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Title: An Architect's Note-Book in Spain - principally illustrating the domestic architecture of that country.
Author: Wyatt, Matthew Digby, 1820-1877
Language: English
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SPAIN, &C., &C., &C.

       _My dear Owen,

     _The last book I wrote I dedicated to my brother by blood; the
     present I dedicate to you--my brother in Art. Let it be a record of
     the value I set upon all you have taught me, and upon your true

       _Ever yours,_

        M. DIGBY WYATT.

     37, Tavistock Place, W.C.

        October, 1872.


Before quitting England for a first visit to Spain in the Autumn of
1869, I made up my mind both to see and draw as much of the
Architectural remains of that country as the time and means at my
disposal would permit; and further determined so to draw as to admit of
the publication of my sketches and portions of my notes on the objects
represented, in the precise form in which they might be made. I was
influenced in that determination by the consciousness that almost from
day to day the glorious past was being trampled out in Spain; and that
whatever issue, prosperous or otherwise, the fortunes of that much
distracted country might take in the future, the minor monuments of Art
at least which adorned its soil, would rapidly disappear. Their
disappearance would result naturally from what is called "progress" if
Spain should revive; while their perishing through neglect and wilful
damage, or peculation, would inevitably follow, if the ever smouldering
embers of domestic revolution should burst afresh into flame. Such has
been the invariable action of those fires which in all history have
melted away the most refined evidences of man's intelligence, leaving
behind only scanty, and often all but shapeless, relics of the richest
and ripest genius.

It is difficult to realise the rapidity with which, almost under one's
eyes, the Spain of history and romance "is casting its skin." Travelling
even with so recent and so excellent a handbook as O'Shea's of 1869, I
noted the following wanton acts of Vandalism and destruction, committed
upon monuments of the greatest archæological and artistic interest since
he wrote. At Seville, the Church of San Miguel, one of the oldest and
finest in the city, was senselessly demolished by the populace as a sort
of auto-da-fé, and by way of commemoration of the revolution of
September, 1867. In exactly the same way the fine Byzantine churches of
San Juan at Lerida, and of San Miguel at Barcelona, have been "improved
off the face of the earth." Church plate, Custodias and Virils of the
D'Arfés, Becerrias, and other Art workmen, have vanished from the
treasuries of all the great ecclesiastical structures; whether sold,
melted down, or only hidden, "quien sabe?" The beautiful Moorish
decorations of the Alcazar at Segovia had been all but entirely
destroyed by fire, attributed to the careless cigar-lighting of the
Cadets to whom the structure had been abandoned. The finest old mansion
in Barcelona, the Casa de Gralla, probably the masterpiece of Damian
Forment, and dating from the commencement of the fourteenth century, has
been pulled down by the Duke of Medina Celi to form a new street. The
beautiful wooden ceiling of the Casa del Infantado at Guadalaxara, the
finest of its kind in Spain, in the absence of its owner, who I was told
lives in Russia, is coming down in large pieces, and once fallen, I
scarcely think it will be in the power of living workmen to make it good
again. The exquisite Moorish Palace of the Generalife at Granada, second
only to the Alhambra and the Alcazar at Seville, is never visited by its
proprietor, and is now one mass of white-wash, a victim of the zeal for
cleanliness of a Sanitary "Administrador." In short to visit a Spanish
city now, by the light shed upon its ancient glories by the industrious
Ponz, is simply to have forced upon one's attention the most striking
evidence of the "vanity of human things," and man's inherent tendency to

One of the most painful sensations the lover of the Art of the Past
cannot but experience in Spain, is the feeling of its dissonance from,
and irreconcileability with, the wants and economical necessities of
to-day. The truth is that at the present moment, amongst the many
difficult problems which surround and beset the ruling powers, one of
the most puzzling is to find fitting uses for the many vast structures
which have fallen into the hands of the Government. Churches in number
and size out of all proportion to the wants of the population,
monasteries entirely without monks, convents with scarcely any nuns,
Jesuit seminaries without Jesuits, exchanges without merchants, colleges
without students, tribunals of the Holy Inquisition with, thank God! no
Inquisitors, and palaces without princes, are really "drugs in the
market;" too beautiful to destroy, too costly to properly maintain, and
for the original purposes for which they were planned and constructed at
incredible outlay they stand now almost useless. For the most part, the
grand architectural monuments of the country are now like Dickens'
"used-up giants" kept only "to wait upon the dwarfs." Among a few
instances of such, may be noticed the magnificent foundation of the
noblest Spanish ecclesiastic, Ximenez. His College at Alcala de Heñares
(see etext transcriber note) is turned into a young ladies'
boarding-school; the splendid Convent of the Knights of Santiago at
Leon, the masterpiece of Juan de Badajoz, dedicated to Saint Mark, and
one of the finest buildings in Spain, is now in charge of a solitary
policeman and his wife, awaiting its possible conversion into an
agricultural college; the grand Palace of the Dukes of Alva at Seville
is let out in numerous small tenements and enriched with unlimited
whitewash; the Colegiata of San Gregorio at Valladolid, another of the
magnificent foundations of Cardinal Ximenez, and the old cathedral at
Lerida, the richest Byzantine monument in Spain, are now both
barracks;--the vast exchanges of Seville and Saragossa are tenantless
and generally shut up; the beautiful "Casa de los Abades" at Seville is
converted into a boy's school and lodging-house for numerous poor
tenants, the Casa del Infante at Saragossa, containing the most richly
sculptured Renaissance Patio in Spain, is chiefly occupied as a livery
stable-keeper's establishment; Cardinal Mendoza's famous Hospital of the
Holy Cross at Toledo is now an Infantry College; the great monastery of
the Cartuja near Seville, with one of the finest Mudejar wooden ceilings
in the country, is turned into Pickman's china factory; the "Taller del
Moro" a model Moorish house with its beautiful decorations, at Toledo,
is now only a carpenter's workshop and storehouse; the celebrated
establishment of El Cristo de la Victoria at Malaga, with all its
glorious associations with the "Reyes Cattolicos," is occupied as a
military hospital; and so on '_ad infinitum_.'

