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 II. Santa María de El Paular,      Rascafria

a.Introduction & general description

Pedro Duque Cornejo, Spanish Sculptor, 1678-1757

a. Introduction and general description

Duque Cornejo’s sculpture in the sagrario (sacramental chapel) of the Carthusian monastery of El Paular at Rascafría, near Segovia, seems to have been done c. 1726-27. The sagrario, which was designed by Francisco Hurtado, is an elaborate camarín situated behind the high altar of the church of the monastery. It consists of two rooms placed on an axis with the church. The first of these, immediately behind the high altar, is the octagonal transparente containing the immense tabernacle for the display of the Host, which is visible, by means of a glazed opening, from a passageway to the rear of the high altar. Access to the second room is by means of two passages that extend behind the transparente from chapels on either side of the main body of the church; consequently, this space serves as the anteroom to the transparente, although it is located to the rear in terms of the overall plan of the church. The antechamber is in plan a Greek cross with doors between the arms opening on hexagonal chapels. In the transparente, Duque Cornejo was responsible for a polychrome figure of the Risen Christ and other figures, entirely gilded, on the tabernacle, and figures of Saints John the Baptist, Joseph, Peter, and Paul on pedestals attached to the walls of the octagonal enclosure. In the anteroom, his works are the figures of Sts. John the Evangelist and James on their altars at the ends of the lateral arms of the cross, the figure of St. Agnes on the main altar, figures of four Carthusian saints on pedestals above the doors to the hexagonal chapels, and those of virgin martyrs on pedestals attached to the walls of the lateral arms of the cross.


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