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Railing from the tomb of Cardinal Cisneros

Nicolás de Vergara el Mozo1566/1591

Museo Arqueológico Nacional

Museo Arqueológico Nacional
Madrid, Spain

In 1566, the Complutense University of Madrid commissioned the sculptor Nicolás de Vegara the Elder, from Toledo, to create a bronze railing, which was to surround the tomb of Cardinal Cisneros in the magisterial cathedral of Alcalá de Henares. After the sculptor’s death, his son of the same name finished a simplified version in 1591. It was bombed during the Civil War and only a coat of arms belonging to the cardinal, part of the balusters, three jars that were along the sides and four pedestals that adorned the corners have survived, all of which are held at the National Archaeological Museum. All four sides of each of these feature reliefs alluding to the cardinal and his virtues in connection with the milestones of his ecclesiastical career, institutions that he founded and political actions amongst others. Other depictions include the building of the Torrelaguna and Alcalá granaries, and the printing of the Complutensian Bible and the reinstatement of the Mozarabic rite.The railing is an excellent example of the spread of the Italian Renaissance in Spain during the 16th century.

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  • Title: Railing from the tomb of Cardinal Cisneros
  • Creator: Nicolás de Vergara the Elder (+1574) and Nicolás de Vergara the Younger (around 1540-1606)
  • Date Created: 1566/1591
  • Location: Alcalá de Henares, Madrid, Spain
  • Type: Bronzework
  • Rights: http://www.man.es/
  • External Link: CERES
  • Medium: Bronze
  • Provenance: Toledo
  • Original Tittle: Reja del sepulcro del cardenal Cisneros
  • Designer: Nicolás de Vergara the Elder (+1574) and Nicolás de Vergara the Younger (around 1540-1606)
  • Cultural Context: Renaissance (Modern Era)

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