Ecclesiastical Architecture and the Castilian Crisis of the Seventeenth Century: Seville Cathedral and the Church of the Sagrario.

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d'Arcy, Sing (2014)
  • Publisher: Ubiquity Press
  • Journal: Architectural Histories (issn: 2050-5833, eissn: 2050-5833)
  • Related identifiers: doi: 10.5334/ah.cc
  • Subject: NA1-9428 | Spain | Baroque | Seville | Architectural history | Spain ; Baroque ; Seville ; Cathedral ; Ecclesiastical architecture | Ecclesiastical architecture | Cathedral | Architecture

When it came time for the critics and historiographers of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries to write the grand narrative of Spanish architecture, the decadence of Habsburg monarchy, economy and society was paralleled to the decline of the noble art itself. The completion of the Escorial in 1584 loomed more like an enormous granite epitaph for Spanish architectural production than the promise of a New Jerusalem. For seventeenth-century architects and theoreticians, like Fray Lorenzo de San Nicolás, and nineteenth-century commentators, such as Agustín Ceán Bermúdez, the intromission of painters, joiners, silversmiths and other guilds into the realm of architectural design was seen as the principal corruptive force which manifested itself in the unpardonable horrors of the Baroque. These negative topoi have, in many cases, found their way into the contemporary historiography of Spanish architecture of the period, typically depicted as all surface and no space, relegating it to a place lesser importance. 
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