Every record the pen and pencil of any accurate observer can preserve at
this juncture of the fading glories of the past in Spain is, as it were,
snatching a brand from the inevitable fire which has already consumed
inestimable treasures upon its soil. It was to give a stamp of truth and
authenticity to the few such records I might be enabled to make, that I
determined to complete them in the actual presence as it were of the
object illustrated, and to admit of no intervention between my own hand,
and the eye of any student willing to honour my work with his
attention. My sketches might no doubt have gained in beauty by being
transcribed on stone or wood by some artist more skilful than I am, but
as any such alteration would detract from their simple veracity, I
preferred to make them at once upon the spot with anastatic ink, in
order that they might be printed just as they were executed. Working
with such ink in the open air is difficult, and the result capricious, I
have therefore to ask for some indulgence, and to express a hope that
any shortcomings in the drawings may be overlooked in the obvious
interest of the subjects pourtrayed. Could I but have known, on leaving
England, that my sketches could have been so successfully transferred to
collodion, and printed therefrom by the beautiful Autotype mechanical
process, as they have been since my return, I might have spared myself
much extra trouble and anxiety, and have probably attained a much better
result with less effort. In order to retain as much "local colour" as
possible, I have preferred, even in the binding of this volume, to take
its ornament in fac-simile from a beautiful little Mudejar casket of
which I am the fortunate possessor, rather than to trust to my own
powers to design something specially characteristic.

I have further to ask corresponding indulgence for any literary
insufficiencies my text may present. Although for some years a not
inattentive student of Spanish art and literature, I could not, and
cannot but feel that my acquaintance with the country was, and is
insufficient for writing worthy notes even upon its architectural
monuments, after the excellent works which have been already written by
such of my countrymen as Ford, Street, Stirling, and O'Shea. At the same
time, considering that to publish my sketches altogether without
explanatory letter-press would greatly detract from their interest and
consequent usefulness, I have brought into their present shape the
scanty notes made upon the spot, more or less directly illustrative of
the subjects upon which my pencil found occupation.

It will be obvious, it is hoped, that in the selection of subjects for
illustration, an endeavour has been made to avoid in any wise trenching
upon or clashing with those already fully treated in the admirable work
on Spanish Ecclesiastical Architecture by Mr. G. E. Street. Whilst he
has turned from, I have turned towards, the Plateresque and later styles
of Spain, and whilst he has sought specially for what might be useful to
church-builders, my aim has been rather to collect hints for
house-builders. Thanks to him, and others like him, we have now been
left with more to learn in the latter direction than in the former.

The following was my line of tour, and as it comprises most of what is,
I believe, best worth seeing in Spain in the way of Art, with the
notable exceptions of Santiago, Oviedo, Murcia, Cuenca, Placencia,
Alicante and Valencia, which want of time did not permit me to include,
I do not hesitate to commend it to those, desirous, as I was, of seeing
as much as possible of what was excellent or curious within a short
space of time. It was as follows, from London via Paris, Bordeaux, and
Bayonne to Spain, beginning with Burgos, then successively visiting
Valladolid (rail), Venta de Baños (rail), Leon (rail), Zamora and
Salamanca, (by "diligence" from Leon) Avila (by "diligence" from
Salamanca) Escorial (rail), Madrid (rail), Segovia (by "diligence" from
Madrid and back), Alcala de Heñares (by rail from Madrid and back),
Toledo (by rail from Madrid and back), Cordoba (rail), Sevilla (rail),
Cadiz (by the Guadalquivir steamer), Gibraltar (by steamer), Malaga (by
steamer), Granada (rail and "diligence,") Andujar ("diligence,") Madrid
(rail), a second time, Guadalajara (rail), Saragossa (rail), Lerida
(rail), Barcelona (rail), and Gerona (rail), thence to the frontier by
"diligence," and home by rail, viâ Perpignan, Carcassonne, Toulouse and

To preserve some sort of order, I have arranged my sketches as they were
executed in point of time, and thrown my notes into a corresponding

To assert that Spain can teach the lessons to the architect which may be
gained from Italy, or even from France would, I think, be to claim too
much for her, but on the other hand, it should be remembered, that it is
a mine which has been very much less exhausted. To the interest and
grandeur of its Northern Gothic buildings, Mr. Street has done a justice
long denied to them; while Girault de Prangey, and above all Owen Jones,
have helped us to a right appreciation of the works of those masterly
artificers, the Moors, who seem to have possessed an intuitive love for
the beautiful in structure.

It is with no small pleasure that I have laboured to direct attention to
other monuments, than those they have so satisfactorily illustrated, of
a land from travelling in which I have derived great delight, and much

If asked what predominant sensation Spanish Architecture had produced in
my mind, I think I should be inclined to say, that of the manifestation
of an entire indifference to expense. No one appears to have counted the
cost of the work upon which he engaged. Whether it was a mediæval
architect entering upon the vast construction of Cathedrals, such as
Seville, Toledo or Leon, a Renaissance architect dashing upon the
immense laying out of buildings such as the Cathedrals of Salamanca or
Granada, or an Herrera plunging into such stone quarries as the Escorial
or the Cathedral at Valladolid, not a shadow of doubt ever seems to
have crossed the mind of the beginners, that some one would complete
what they began.

Such peculiarities of national character are apt to beget proverbs, and
we accordingly find the grave ponderosity, and at the same time power,
of the Spaniard in the undertakings of his palmy days, thus
characterised in comparison with those of the other peoples of Europe.

"In their undertakings," says "Der curieuse Antiquarius durch
Europam,"[1] the natives of different European countries are assumed by
old legends to proceed thus:--

    "Der Frantzose wie ein Adler,
     Der Deutsche wie ein Bär,
     Der Italianer wie ein Fuchs,
     Der Spanier wie ein Elephant,
     Der Engelländer wie ein Löw."[2]

To some, and but few, Spanish architects was it given to see ended what
they commenced, and even such favourites of fortune generally suffered
from a curtailment of their too ambitious designs.

I could not but feel, in looking at the works of Herrera, and indeed at
those of several other men, such as Diego de Siloe, Gil de Ontañon,
Henrique de Egas, Alonso Covarrubbias, and Juan de Badajoz, that there
exists for architecture a just mean between their frequent extravagance,
and the sordid and shabby spirit in which we from time to time approach
the question of expenditure upon "public works." The economy which
consists in sobriety and simplicity of parts, especially in structures
destined to subserve ordinary uses, is as much to be admired, as the
economy which aims at the combination of magnificence with
"cheese-paring" is to be deprecated and despised.



The Arco de Santa Maria


Casa de Miranda


College of San Gregorio


Patio de San Gregorio


Patio de San Gregorio


Small Patio, Colegio de San Gregorio


La Casa del Infantado


Church of San Isidro


Convent of San Marcos


Cloister of the Convent of San Marcos


Exterior of the Casa de Los Gusmanes


Patio of the Casa de Los Gusmanes


Detail from a House in the Calle de La Tesoriera


Exterior of the Casa de Las Conchas


Patio of the Casa de Las Conchas


Staircase of the Casa de Las Conchas


Window from the Casa de Las Conchas


Window in the Patio of the Casa de Las Conchas


External Window of the Casa de Las Conchas


Exterior of the Casa Monterey


Renaissance House opposite San Benito


Renaissance House in the Calle del Aguila


Entrance Gateway of the Casa Polentina


The Patio of the Casa Polentina


Iron Pulpit in the Cathedral


Iron Pulpit in the Cathedral


General view of the Escorial


Gateway in the City Walls


Archway in the Hall of the Kings


Detail from the Alcazar


Exterior View of the Monastery of El Parral


Exterior of the Colegio de San Ildefonso


Window of the Arzobispado


Detail from the Arzobispado


View of the Remains of a Moorish Fortress on the River


Bridge of Alcantara


Bridge of San Martin


Moorish Gateway by the Bridge of Alcantara


Entrance Archway of the Zocodover


Interior of the "Taller del Moro."


