and an altar cloth pass to the Cathedral. Some time later, Cardinal don Juan de Cervantes (+1454) and the Great Captain don Gonzalo Fernández de Córdoba (+1515) gave rich ornaments and the Catholic Queen also donated some clothes to the image of the Virgin of the Kings. Nevertheless,
A work of great artistic and historical value, deposited in the Cathedral, is the pluvial cape with which Charles V was clothed on the day of his coronation in the Aachen cathedral on October 23, 1520; the capillo and the orfres of imagery that represent holy kings and queens with embroidered embroidery made in flamenco workshops around 1508.
Approximately four thousand pieces are conserved, among which are the suits of the 17th and 18th centuries, such as the so-called “Terno Rico de Cuaresma”, another of Pentecost, of Saint Clement, Corpus Christi, three of the deceased and others for the sacramental festivals; there are also them of century XIX. There are about three hundred pluvial or processional layers, with orphres and imagery capillos, restored and transferred to new supports. Even today the same layers continue to be used: red in the processions of Palm Sunday and Saint Clement; the white ones on St. Fernando’s day and the blue ones on the feast of the Immaculate.
There are twenty altar fronts preserved and most have suits together. Among the cloths, the processional skirts of the Corpus custody and various guilds from the 18th century stand out, as well as the so-called “Persian canopy” from the late 16th century and the great Chinese-Filipino embroidered tapestry from the 17th century; a cloth of devotion that is embroidered with application technique the image of a Nazarene, a crimson pastry chef embroidered with the emblem of the Cathedral, from the late seventeenth century, and several cloths of deceased embroidered in the same period.
Other flags, banners and military scripts from the 18th to the 20th centuries offered to the Virgin of the Kings are also kept.