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Monstrance

  • Place of origin:

    Cuenca (City) (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1580 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Silver-gilt

  • Credit Line:

    Given by the Castle Museum, Norwich

  • Museum number:

    M.342-1962

  • Gallery location:

    Medieval & Renaissance, Room 62, The Foyle Foundation Gallery, case 1

This monstrance with candelabra-type shaft shows how Spain adopted elements of the Classical style of Renaissance Italy. The kneeling angels supporting the receptacle for displaying the wafer, symbolic of the body of Christ, and the architectural niches adorned with scallops and caryatid figures are characteristic features, as are the cherub heads, lion's feet and swags of fruit and drapery. Classical influences spread as artists from major centres in Italy worked in Spain. By the 16th century Spain also dominated Southern and Northern Italy absorbing local styles.

Physical description

Monstrance framed with cast openwork strapwork supported on bulging columns hung with swags of fruit. With four figures round its capital.

Place of Origin

Cuenca (City) (made)

Date

ca. 1580 (made)

Artist/maker

Unknown

Materials and Techniques

Silver-gilt

Dimensions

Height: 55 cm, Width: 21.1 cm, Depth: 15.7 cm, Weight: 3.60 kg

Descriptive line

Silver-gilt, Spain, Cuenca, ca.1580

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

The Golden Age of Hispanic Silver 1400-1665, Charles Oman, HMSO, 1968, cat. no. 92, Fig. 181

Labels and date

Silver Gallery:
This monstrance with candelabra-type shaft shows how Spain adopted elements of the Classical style of Renaissance Italy. Classical influences spread as artists from major centres in Italy worked in Spain. By the 16th century Spain also dominated Southern and Northern Italy absorbing local styles. In this monstrance, the kneeling angels, the architectural niches adorned with scallops and caryatid figures, as well as the cherub heads, lion feet and swags of fruit and drapery are characteristic of these borrowed elements. The receptacle which the angels support originally displayed the consecrated bread wafer or Host (a symbol of Christ's body which, in Catholic belief, becomes His body as well during the service of Mass).
The monstrance is similar to the work of the highly important 16th century Becceril family of silversmiths in Cuenca. They made the city one of the most important silver-working centres in Spain. [26/11/2002]
MONSTRANCE
Silver-gilt
In the style of Cristóbal Becerril
Spanish (Cuenca); last quarter of the 16th century
The silver statuettes about 1850
Given by the Norwich Museums Committee []

Categories

Metalwork; Ceremonial objects; Christianity; Religion

Collection

Metalwork Collection

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