Tower of the Church of La Magdalena


Moorish Tower of San Pedro Martire


Tower of the Church of Sant' Iago de La Vega


External View of the Hospital of the Holy Cross


Cortile of the Hospital of the Holy Cross


Doorway from the Hospital of the Holy Cross


Entrance Gateway to the Alcazar


Patio of the Hospital of Cardinal Tavera


Exterior of the Casa Cabello


Church of La Feria


Church of San Marcos


Remains of Mudejar House near La Feria


Mudejar Window in the Fonda de Madrid


View in the Upper Story of one of the Patios of the Casa de Pilatus


Detail from a Doorway in the Upper Floor of one of the Patios of the
House of Pilate


One of the Arches of the Patio of the Casa Alba


Detail from the Patio of the Casa Alba


Arches from the Casa de Los Abades


View in the Patio of the Casa de Los Abades


A Peep into an Ordinary Patio


Internal View of the Cathedral


The Fountain of the Alameda


Renaissance House in the Calle Sant' Augustin


Old Window of the Ospedale de Santo Tomé


Knocker of the Monastery of Sant' Jago


Remains of the Alhambra as seen from the Albaycin


Entrance to the Bosqué del Alhambra


Puerta de Justicia


Sala de Embajadores


Stucco Detail from the Hall of the Ambassadors


Detail of Glass Inlay from the Hall of the Ambassadors


Mosaic from the Hall of the Ambassadors


Niche in La Sala de Las dos Hermanas


Stucco Detail from the Sala del Tribunal


View of the Cathedral from the back of the High Altar


The Reja of the Reyes Catolicos


View of the Arzobispado


Palacio de Los Duques del Infantado


Doorway of the Monastery of San Miguel


Casa del Duqué de Ribas


Door Handle from the Calle del Barrio Nuevo


View of the Patio of the Palacio de La Infanta


Detail of the Arcading of the First Floor of the Casa de La Infanta


Exterior of the Exchange


Patio of the Casa de Comercio


Patio of the House of the Marquis of Monistol


Bronze Renaissance Knocker of a House in the Plazuela Aduana


Tower of the Church of San Lorenzo


Old House in the Calle de Santa Lucia


Patio of the Casa de la Diputacion


Detail from the Casa de la Diputacion


Window from the Casa de la Diputacion


Doorway in the Town Hall


Knocker of an old House in the Calle Santa Lucia


Knocker to an old House in the Calle Santa Lucia


Courtyard of an old House in the Calle de Moncara


Staircase of an old House in the Calle de Moncara


Old House near the Estrella de Oro


Upper Part of an old House and Spire of the Church of San Feliu


Old Walls near the Monastery of San Pedro






MDW 1869

[Illustration: PLATE 1



MDW 1869]




IT is sad to notice how few traces beyond its magnificent Cathedral are
left in this, the capital of old Castile, of those "Castellanos rancios
y viejos," who once so splendidly represented the pride and power of
Spanish chivalry. Of the sixteen golden castles the city bears upon its
stately arms how insignificant are the relics? The remains of its walls
and bastions attest the many centuries during which it held its own
against all comers, Christian or Infidel. Of these walls, our sketch
represents a portion in which there is little doubt the Renaissance
frontispiece and archway replaced an older and sterner portal, better
suited probably for defence than decoration. The legend runs that this
façade was executed by the citizens, who had been exhibiting
proclivities of far too Communistic a character to be agreeable to so
high-handed a sovereign as Charles V., in order to propitiate that
potentate, and to commemorate a visit, on his part at least, of a
conciliatory character. It would seem, however, that in spite of the
loyalty which induced the Burgalese to assign the post of honour (always
under the invocation of the "Virgen sin pecado concebida)" to the statue
of the King, they took good care to give him for companions Nuño
Rasura, and Lain Calvo, whom they had themselves elected in the tenth
century to rule over them, and protect their Communal rights. The
maintenance of these had been somewhat interfered with by the King of
Leon, Fruela II., who had invited the chief citizens to a banquet, and
then quietly removed them out of his royal way by summarily putting them
all to death. Amongst other statues which adorn this gateway are to be
found those of Don Diego Parcelos, the founder of the city in 884, of
the Cid--the pride of Spain and especially of Burgos, in which city he
was born, and where his bones still rest--and of Fernan Gonzalez who
redeemed the district from the yoke of the Kings of Leon, to whom it had
been tributary, and who constituted himself and his family its
protectors, under the style and title of Condes de Castilla.

The architecture of this frontispiece which gains great importance and
much picturesque effect from its association with the bartizans and
turrets of the mediæval gateway, has been attributed to Felipe de
Borgoña, not apparently on any other grounds than the facts that he was
an inhabitant of the city in whom his fellow-citizens felt great pride,
and that he was employed upon the "Crucero" of the cathedral at about
the period when this grand portal was probably erected.

[Illustration: PLATE 2


MDW 1869]




THIS plate introduces us to the most striking feature of all important
Spanish houses, the Patio, or internal courtyard, answering to and
perpetuating the Atrium of Roman architecture, with its impluvium and
compluvium, and corresponding with the ordinary Cortile of the Italians.
It is usually rectangular in plan, and entirely surrounded upon at least
two stories by arcading, behind which run passages into which open the
doors of every principal set of apartments of the house. There are
rarely many windows in the walls of the Patios, as the rooms generally
occupy the whole width intervening between the Patio walls, and the
external walls of the house from which the light is mainly derived.
There are, however, usually more windows on the lower story of the Patio
than on the upper, since the chief saloons requiring most light were on
the first floor, while much of the lower floor was occupied as was also
usual in Italy, by retainers, servants, poor guests, mendicant friars
and administradores--to say nothing of mules, and horses with stores and
munitions of all sorts.

Nothing can be more picturesque or better suited to the climate than
these Patios, since owing to the deep arcades which surround the open
part (the Cavædium) of the court-yard upon more stories than one, there
is always some portion of the arcade in which shelter can be obtained
from sun, rain, or wind, and in which the occupants of the several
apartments can sit and work, or lounge and smoke, in abundant but not
unbearable light, and perfect comfort. This facility of outlet enables
them, during the hours when the sun shines most fiercely, to keep their
living and sleeping rooms dark and cool, and in exactly the state to
make the midday meal and subsequent siesta truly luxurious and

One open staircase usually connects the upper and lower arcades;
admission is rarely given to the whole building at more than one point,
the great door, adjoining which is almost always to be found the
concierge, the janitor of the old Roman house, upon the model of which
the Spaniards probably founded their notion of a residence at once noble
and comfortable.

