Friday, December 29, 2023

The Sacristy of the Cathedral of Toledo

Our series on the cathedral of Toledo concludes with pictures of the sacristy, which is full of artworks and magnificent liturgical furnishings, including several paintings by El Greco, as well as Goya, Titian, Raphael, Velasquez, Caravaggio and Van Dijk among others. The first part of this series showed the cathedral itself, and the second part covered the cloister and chapter house.   

The sacristy was built in the later 17th century, and decorated by the Neapolitan artist Luca Giordano (1634-1705), who worked for ten years (1692-1702) as chief painter of the Spanish court. The enormous fresco on the ceiling depicts the clothing of St Ildephonsus with a chasuble which, according to an ancient legend, was given to him by the Virgin Mary as a reward for writing a treatise in defense of her perpetual virginity.

The altarpiece of the sacristy altar, the Despoliation of Christ, is one of a series of paintings made for the cathedral by El Greco (1541-1614), which also includes portraits of the Twelve Apostles, and an image of Our Lord as Pantocrator.

St Peter
St Paul
The Crucifixion
The Arrest of Christ, 1788, by Francisco Goya (1746-1828)
A copy of Titian’s portrait of Pope Paul III. Traditionally said to have been by Titian himself ca. 1545, two years after he painted the original, but now attributed by many scholars to a later hand, possibly the Flemish painter Anthony van Dijk.
St John the Baptist in the Wilderness, ca. 1598, attributed either to Caravaggio or one of his early followers, Bartolomeo Cavarozzi.

The Virgin of the Veil, a later work by Raphael (1487-1520)
The Holy Family, by Anthony van Dijk, ca. 1626.
The Presentation of Christ in the Temple, by Luis de Velasco, 1587

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