martedì 24 gennaio 2017

Hospital de la caridad - Sivglia

Charity Hospital. Seville

The building has not changed much since the 17th century. The Charity Hospital is set up around two twin patios. At the centre of each one there is a fountain, one with a statue of the Charity and the other of the Mercy, elaborated in Genoa in 1682.
If you pay attention you’ll notice that these courtyards are typical patios sevillanos, more austere and sober though. They have the same structure that you can also see at the Casa de Pilatos or the Palacio de Lebrija. All inherited from the Arabs… (you can also admire some excellent examples at the Alcázar).

On top of it, the patio is decorated with seven tiled panels of 1700 from Holland, representing scenes of the Old and New Testament. Absolutely marvelous!

The church’s façade is impressive and very original. It is decorated with five blue and white tiled panels. Each one represents Saint George, Saint James (Santiago), Faith, Hope and Charity. If you didn’t notice them before entering the Hospital, save some time to do so when you exit the building.

Inside, the church is magnificent. All the decoration was planned by Mañara. It is one of the most beautiful churches in Seville and, by far, my favorite one (followed by the church of the Hospital de los Venerables).

Mañara had also the idea of decorating the church with paintings that would illustrate his ideals: the rejection of the mundane vanities and the exaltation of the mercy acts. These art pieces were commissioned to very important painters such as Bartolomé Esteban Murillo, Juan de Valdés Leal and sculptors like Pedro Roldán and Bernardo Simón de Pineda.

The altarpiece by Simón de Pineda is completely Baroque, very elaborated and covered in gold. The great sculpture represents Christ’s Burial, referring to the mission of the Brotherhood (bury the executed and the drowned). It was done by Roldán and colored by Valdés Leal.

Murillo painted six masterpieces about mercy. Unfortunately, four of them were stolen in 1810 by the French marshal Soult. When he died, his heirs sold the paintings and they can be found today in the most important museums around the world…
Still, the church preserves much of its original aspect and the remaining paintings, spread all over the nave, are awesome

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