Little need be said concerning the particular house sketched. It is one
of the few left in Burgos to bear witness to the grandeur of its old
aristocracy. Though once the residence of the powerful Condes de Miranda
of the family of the Zunigas, it is now but a half ruined and entirely
dirty lodging-house for the lower classes in a poor and neglected part
of the city. A fine dedication to the most illustrious "Señor Don
Francisco de çuñiga y Avellaneda, Conde de Miranda, Señor de la Villa
Daça, y de la Casa de Avellaneda, by Pedro Martinez the Printer of
Seville, in 1565," sets forth the arms as well as the style and title of
the nobleman by whom, or by whose next descendant the "Casa de Miranda"
of Burgos was probably built.

The present representative of this family is no other than the Conde de
Montijo, head of the house to which Her Majesty the Empress of the
French belongs. The remarkable "Casa solar" of Peñaranda de Duero,
within an easy excursion from Burgos, once a magnificent villa of the
Zunigas, was one of the hereditary possessions of her sister the Duchess
of Alba.

There are some few other old houses remaining in Burgos, the most
remarkable, for oddity rather than beauty, being the "Casa del Cordon;"
so called from its façade, which exhibits a gigantic rope representing
the "Cordon" of the Teutonic order, encircling and uniting, the arms of
the Velascos, Mendozas, and Figueras with those of Royalty. It was
erected by a Count Haro, Constable of Castile, at the end of the
fifteenth century. It is now the residence of the Capitan General of the
Province, and the property of the Duca de Frias, a descendant of Count

The Casa de Miranda is to be found in Burgos, in the "Calle de la
Calera," not far from the "Barrio de la Vega." No English visitor to
Burgos should omit to see the Convent of las Huelgas, most interesting
not only as founded by an English Princess, (Leonora, daughter of Henry
II, married to Alfonso VIII), in 1180; but as evidencing in its design,
which is exceptionally grave, simple, and well proportioned, an
unquestionably English architectural influence.

Of the Cathedral, remains of the Castle, and the Convent of the Cartuja
it is needless to speak here, since they are certain not to be
overlooked by the traveller. Mr. Waring, who has so well drawn the
marvels of the last mentioned building,[3] has given some pretty
illustrations of ornamental detail from the fine Renaissance "Ospedal
del Rey," which may be found not far from the Convent of las

[Illustration: PLATE 3

Valladolid. College of San Gregorio.

MDW 1869]




FROM early in the fifteenth century, through the reigns of Juan II. and
his successors, until the elevation of Madrid into the Capital by
Charles the Fifth, and into the only and official seat of the Court by
Philip II. Valladolid was emphatically the Royal city of Spain. It is
there, accordingly, that the traveller would naturally look for relics
of Royal and courtly magnificence as displayed in the stirring times
during which the over-elaboration of Gothic Art began to merge itself,
in sympathy with the Medicean energies of Rome and Florence, into the
style of the Renaissance as practised at a later date by many citizens
of Valladolid, such as Antonio de Arphe, and Juan de Arphe y Villafañe,
master-workers in gold and silver; as Juan de Juni, and Hernandez, the
marvellous wood-carvers and sculptors, authors of the peculiar gilt
painted groups for which the city became so famous; and as Alonzo
Berruguete, Henrique de Egas, and Macias Carpintero "masters of works"
of no mean repute. Of all the glorious objects these men and their
disciples and contemporaries produced in Valladolid a few "disjecta
membra" alone remain. Of the very building, an outlying fragment of
which forms the subject of the sketch under notice, all but the actual
structure was destroyed by the French under Napoleon I. in person, who
in 1809 inaugurated a reign of terror in the city. "No where," in Spain,
as Ford writes in 1845, "has recent destruction been more busy (than in
Valladolid); witness San Benito, San Diego, San Francisco, San Gabriel,
&c., almost swept away, their precious altars broken, their splendid
sepulchres dashed to pieces; hence the sad void created in the treasures
of art and religion which are recorded by previous travellers while
now-a-days the native in this mania of modernising is fast destroying
those venerable vestiges of Charles V. and Philip II. which escaped the
Gaul." The situation of this city on the direct line of railway
communication between France and Madrid has greatly helped forward this
"modernising" and even as this is written, numerous old streets are
being pulled down to make way for the convenient, but far from
picturesque monotony in which the nineteenth century usually writes its
date upon its street architecture. In one respect, especially, the glory
of Valladolid has entirely departed. In this, the city of the Arphes, in
which as Navagiero[5] says, (writing in 1525), "Sono in Valladolid assai
artefeci di ogni sorte, é se vi lavora benissimo di tutte le arti, e
sopra tutto d'argenti, e vi sono tanti argenteri quanti non sono in due
altre terre," no gold or silversmith's work is to be found worthy a
moment's attention. The "Plateria" still remains, and the shops of the
Plateros still abound, but, with the exception of two or three little
old fragments saved from the melting pot, the elegant types of the
"Varia commensuracion" of Villafañe have disappeared, giving place to
poor imitations of bad French work.

[Illustration: PLATE 4



MDW 1869

MDW 1869]




THE portion of the great Dominican Convent of Valladolid which formed
the subject of the last sketch, is supposed to have been the
commencement of a second Patio, or courtyard, around which were to have
been arranged apartments, mainly intended for the reception of guests or
visitors, lay as well as ecclesiastic. The arcading, of which Plate IV
is a sketch, surrounds the great Patio of the monastic establishment of
which the "Colegio" proper is the Church. Around this noble courtyard
were grouped the apartments in which resided the powerful Black
Friars--so called from their dress--worthy adherents to the traditions
of the founder of the Order, himself an old Castilian, whose activity as
Preachers, and still more as Inquisitors, made them, perhaps, even more
powerful in controlling the destinies of the Peninsula than the
political heads of the State. The first stone of this great
establishment, dedicated to St. Gregory, and founded by Alonso of
Burgos, Bishop of Palencia, was laid in the year 1488. Some idea of the
rapid growth and elevation of the Dominicans about this period may be
derived from an observation of the fact that this splendid Church and
Monastery was the second great establishment of the Order in Valladolid
completed within the space of about ten years. Cean Bermudez tells us
that the Cardinal Don Juan Torquemada caused the Church of the Convent
of St. Paul to be erected, which, with its façade of excellent
architecture, was finished in the year 1463.

