Museo Diocesano in Zaragoza

Long posting with some impressions from the Museo Diocesano in Zaragoza (or MUDIZ). Note: The entrance to the museum is indeed via a cafe.

Since the museum is in Zaragoza (and is in fact located just across its cathedral (La Seo) and very near the Basílica de Nuestra Señora del Pilar, representations of the Virgin Mary on the Pillar are presented there very well, both in 3D format

and 2D:

 

The pictures above also show that the light in the museum is quite tough for photography (though it’s fully allowed). The atmosphere in its dark halls is marvellous for a visit, very sober and tranquil, but it makes next to impossible to take picture of any decent quality.

 

The pictures I took are a fairly arbitrary selection of what was there on display, and very far from the full set.

Here is the panel of Saint Engratia, one of the early Christian martyrs, attributed to Tomás Giner (c.1468-1474)

If I was interested in a particular work, I often also tried to capture its details, at least some:

 

 

There is also a more recent painting of the same Saint Engratia and her martyrdom, by Joaquín Pallarés, a painter from Zaragoza (1896)

 

Detail:

 

More martyrs, now in 3D:

 

and a few figurines of Mary with the Child (apparently with an apple), all of the late 15th century.

 

This one was described as the Virgin of the Patrocinio (Protection?), of late 13th century:

 

There were a few examples of stone reliefs (but not too many):

 

Our Lady of Zaragoza the Older (late 13th century, and in fact is also made of wood):

 

A richly decorated chest:

 

 

But as in most case, I was mostly interested in 2D works, which being placed in the museum context look like paintings, but which in reality were, of course, parts of religious artifacts, such as altarpieces (retablos in Spanish) in various churches.

Saint Martin of Tours and Saint Thecla, by the same Tomás Giner (c.1458)

Detail:

 

I guess an unusual shapes of the sign she holds (more a T-shaped sign than a full-cross) is the reference to her name

 

Another panel with two Saints, St.Augustine and St.Lawrence

 

The cloak of Saint Augustine is the missed opportunity to depict the so-called Droste Effect: the cloak’s lapels could well have the image of the Saint himself, in the cloak that would contain the depictions of the Saint, ad infinitum.

 

Small panel with the scenes of Resurrected Christ and Meeting (Encuentro) of Christ  and Mary Magdalene, by the master from Langa, mid 15th century:

Left panel:

and its detail:

 

The right panel

and its detail:

 

Birth of Saint John the Baptist, attr. to the Master from Villalcázar de Sirga, late 15th century

 

Two details:

 

 

Two works by Miguel Jiménez, another painter from Zaragoza of late 15th century:

Calvary (c.1470)

Detail:

 

and Pieta (c.1470)

 

Resurrection of Christ, by unknown master of late 15th century:

Detail:

 

A double panel, dedicated to Saint Michael: the upper part about the so called Miracle of Saint Michael at Cargano

 

Detail

 

and the lower part about his fight with the dragon:

Details:

(the dragon looks more like a devil here)

 

The panels are attributed to Blasco de Grañén, a painter from Aragon of the first half of the 15th century.

Another work by him is about Saint Martin Sharing His Cloak with a Pauper (c.1445)

Detail:

I also liked the horse very much:

 

An interesting piece by Martín Bernat, about the torments of Saint Anthony (though in the museum it is described as Saint Anthony Abbot on the Way to Heaven), c 1480-1495.

 

I tried to capture all the various creatures torturing the Saint:

 

 

 

 

Later work, by Thomás Pelliguet (or his circle), The Virgin Mary and Saint Elizabeth with their Children (c.1550)

Detail:

 

Coronation of the Virgin (c.1545), by Jerónimo Cosida

 

Details with red angels:

 

 

A very interesting part of the museum is its ‘treasure room’, where they display various artifacts such as reliquaries, monstrances and similar things. It was made as a glass (mirror?) cube, creating multiply reflections of all these shining objects.

 

And in the center of the room they have placed another glass cube, with the most precious artifacts and also with the candle-like lamps, altogether creating a really miraculous effect:

 

Large collection of reliquaries:

 

 

The content of some of them one wouldn’t really want to know about, perhaps:

 

More heads of the saints; they looked more modern:

 

 

Detail of the cloak and the medallion:

 

 

 

A few richly decorated monstrances:

This one is fact a combo of monstrance and ciborium (?), though I personally think it’s a combo with a reliquary of some sort.

Here is another example of similar combination:

 

The monstrance described as Monstrance of Minerva:

Its upper part:

 

An example of a very complex, multi-level monstrance:

 

View from another angle:

 

 

The Last One:

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