Baroque Seville: Sacred Art in a Century of Crisis

Baroque Seville: Sacred Art in a Century of Crisis

by Amanda Wunder


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Baroque art flourished in seventeenth-century Seville during a tumultuous period of economic decline, social conflict, and natural disasters. This volume explores the patronage that fueled this frenzy of religious artistic and architectural activity and the lasting effects it had on the city and its citizens.

Amanda Wunder investigates the great public projects of sacred artwork that were originally conceived as medios divinos—divine solutions to the problems that plagued Seville. These commissions included new polychromed wooden sculptures and richly embroidered clothing for venerable old images, gilded altarpieces and monumental paintings for church interiors, elaborate ephemeral decorations and festival books by which to remember them, and the gut renovation or rebuilding of major churches that had stood for hundreds of years. Meant to revive the city spiritually, these works also had a profound real-world impact. Participation in the production of sacred artworks elevated the social standing of the artists who made them and the devout benefactors who commissioned them, and encouraged laypeople to rally around pious causes. Using a diverse range of textual and visual sources, Wunder provides a compelling look at the complex visual world of seventeenth-century Seville and the artistic collaborations that involved all levels of society in the attempt at its revitalization.

Vibrantly detailed and thoroughly researched, Baroque Seville is a fascinating account of Seville’s hard-won transformation into one of the foremost centers of Baroque art in Spain during a period of crisis.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780271076645
Publisher: Penn State University Press
Publication date: 03/14/2017
Pages: 232
Product dimensions: 8.30(w) x 10.20(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Amanda Wunder is Associate Professor of History at Lehman College and of Art History at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York.

Table of Contents


List of Illustrations


Currency, Weights, and Measures


1 The Art of Disillusionment: The Patronage of Mateo Vázquez de Leca

2 The Piety of Powerful Neighbors: The Renovation of Santa María la Blanca

3 A Temporary Triumph: The Seville Cathedral’s Festival for San Fernando

4 The Nobility of Charity: The Church and Hospital of the Santa Caridad

5 The Phoenix of Seville: Rebuilding the Church of San Salvador






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