We will dedicate this section to the rest of the elements, mainly its altars, of the Church of San Francisco, which we think are worth mentioning. We will start with the altars located on the side of the Gospel of the main nave, going through the transept, its arms and the side apses, and leaving the Main Altar of the church for another section.
The first altar located on the side of the Gospel is the Altar of the Martyr Saints. It is a small altarpiece made in polychrome and golden wood, richly decorated with flowery and geommetrical elements. In the centre we can highlight the figure of “Santa Rita“, with the Cross on her hand as a symbol of her penance. She is wearing the Augustinian habit. On both sides, there are two saints, “San Pedro Dueñas” and “San Juan de Cetina“, both with the palm, symbol of martyrdom.
The Altar of Birth is named after the canvas at its front, by José Ruiz de Sarabia from Seville. It is a quality composition, where an interesting burst of glory divides the scene in two parts, which is very typical of this author, thus showing the influence from Zurbarán (as he was his disciple), which can especially be seen in the light. The altarpiece is made in polychrome golden wood and its decoration imitates marble. At the top of the ensemble there is a golden relief representing “Guardian Angel with the Kid“, by the already mentioned Manuel Gómez.
The Altar of the Ecce-Homo is very interesting. With an excessive decoration, it is an altarpiece with three sections separated by estipites, where the central section extends to the highest part. In the centre of the composition, we can see the “Ecce-Homo“, a polychrome wooden head and torso sculpture, attributed to Luisa Roldán “La Roldana“, Pedro Roldán’s daughter. On both sides there are two small images representing “San Francisco de Asís” and “San Antonio de Padua“.
We finish with the Altarpiece of San José, attributed to José de Cano, which is named after the canvas representing “San José con el Niño” (Saint Joseph with the Kid), a very emotional scene where the saint has Jesus on his lap while he holds a bunch of iris, symbol of his purity. We can highlight several polychrome reliefs related to the life of Joseph, such as “El sueño de San José” (Saint Joseph’s dream), “El Nacimiento de Jesús” (Jesus’s birth) or “La Adoración de los Pastores” (The Adoration of the Peasants).
Under one of the pillars supporting the transept, on the side of the Gospel, we can find the Altar of San José, curiously dedicated to the same saint as the previous one. It a work with great verticality and movement. At the front of the ensemble, there is a sculpture of “San José“, standing on his own and holding the blooming stick. On both sides, there are images of the archangels “San Miguel” and “San Rafael“.
In the other pillar of the transept, there is the Altar of San Eloy, of similar size and decoration to the previous one, and where we can also see the hand of Teodosio Sánchez Cañadas. In this case, the image of “San Eloy” is at the front, dressed as a Bishop, with magnificent clothes and a good use of the gilding.
On the arm of the transept on the side of the Gospel, we can highlight a “Visitación” (Visitation) attributed to the Flemish painter Pedro de Campaña. It represents the moment of the meeting with Elizabeth, in the presence of Zechariah. It shows a great use of the perspective and warm colours, typical of the Flemish school.
Near this painting, we can see the Altar of the Saint Juanes, which suggests an interesting solution, as it is presented as curtains, which are opened by two beautiful winged angels. We can highlight the pictorial composition dedicated to these saints, by Diego Monroy, which is a copy of an original by Antonio del Castillo.
We will finish the apse on the side of the Epistle, currently the Tabernacle of the Church of San Francisco. There we can see the Altarpiece of Charity, an anonymous work from the 18th century, where we can find the crucified Christ after which the brotherhood is named, whose procession takes place on Holy Thursday. The images of this brotherhood will be described in the section dedicated to Holy Week in Córdoba of our Web.
As for the canvases decorating the Tabernacle, we would like to mention the ones by Acisclo Antonio Palomino, a popular painter known for his work, treaties and family relationship with the famous Diego Velázquez. First of all, “El Salvador” (The Saviour) presents Christ in a blessing attitude holding the Tabernacle, and also a beautiful “Santa Ana“. It is also highly interesting the painting representing “Santa Ana, San Joaquín y la Virgen Niña” (Saint Anne, Saint Joachim and the Baby Virgin), where all the characters are in communion; Saint Anne is looking at the sky, where a burst of glory is taking place, and the Holy Spirit appears in the shape of a dove; and Saint Joaquim is looking at the Baby Virgin in a praying attitude.
If you wish to know the Fernandine Churches do not hesitate to hire one of our guided tours. We will pay special attention to the Church of San Francisco. We are experts in the interpretation of the historical heritage from Córdoba. If you have chosen to do sightseeing in Córdoba, choose a high quality option, choose ArtenCórdoba.
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