The work at Saint Gregory lasted about eight years, a very short time,
considering not only the quantity and extent of labour involved in the
mere construction, but the amount of intricate and elaborate sculpture
which decorates the façade of the Church. Its architect, Macias
Carpintero, of Medino del Campo, is placed by Llaguno y Amirola upon a
footing, as to merit, with the celebrated architects Siloe and Cruz of
Cologne, who introduced extraordinary elaboration into the ornamental
carving of Spain. The fate of Macias was a sad one, since on the last
Saturday in July, in the year 1490, while working himself, and directing
this great architectural work, he committed suicide, infinitely to the
surprise and regret of the monks and their fellow-citizens.

Some idea of the scale upon which the Patio of San Gregorio is worked
out, may be derived from a knowledge of the facts, that the lower arcade
is about twenty feet high, and the upper fifteen feet. The open space
enclosed by the arcading is very large, and the distance from centre to
centre of each of the pillars about nine feet.

[Illustration: PLATE 5



MDW 1869]




IN that material--stucco--which we of the nineteenth century affect to
despise, and in the use of which both the Romans and the Great Masters
of the Renaissance, under Raffaelle's guidance, excelled, the Moors
delighted. By its use they were able, with speed and accuracy, to supply
the redundancy of conventional ornament essential to contrast with the
rigid geometrical setting out of lines and compartments which formed a
fundamental law of their beautiful style of design. Their aptitude in
the manipulation of this material did not desert them when their talents
were called into operation by their Christian Masters. Of this the
pretty window which forms the chief feature of the sketch under
consideration, offers an agreeable proof. At the first glance, one might
have fancied that this window was of earlier date than the gothic stone
arch beneath, and indeed a relic of the Moorish occupation of Valladolid
before the Christians reconquered the district, so different in style
are its details from those of the arch. To have encountered the
difficulties of constructing such an arch beneath, without destroying
such a window, is, however, so contrary to all ancient precedents in
similar cases, that any such theory must be dismissed on reflexion, and
an explanation sought in some other direction. It is to be found in the
fact, that about the middle of the fifteenth century, shortly after
which date, both arch and window were probably constructed, the
Christians had plenty of skilful artificers in stone, who possessed no
aptitude for working in stucco, whilst the Moors executed but little
ornament in stone, but much in brick and plaster. Hence the marked
difference in style which is apparent between the window sketched, and
the architectural detail of the rest of this pretty little court, which
is shown on this sketch, and the one which follows it.

The rooms surrounding the Arcade of this Patio, and the Arcade itself,
are now used as a "Corps de Garde" in connection with the Government
offices of the great Patio of this "Colegio." They naturally, therefore,
rejoice in the rapidly accumulating whitewash, which serves very
generally in Spain, at once as a panacea against cholera and fever, and
the obliterator of all useless excrescences in the nature of
Architectural Ornament.

[Illustration: PLATE 6


MDW 1869





THE stucco upper-storey from which the last sketch (Plate V) was taken,
rests upon a lower open storey, forming the usual recessed Arcade or
Colonade of even very humble Patios. In this case, the columns, on two
sides, (the upper parts of one of which are shown) including the
coat-of-arms, are in stone; while the brackets easing the compression of
the fibres, and shortening the bearing of the beams, the beams
themselves, and the row of brackets above, being really only the moulded
ends of the joists of the upper floor, are all in wood. They thus
illustrate the combination of materials in construction so much affected
by the Moors. At the same time the architectural details shown both in
this sketch, and in the one which precedes it, exhibit certain
ornamental features derived from Arabian models. That there should be no
question in this structure, however, as to the ascendency of the
Christian over the Moor, the proud founder has affixed his arms, in
which the Church's sacred emblems of the fleur-de-lys and cross forcibly
express the favourite tenets of the Spaniard.

Few cities of Spain more rejoiced in heraldic devices than did
Valladolid, the especial seat of the Castilian nobility, at least until
its removal to Madrid. Amongst all the beautiful fac-similes of
finely-mantled and well-displayed escutcheons which adorn the works of
early printers, given to us by Sir Stirling Maxwell, few excel those
which issued from the presses of the Valladolid printers. The Germans
who followed in the train, or, at any rate under the auspices, of
Charles V., no doubt set the fashion at the commencement of the century
at Seville, which was taken up by Spaniards towards the middle of the
same century at Valladolid. Francesco Fernandez de Cordova appears to
have been the great master of the craft there, and many and splendid are
the heraldic frontispieces of his books from 1548 onwards. His style, at
any rate, was maintained in his family till near the end of the century,
as the title page of the celebrated "Quilatador de la Plata oro y
piedras," by Joan Arphe, 1572,[6] displays the arms of the Cardinal
Bishop of Siguenza, drawn by, and bearing the initials of, no less an
artist than Arphe y Villafañe himself. The imprint of the volume bears
no longer the name of Francisco, but the names of Alonzo y Diego
Fernandez de Cordova.

The finest specimen of Francisco's work, given by Sir Stirling Maxwell,
is the grand heading to a proclamation issued by Charles V., in 1549. It
exhibits not only the Royal and Imperial escutcheon, Double-headed
Eagle, and Columns, with the proud motto "plus ultra," but a quantity of
pure Renaissance ornament from which all trace of Gothic has

[Illustration: PLATE 7


MDW 1869]




AS in Italy, so in Spain, the architecture of the revival may be divided
into at least two great schools, viz., the early, in which sculpture,
and particularly sculptured arabesque, play a prominent part; and the
late, in which regularity in the use of the orders and a system of
rigidly proportioned plain architectural members form the main
constituents of the most highly commended structures. Both merged into
the extravagance which follows when architects learn to draw with
facility rather than to think with steadfastness and propriety. As Italy
had its Borromini, so had Spain its Churriguera.

The building from which my sketch has been taken, belongs to the second
of these divisions of the architecture of the revival, as may be seen by
the grave simplicity of the Ionic columns which support the massive but
plain arches of both stories of a large and pretentious Patio. In this
sketch I have chosen the point of view from the entrance loggia of the
house, because looking from it I could well see, and therefore
illustrate, the way in which a grand staircase, covered at the top, but
open to the air upon one side, usually connects, in large houses, the
upper and lower arcades of the Patios, and consequently the upper and
lower floors of the mansion which open on to the two main arcades. The
staircase is very rarely closed by iron-work or otherwise; consequently
the visitor once obtaining access to the Patio was and is at liberty to
ramble nearly all over the house unchecked. As front doors usually stand
open from morning till night, access to Patios may generally be freely
obtained; but where the house is inhabited by one family only, or by
more than one family desiring privacy, iron or wooden doors usually
close openings to the Patio such as are shown in the sketch. It is only
when in answer to a bell, or knocker, attached to this or to an external
doorway, a servant has appeared and ascertained that the visitor is an
"amigo," that the door itself is opened, and access to the interior

It is a popular prejudice that gravity in Spanish architecture only came
in with Herrera, after the middle of the fifteenth century in Spain, but
in reality there were several other men who before him asserted their
dissent from the plateresque redundancy of ornament, and designed works
upon a careful study of Italian models of architectural proportion.
Among such may be reckoned Pedro Machuca who in 1526 designed the palace
of Charles V. at Granada, Alonzo Covarrubias who was architect for the
noble staircase and cortile of the Alcazar at Toledo, and Diego Siloe
who a few years later created the fine Cathedral of Granada.

