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History of Charity Hospital

Charity Hospital - Calle Temprado, 3

The Charity Hospital of Seville, is located in the district of the Arenal very close to the Maestranza Bullring, and it constitutes an architectonic and artistic set summit of the Spanish baroque art.

In 1644, because the old chapel was in ruin, is decided the construction of a new church according to plans of Pedro Sanchez Falconete. Miguel Mañara, chosen like older brother in 1663, became the main impeller of the project and made agile works on the temple. The plans of the Church were reformed on the initiative of Mañara and the facade was finished off by Leonardo de Figueroa.

The access court specially shows divided two with a passage with columns and decorated with tile panels of the XVIIth century, that represent scenes of the Old and New Testament. In each space there is a marble source with sculptural groups of the Mercy and the Charity, respectively, realised in Genoa on 1682.

The facade of the Church, representative work of the Sevillian baroque, is decorated with tiles that represent their Patrons San Jorge and Santiago and the Three Virtues, Faith, Hope and Charity. Further down, to both sides of the door, we can contemplate sculptures of Fernando III the Saint and Saint Hermenegildo.

The Church is made of a single plant covered with tube vault and a small cupola in the previous space to the presbytery. The inner decoration of the Church was realised by prestigious artists as Murillo, Valdés Leal, Pedro Roldán and Bernardo Simón Pineda that shaped the inspiration of Miguel Mañara.

Between numerous works of Valdés Leal, specially shows up its two masterpieces that contain a deep meditation on Death and spiritual events that succeded it: " Finis gloriae mundi" and " In Ictu Oculi". Also from Valdés Leal is the “Triunfo de Santa Cruz”. These works leeded to a set of four paintings of Murillo, that were robbed, in 1810, during the War of Independence, by french Marshal Soult.

The cycle of works of mercy of Murillo is continued with the two paintings located at the top of the wall before the presbytery, that represent Moisés making water coming out of the Rock and the Multiplication of breads and Miguel de Luna fishes, these works replaced Murillos when these were robbed. The greater altarpiece, realised between 1670 and 1675, is work of Bernardo Simón de Pineda and the sculptures of Pedro Roldán and valdés Leal policromy. In the center there is a gorgeous sculptural group of great size that represents the Burial of Christ.

Other works of Murillo in the Church are: " San Juan de Dios transporting a sick person" , " The Anunciación" , " Santa Isabel de Hungría" , "Jesús Niño”; and " San Juan Bautista Niño”.

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