New Book | Baroque Seville: Sacred Art in a Century of Crisis

Posted in books by Editor on June 3, 2017

The focus rests on the 1660s and 70s—with plenty, nonetheless, relevant for the eighteenth century. CH.

From Penn State UP:

Amanda Wunder, Baroque Seville: Sacred Art in a Century of Crisis (University Park: Penn State University Press, 2017), 232 pages, ISBN: 978  02710  76645, $85.

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.

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.

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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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