[Illustration: PLATE 8



MDW 1869]




THE antiquity of the city of Leon and its importance as a Roman station
are well shown by its picturesque and strong walls, which in many places
yet exhibit clearly Roman masonry in the substructure and general form.
On other places, subsequent generations of artificers have left
unmistakeable autographs inscribed in most legible and durable forms,
attesting dates of construction, dilapidation, restoration, and then
again dilapidation, through centuries of tempestuous existence. One of
the most picturesque bastions of these old walls is the one shown in my
sketch which groups exceedingly well with the fine Romanesque steeple of
San Isidro, which stands on the west of the Church but altogether
detached from it. Both Church and steeple date from about the middle of
the twelfth century, and possess great historical and architectural
interest. Their historical interest is due to their association with the
fervidly pious Queen Sancha; and to the fact that in the Pantheon, or
chapel dedicated to Santa Catilina at the north-west end of the Church,
probably grouped around the body of the Saint, repose Kings and Queens
of Spain from Fernando I. and Doña Sancha the founders of the Church,
through eight generations. Their architectural interest is derivable
from the constructional and ornamental details dwelt upon by Mr. Street,
to whose excellent account of the building the reader may be referred.

[Illustration: PLATE 9


MDW 1869]




ON the 3rd of September, 1512, a meeting took place between certain
ecclesiastics of the Chapter of Salamanca, and nine of the most famous
architects of Spain, the minute or "procès verbal" of which would form a
model for what might often be done in this country with much advantage
to all concerned in the initiation of any great architectural work. The
object of the Junta was to settle the principal difficulties of the
design of the new Cathedral of Salamanca, then about to be begun.
Interesting as are all the conclusions arrived at upon this memorable
occasion, it is not with them we have now to concern ourselves, but with
the circumstance only that, amongst the signatures attached to the
document[7] occurs that of Juan de Badajoz, the architect of the noble
façade of the celebrated Convent of the Knights of Santiago at Leon,
which forms the subject of our ninth sketch. In the following year to
that of the meeting at Salamanca, Juan de Badajoz was summoned in
concert with Juan Gil de Hontañon and Juan de Alava to report on the
repairs necessary to the Cathedral at Seville. For this he was paid by
the Chapter one hundred ducats, no mean sum in those days. Called from
Seville to Leon, Badajoz seems to have immediately set in hand the
Capilla Mayor of the Church of San Isidro. In Leon and elsewhere he
appears to have been much employed, until in 1537 he commenced the
Convent of San Zoil at Carrion (about twelve leagues from Leon,) for the
Condes of that place. The taste for elaborate ornamental sculpture
greatly increasing at that time, Juan de Badajoz seems to have taken
pains to surround himself with the most skilful carvers of his days, and
on all occasions to have pushed them forwards as their merits deserved.
Hence, when called upon, shortly after setting in hand the works at
Carrion, to commence the even more elaborate and important ones of San
Marcos, he was able to carry on the two for a time concurrently, and
ultimately to resign the charge of what he began and advanced
considerably single-handed at Leon, to his deputy, Pedro di Castrillo.

On San Marcos, Juan de Badajoz appears to have worked pertinaciously, at
any rate until the year 1543, when more than half the whole work was
completed. In the sculpture, of which there is an enormous quantity, he
had the assistance, as principal sculptor, of Guillermo Doncel. The
ornamental details[8] are excellent, far better than those involving a
knowledge of the proportions and forms of the human figure. The size of
the building is enormous, and its general effect very picturesque. The
works appear to have been suspended while still far from complete. They
were not resumed until the year 1715.

[Illustration: PLATE 10





IT used to be a proud old boast of the brothers of the Military Order of
Sant' Iago that their Palace, or Convent, call it which you will, at
Leon, was quite as fine and spacious as the palace occupied by the Kings
of Spain at Madrid. Knowing this, I visited it with a certain amount of
apprehension as to my reception by such successors to the magnates of
old, as might still occupy the building. My fears were groundless, for I
found after much knocking and ringing, that a solitary policeman was the
only occasional tenant of its vast halls, and almost numberless rooms.
It was indeed melancholy to see such a structure so evidently and
entirely "out of joint with fortune" and "the times," as to be
apparently inapplicable and inconvertible to any useful purpose.

With the impressions received from meeting with such a state of things,
the traveller naturally feels a difficulty in realising the fact that
the extent and splendour of this Convent actually represented what was
once a vital principle of first importance to Spain. To her, until
Mariolatry set in with full intensity, the name of Sant' Iago was a
tower of strength. Not only did the possession of his shrine to which
pilgrims flocked, even from beyond the seas in thousands, bring wealth
to the Church; but the elevation of the Saint into an actual soldier of
the Faith, a leader to material as well as to spiritual victory,
supplied for Spain that fervour under arms which, when passing under the
form of devotion to "the Prophet" had, as both Church and State in Spain
wisely recognised, wrought such marvels in the consolidation of the
power of her natural enemies, the Moors. By the creation of the
religious orders of cavaliers, or rather of the military orders of
priests, Spain at once nourished the spirit of chivalry and the
Christian Faith, the union of which ultimately won for her the
reconquest of all that Mahommedan Chivalry and Mahommedan Faith had
conquered from her.[9] The very length and pertinacity of the struggle
only served to quicken the devotion of the people to their "Gran
Capitan," Sant' Iago, and to induce them to enrich to the utmost the
order which bore his name.

