This picture is the partner to the canvas depicting La catedral de Sevilla por el lado de las gradas (Seville Cathedral on the Side of the Steps), as evidenced by its format and date. It shows the inside of the main nave of Seville Cathedral, as depicted during the Corpus Christi ceremonies that take place next to the altar raised for these commemorations in the retrochoir, seen here under a luxurious baldachin. Making their way between the multitude congregated in the church are several priests in pontifical attire, who are followed by a canopy and accompany the person carrying the “custodia de sol” (the silver monstrance). At the other side of the nave is Juan de Arfe’s monumental monstrance, in front of which the “seises” (children in 16th century costumes) perform their dances. At the bottom of the nave is the inscription of the former burial place of the remains of Christopher Columbus. His present mausoleum, the work of Arturo Mélida, was transferred from Havana Cathedral following the loss of Cuba in 1898, to be re-installed inside St. Christopher’s door in Seville Cathedral.
Rescued by Arias from the undated works (or those of unknown date) which were photographed by the civil war confiscation service, it is a canvas whose enormous iconographic and artistic attraction has unfortunately been diminished by the excessive cleaning that it has undergone. A large part of its surface has been wiped off, thereby almost entirely eliminating the tinted glaze with which Villaamil outlined the details of shadows on the architecture and ornamentation, sadly leaving them absolutely flat. However, it is a picture of great interest for studying the work of this master of Spanish Romantic landscape painting, who painted the retrochoir of Seville Cathedral again in 1838.