13 February 2008

Global Seminars & Invited Speaker Series


Great works of Navarrese silverware

Dr. Asunción de Orbe y Sivatte

The exhibition was divided into two parts. In the first part, an outline of the development of Navarrese silverware was sketched, and in the second part, a series of works selected according to chronological criteria and according to their typology were discussed.

In its extensive history, we can learn about Navarre's silverware firstly through the preserved works and secondly through documentation. They are mainly religious pieces with a clear liturgical function.
Although there is evidence of silversmiths in Estella, Sangüesa and Pamplona from the leave Age average , it will be the center of the capital that will end up imposing itself. In the overall production preserved in Navarre, we can distinguish between the work coming from local workshops and the foreign work that stands out for its good quality.

There are few medieval pieces preserved, although the oldest date back to the Romanesque period. The most brilliant period of Navarrese silverware coincides with the Renaissance, a time when production increases, the quality of the work rises and a good issue of skilled and competent craftsmen coincide.

Reliquary of the Holy Sepulchre (13th century). Diocesan Museum of Pamplona

Reliquary of the Holy Sepulchre (13th century). Diocesan Museum of Pamplona

Navarre's silverware can be studied through different types of pieces. The evangelist, although not very common, Navarre has a Romanesque and a Renaissance version. Among the richest and most common works is the parish cross, of which there are abundant examples in Navarre from Gothic to Neoclassicism. A special group are the Marian images and some reliquaries characterized by representing the human figure.

An important chapter refers to the Eucharistic pieces. The numerous works preserved reflect both the typological diversity and the evolution of the models.

Elements such as the altar frontal, the censer or the naveta make reference letter to a careful and solemn worship that in the Baroque period was expressed in a singular way.