Hence the magnificent scale of buildings, such as the Convent of San
Marcos, the stately cloisters of which once sheltered those whose energy
in council and skill in the field maintained that life and action for
the warlike, and protection and repose for the peaceable, which were
essential to the consolidation and upholding of the monarchy of Spain,
and its supposed indispensable and inseparable adjunct the "Catholic

[Illustration: PLATE 11


MDW 1869]




IN an ancient house which stood upon the site on which now stands the
Palace which forms the subject of our sketch, there was born, in the
year 1266, a "Cavalier," who, when arrived at manhood, followed the
fortunes of Sancho the Brave. After many struggles, the King having
taken Tarifa in Andalucia from the Moors in 1292, looked round amongst
his followers for one willing to hold what he had won. All refused,
owing to the danger of the position, until Alonso Perez de Guzman, the
Cavalier in question, offered to keep possession of the town for a year.
The story is thus condensed by Ford, from the "Romancero." The Moors
beleaguered it, aided by the Infante Juan, a traitor brother of Sancho's
to whom Alonso's eldest son, aged nine, had been entrusted previously as
a page. "Juan now brought the boy under the walls, and threatened to
kill him if his father would not surrender the place. Alonso drew his
dagger and threw it down exclaiming, 'I prefer honour without a son, to
a son with dishonour.' He retired, and the Prince caused the child to be
put to death. A cry of horror ran through the Spanish battlements.
Alonso rushed forth, beheld his son's body, and returning to his
childless mother, calmly observed, 'I feared that the infidel had gained
the city.' Sancho, the King, likened him to Abraham, from this parental
sacrifice and honoured him with the 'canting' name 'El Bueno.' The good
(Guzman, Gutman, Goodman.) He became the founder of the princely Dukes
of Medina Sidonia, now merged by marriage in the Villafrancas." From
this great head descended ultimately Her Majesty the Empress Eugénie of
France. Gaining strength, riches and power, the original residence of El
Bueno became too small for his aspiring family, and in 1560, Don Juan
Quiñones y Guzman, Bishop of Calahorra, determined upon the erection, on
the same site, of the present fine structure. The name of the architect
does not seem to be known, but it is obviously the work of one who,
rejecting the elaboration of the Plateresque style, followed the simpler
and more chastened proportions recommended by the early Italian writers
on architecture, such as Alberti and Serlio, and by the first Spanish
student of Vitruvius, Diego Sagredo in his "Medidas del Romano,"
(Toledo, 1526.)

It is probable that the use of a large quantity of iron externally, as
in the balconies and other parts of this Palace was somewhat of a
novelty at the date of construction, since the story runs "that when
Philip II. visited Leon, as his courtiers, some friends of the Bishops,
were praising the building, and were mentioning in a friendly way the
thousands of cwts. of iron employed in it, the King severely observed,
punningly by the way, 'En verdad que ha sido mucho _yerro_ para un
obispo.'"[10] The pun turns upon the word _yerro_ which means both iron,
and a mistake. The joke would have been unworthy of Philip II. if it had
not been grim.

[Illustration: PLATE 12



MDW. 1869]




PALACES, such as supply our twelfth illustration, are now rarely
occupied in Spain by one family only. Instead of serving as the place of
general rendezvous for the dependants and intimate friends only of the
aristocratic proprietor, the Patios are now usually peopled with men,
women and children belonging to the numerous families, between whom the
occupation of the Palace, sadly fallen from its high estate, is divided.
Instead of the mansions being guarded by a grand inquisitor in the shape
of a porter, with armed servants within hail, with almost more than
Oriental jealousy, as in the old days, he who will, may usually find
entrance or exit unheeded, passing but as one more or one less of the
hundreds who go to and fro in the course of the day to the various
apartments which are frequently let and sublet, at ridiculously low
rents, to poor occupants who can afford to pay no other. Poverty, in
fact, revels in halls where magnificence once reigned supreme.

It is no easy task for the imagination to repeople such grand old
residences with the stately Hidalgoes and Señoras, who once occupied and
maintained them with scrupulous care and princely dignity. Happily, the
Countess d'Aulnois comes to our aid with her lively account of the
dwelling at Madrid of the Duchess of Terra Nueva, appointed
Camerera-Mayor to the young Queen, in 1679; and her picturesque sketch
may be freely accepted as expressing the general style in which families
of dignity, such as the Guzmanes, magnates of Leon, lived during the
plenitude of Spanish wealth and power.

"One can hardly see anything," says she,[11] "that looks more splendid
than this house of theirs; they use the upper apartments, which are hung
with tapestry, all done with raised work of gold. In one great chamber,
which is longer than it is broad, you may see several glass doors, which
go into closets, or little cells; the first of which is the Duchess of
Terra Nova's, hung with grey, and a bed of the same, and all other
things very plain. On one side lodges her daughter, the Duchess of
Monteleon, who is a widow, and has her room furnished like her mother's.
Afterwards you come to the Princess of Monteleon's chamber, which is not
larger than the others; but her bed is of gold and green damask, lined
with silver brocade, and trimmed with Point-de-Spain. The sheets were
laced about with an English lace of half an ell deep. Over against it
were the chambers of Monteleon and Hijar's children, which were
furnished with white damask. Next to these is the little chamber of the
Duchess Hijar, furnished with crimson coloured velvet upon a gold
ground. Their rooms were no otherwise divided than by partitions of a
certain sweet wood; and they told me that six of their women lay in
their chambers upon beds brought thither at night. The ladies were in a
great gallery, spread with a very rich foot-cloth. There were set round
it crimson coloured velvet cushions embroidered with gold, and they are
longer than they are broad. There were also several great cabinets
inlaid, and adorned with precious stones; but they are not made in
Spain. And between them were tables of silver, and admirable
looking-glasses, both for their largeness and rich frames, the worst of
which were of silver. But that which I thought finest, were their
escaparates, which is a certain sort of close cabinet with one great
glass, and filled with all the rarities which one can imagine, whether
it be in amber, porcelain, crystal, bezoar-stone, branches of coral,
mother-of-pearl, filligreen in gold, and a thousand other things of

[Illustration: PLATE 13


MDW 1869





THIS pretty little keystone, with its acanthus leaf well drawn and
freely cut in good cinque-cento style occurs over the Portal of an old
house in one of the secondary streets of Leon. The pot of lilies which
surmounts it is a pretty little "impresa," quaintly signifying the
devotion of the owner of the house to the especial object of every good
Spaniard's worship, the most holy Virgin "sin pecado concebida." The S
shaped irons, which appear on the right and left of the pot of lilies,
serve to help to support the light balcony, which generally occurs over
entrance doors of minor importance in Spain, and which often serves as a
small open air addition to the common sitting room, in which the women
of the house do much of the usual needle work, spinning, &c.

[Illustration: PLATE 14



MDW 1869]




THIS is, upon the whole, the most complete house I met with of its
period, answering in Art, and nearly in point of time, to the florid
Burgundian style of the Low Countries, with which there was much
intercourse at the probable date of its construction--the close of the
fifteenth century. It stands almost opposite the great Church of the
Gesuitas, some of the columns of an unfinished porch or portico of which
may be seen upon the left hand side of the sketch. No doubt this fine
mansion does not possess its original roofing, as testified by the
comparatively modern windows of a portion of the top storey, but with
that exception it is fairly complete, both externally and internally.

