The Main Altar of the Church of San Francisco has a great altarpiece by Teodosio Sánchez de Rueda, who was executed in 1720. The altarpiece is made in gilded wood and it fits perfectly the shape of the apse, which, as we already mentioned, preserves its medieval structure.
It has three vertical sections plus two more parts form the ensemble, which also has different levels of depth due to its concavity, thus producing a great dynamism and effect. The different spaces of the altarpiece, richly decorated with flowery and vegetable elements, are distributed thanks to elements like the Solomon column, the elestipite or the pilaster.
In the centre of the composition, there is a “Crucified Christ“, smaller than real size, whose author is unknown. Under it, in an alcove, we can see the “Virgin of Aurora“, represented sitting next to Baby Jesus. It is thought to be a work by Alonso Gómez de Sandoval. Completing the first part, in the side sections, there are two sculptures of “San Francisco de Asís” and “Santo Domingo“. The former is standing, showing the stigmas that appeared on his hands and feet while he was praying in Mount Alverno. The latter is also represented standing with the cross and the book. Curiously they were both friends, and the author decided to treat them in a very similar way, with an excellent treatment of the gilding.
The second part is finished by a kind of vault forming a semi-dome, thus adjusting perfectly to the medieval architecture. We can find again three vertical sections, separated by pilasters. On the central one, there is a canvas representing “King Fernando III the Saint“. On the left, we can see “San Pedro“, sitting on his Dignity and wearing the papal tiara, in a blessing attitude. On the right, we see “San Pablo“, standing and holding the book and the sword. Both figures are smaller than real size.
Of all the paintings on the walls of the apse, we think we should highlight the exceptional “San Andrés” by Juan de Valdés Leal in 1647. Leaning on his saltire, he is looking at the sky and extending his right arm in a pleading gesture. Below him, there are two of his most significant attributes, the book and the fish, as he was a fisherman. The predominance of dark colours is stunning, and also the skillful use of the warm red of the Saint’s cape, and the treatment of the clothing is excellent. The work is conceived to be seen from a high place, as we can see from the size of his feet.
If you are not sure what to do in Córdoba, we recommend you visit the Fernandine Churches hiring one of our guided tours. We will dedicate there a special chapter to the Main Altar of the Church of San Francisco. Choose to do high quality sightseeing with qualified staff. Do not hesitate, ArtenCórdoba is the best option.
Choose the tour that best suits your needs and book your place on one of our regular guided tours.
The regular guided tours are those that you can sign up for individually, are conducted regularly and in one language, Spanish or English
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