October 25, 2006

Global Seminars & Invited Speaker Series


Art, magnificence and power. The centuries of the Baroque

Dr. Ricardo Fernández Gracia.
Chair of Navarrese Heritage and Art

During the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, the collegiate church of Tudela "distinguished and famous church"At the head of which was the dean with very broad prerogatives, relations with the prelates of Tarazona were stormy. Tudela's interest in maintaining the status The interest of Tudela in maintaining the status of the deanery was a fact that transcended the historical development of the city and the artistic manifestations. The initiatives of the dean and the canons were joined by the Regiment of the city, patrician families, individuals and institutions that had chapels and patronages in the collegiate church. The interest of all of them to have the temple in fashion was a constant, which can be seen in the works of that period.

Ricardo Fernández Gracia

In addition to special groups such as the sacristy decorated with a B set of Vicente Berdusán (1671) and donations of sumptuary art pieces, the temple was enriched with two eighteenth-century chapels, the first dedicated to the patron saint Santa Ana, under the auspices of the Regiment of the city (1712-1724) and the second for the parishioners of Santa María and San Julián (1737-1744). In both, the traditional and traditional Baroque style triumphed, based on the sensory impact and the principle of fusion of the arts, so that their interiors were transformed into true miracle spaces, or caelum in terris.

Cathedral of Tudela. Chapel of Santa Ana. Detail

Cathedral of Tudela. Chapel of Santa Ana. Detail

All those artistic manifestations cannot be separated from the peculiar status of the chapter and dean of Tudela, to which we have referred. The collegiate church of Tudela, cathedral since 1783, like other temples of similar rank in Spain and Europe, had in the past sources of wealth that allowed them to have a liturgy, music and artistic manifestations of the highest level for the praise of God, the Virgin and the saints, which were not alien to some demonstrations of power typical of a privileged social group , which was the ecclesiastical during the Ancient Regime.

The chapter statutes, including the rules of the choir, the altar and the chapter itself, are inexhaustible sources for understanding what the phenomenon of collegiate churches and cathedrals meant for the life of cities over the course of several centuries. Those temples with their chapter houses, music chapels and grammar schools were a continuous socio-cultural reference point that, due to their importance, transcended the very scope of the architectural complexes in which they were located. The worship, the processions, the language of the bells, the sounds of the instruments and voices of their music chapel were unmistakable signs of power and magnificence that, together with the artistic manifestations, formed a unity, from agreement with the culture of the Baroque, which was based on sensory impact, in grandiloquence, ornamentation, excess, extravagance and was intended to move, impress, enervate and sensorially provoke the individual, marking behaviors through the senses, always more vulnerable than the intellect, in order to awaken and move by all means and ways to the affections.