November 15, 2006

Global Seminars & Invited Speaker Series


Art, magnificence and power. Renaissance and Baroque

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


Cathedral of Tudela. Chapel of San Martín. Altarpiece     Cathedral of Tudela. Chapel of the Holy Spirit

Cathedral of Tudela. Chapel of San Martín. Altarpiece (left) and Cathedral of Tudela. Chapel of the Holy Spirit (right)

During the centuries of the Ancien Régime, the collegiate church of Tudela "distinguished and famous church"at the head of which was the dean with very broad prerogatives, maintained difficult relations with the bishop of Tarazona. Tudela's interest in maintaining the status status of the deanery was a fact that transcended to 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 owned 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.

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.

The Renaissance century witnessed the arrival in the city of ecclesiastics who had enjoyed papal favor in the Eternal City. Canon Martín de Mezquita, with very marked artistic tastes towards Serlian Mannerism, and, above all, the Dean Pedro Villalón, are significant examples in the promotion of the arts. The latter promoted such significant works as the dean's palace and established chapter statutes, at the same time that he set himself up as "the prototype of the Renaissance prince, lover of luxury, hoarder of dignities".

To the baroque period belong the sacristy and the chapter house conference room , decorated with a B set by Vicente Berdusán (1671). 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.