Isabel La Católica As The First Mecna In Spain

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Isabel la Católica as the First Mecna in Spain

Isabel la Católica is considered one of the first patron in the history of Spain. His taste for art led him to be the owner of hundreds of pieces of jewelry, painting, sculpture, ceramics, tapestry, reliquaries and books, especially the enlightened. Do you want to know where to find most of them?

His museum in the Royal Chapel of Granada

The last redoubt of Al-Andalus, the kingdom of Granada, was the obsession of the Catholic Monarchs and especially Isabel until his death. And in love with the city, he left as one of his last wills to be buried in it. Specifically in an austere chapel for which he left money in his will.

This chapel ended up being something more sumptuous than she would have wanted, due to the wishes of her husband Fernando ‘El Católico’ and her grandson the emperor Carlos V. And in it, in addition to its impressive sepulcher carved by the Italian Doménico Fancelli, we can find a small museum destined to expose part of his art collection.

This museum is also the result of the queen’s will because, it made it clear that the relics she possessed and her personal jewels had to be deposited in the Granada Cathedral. And after the opening of the royal chapel to the public visit, this small museum opens so that the general public could enjoy one of the most important art collections in Spain.

The collection of Isabel ‘La Católica’

Thus, not only its royal crown and scepter are exposed, but also a series of personal reliquaries among which the Lignum Crucis reliquary stands out. A beautiful art piece in which the Jesé Tree opens to embrace the camera in which the Holy Cross relic is located.

His mirror and his jewelry chest are other wonders that are guarded in the Royal Chapel of Granada. But what stands out is the large number of flamenco boards of the best artists of the moment. In this way, in his private collection he had works by artists like Hans Menling and Rogier Van der Wyden, among others.

Highlighting Roger van der Weyden’s worship and Hans Memling’s descent. In addition, Isabel ‘La Católica’ also looked at Italy, where the Renaissance style was in vogue. Thus, in his collection we can find two works by distinguished Italian painters.

Prayer in the garden, a small picture attributed to Sandro Botticelli and Christ by Pietro Perugino. But Isabel did not look only out of Spain, but would also make requests to Spanish artists such as Pedro Berruguete and Bartolomé Bermejo. From the first one exposes a San Juan Evangelista in Patmos, while from the second a table painted on both sides. Of one the epiphany and the other the Holy Faz.

Of his great passion, the tapestries, of which he had more than 300 left in Granada. Highlighting those that served as a laptop on the trips made by the kings over the years that the reconquest of Spain lasted.

The rest of your goods

The rest of the objects that formed their collections suffered different destinations. Most were returned to those who had given them to the queen. Others were inherited by their daughter Juana, another remained in the Alcazar of Segovia where the queen spent long seasons and many others were sold.

Thus, unfortunately his collection was dispersed and many objects have been lost. As has happened with the more than 300 tapestries that Isabel had collected throughout her life. Of these, few remain in the Palace of the Farm of San Ildefonso.

Being these, two flamenco style anonyms entitled The Birth of Jesus and the tree of Jesé and one attributed to Pierre Van alest, entitled The Mass of San Gregorio. Which are currently part of the National Heritage.

Other pieces are guarded in churches, cathedrals, convents and monasteries from all over Spain, having been express donations of the queen or posthumous purchases. As is the case with the great custody of Corpus Christi that gave Granada or bought by Cisneros for Toledo.


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