One of the Spanish Golden Age's most extravagant celebrations took place in Seville in May 1671: the canonization of King Ferdinand III (1199–1252), 'El Santo–The Saint'. The occasion was marked with great splendour, as Seville's greatest artists designed lavish, temporary celebratory architecture to ornament the city cathedral, which was turned into a sort of Baroque theatre. Poet Fernando de la Torre Farfán's book Fiesta de la S. Iglesia metropolitana y patriarchal de Sevilla, al Nuevo culto de Señor Rey S. Fernando el tercero de Castillo y de León, printed in 1671, provides a detailed description of the ceremonies. To illustrate this volume, too, the city's artists worked together to create a number of partly large-scale etchings.
These illustrations were distributed separately from the volume and collected as works of art in their own right. As well as documenting the canonization festivities of 1671, these illustrations also represent one of the most remarkable examples of 17th century Spanish etching. A few of the pages are considered to be among the best instances of the grabado pintoresco style of printmaking, which only very few artists pursued in Spain at the time. With presentations of monumental architecture, figurative portraits, and hieroglyphically enigmatic emblemata, these illustrations offer an extremely unconventional and diverse glance into Seville's Golden Age.
A 'cabinet exhibition' presented by the Kupferstichkabinett at the Gemäldegalerie.
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