The little projections on the masonry looking like nail heads are,
really, as will be seen by the details given in Plates XVII. and XIX.,
representations of shells, the heraldic badge of the owner of the house,
from which, rather than from his name, the cognomen by which the house
is known, has been derived. It is difficult now to divine in what way
the top storey was originally constructed, but judging by analogy with
what was usual in such houses elsewhere in Spain at the time, it
appears probable that it may have consisted of a light open arcading,
serving as a "look out"--"mirador"--and place for exercising for the
ladies of the household, at times when the streets may have been neither
safe nor agreeable.

[Illustration: PLATE 15


MDW 1869]




THE Patio of this house is yet more perfect than its façade, and, a rare
circumstance in Spain, I found it both clean and well kept. It is not
upon a large scale, and did not, perhaps, look the less elegant on that
account. The upper arcade produces a far better effect than the lower,
since in the latter the principle of the arch seems fantastically and
heedlessly lost sight of. With the exception in the upper arcade of the
way in which the wreaths and escutcheons are placed, as though to
conceal a confusion in the lines of the archivolt, which the architect
(or mason) did not seem quite to know how to bring together comfortably
over the capitals, the whole effect is quiet and pretty. The open work
parapet at the top is the only _motif_ in the design which appears to be
borrowed from the architecture of the Moors.

[Illustration: PLATE 16


MDW 1869]




ON the side of the Patio, opposite to the entrance, occurs the archway
through the wall which forms the back of the arcade on that side of the
Court, and beyond which is seen the staircase which connects the upper
and lower arcades. From its masonry bonded in with the enclosing walls,
it assumes even, while simple in design, a thoroughly architectural
character, while the depth of shade, which almost invariably covers the
back wall and parts of the side wall, serve to throw the lower part of
the staircase into brilliant relief. The graceful and gay figures which,
in the characteristic costume of Salamanca, from time to time, went up
or down the staircase, or linger upon it in groups chatting or smoking,
or flirting, make up occasional pictures not rapidly to be effaced from
the author's memory.

[Illustration: PLATE 17


MDW 1869





ONE of the most agreeable features in the design of the Casa de las
Conchas, is the variety of detail of the different windows throughout
the house. On the sketch under consideration, and in the two which
follow it, evidence is afforded of the burning of the "lamp of life," as
Mr. Ruskin would call it. They are all of them conceived in a
transitional and composite but very picturesque style, and however
different or possibly antagonistic the details of each window may appear
amongst themselves, as a whole they agree and look exceedingly well.

This window occurs on the first floor of the façade, and possesses an
additional interest from showing us pretty clearly what kind of windows
may have been superseded in a similar situation by the Italian windows
so much to be regretted in the fine Palace of the Duques del Infantado
at Guadalajara. See Plate LXXVIII.

[Illustration: PLATE 18



MDW 1869]




THIS window with its heavy ironwork, gives light through the back wall
of the arcading of the Patio to a passage running behind a room, which
derives its light from the external wall of the house. Such passages
occur not unfrequently in Spanish houses, and are convenient, as they
serve to bring three rooms into a suite without the necessity of having
to pass through any one room to get to another. Of course of the three
rooms two may be of the full width, extending from the external wall of
the house to the back wall of the arcading of the Patio, and one of that
width less the width of the passage, into which the three doors open,
and which is lighted by a window from the Patio (such as that sketched),
and frequently approached also from the arcading by a doorway adjoining
the window. As the Patio is a comparatively public part of the house,
such windows require, and usually have, the strong close iron work,
which gives security and a certain amount of privacy to the external
windows of the ground-floor of the house.

[Illustration: PLATE 19


MDW 1869





THE windows of the first-floors of Spanish houses are always the
largest, airiest, and openest, of the whole of the windows of the house,
excepting in the rare cases where there is a top story consisting of a
large gallery, as frequently at Genoa, serving for promenade and look
out--in fact a species of Belvedere. The importance of the rooms lighted
is generally indicated by the relative richness of the window dressings.
The profusion with which heraldic insignia are used in the window
sketched, suffices, therefore, to show that with others of the same kind
it lighted the principal saloons of the house. Another point of
construction illustrated by the sketch, is the fact that the "conchas"
or carved stone shells have been applied after the general building of
the wall. This is proved by the regularity with which they are placed,
irrespective of the heights of the various courses of masonry, and of
the levels at which the joints occur.

[Illustration: PLATE 20


MDW 1869]




OF the very picturesque specimen of domestic architecture illustrated in
Plate XX., and bearing the local name of the Casa de Monterey, but
little seems to be known. Escosura confesses himself reduced to
conjecture, and thus theorises on the subject. As to the exact epoch at
which the Casa de Monterey was built, the following circumstances should
be borne in mind. "The title of Conde de Monterey was created in favour
of Don Baltasar de Zuñiga, who was Viceroy of Naples in the year 1626.
This nobleman caused the Church of the Convent of Nuns which bore his
name, and which stands opposite his palace, to be erected at his expense
from the designs of the fashionable Italian architect, Fontana. May it
be unreasonable to suppose that the Palace was designed at the same time
by the same architect?"

To this question, the proper answer given by some better judge of
architectural style would, probably, be "very," since it is difficult to
perceive any similarity between the modes of design, upon which the two
buildings are based. The architecture of the Church of the Convent, one
angle of which appears on the left hand of the sketch, is in the large
florid manner of the post-Palladian Italians, while that of the Palace
is small in its ornamental parts, and instead of exhibiting Italian
features, seems throughout to show the peculiar reading of Italian style
adopted by the late Plateresque Spanish architects of the second half of
the sixteenth century. This is particularly noticeable in the absence of
a crowning balustrade, and in the substitution for it of the elaborate
pierced cresting which apparently the Spanish architects adopted from
Moorish rather than from any antique models.

The interior of this grand looking palace is said to have been all but
destroyed by the French.

[Illustration: PLATE 21


MDW 1869





IN every ancient city the largest and most costly building ever erected
in it is usually the most enduring. The causes of this are various--for
instance--the construction in itself may have been the most solid, the
citizens may have taken such pride in it as to bestow unusual pains upon
its conservation, they may have retained it for uses for which it may
have become more or less unfit (as is the case with the majority of
ancient Ecclesiastical buildings in Protestant countries), rather than
face the expense of re-erecting appropriate buildings, or it may still
be well suited for present purposes. Hence cathedrals, churches,
palaces, (rarely castles, owing to the combative propensities of their
owners), hospitals, great residences of ancient families, and in
Catholic countries, convents and monasteries, of almost all periods, may
remain to attest the changes of architectural style, &c.; but the
ordinary residences of the middle classes, and of the numerous secondary
nobility, get swept away by the tides of history, or are so altered by
them as to leave scarcely any satisfactory land-marks to indicate what
once gave its predominant character to the streets of many an ancient
city. Such changes are effected almost equally by progress and by
decay. By the former, all minor monuments become obliterated or
transformed,--they represent in fact old age, pushed aside to make way
for youth--while by the latter they descend in the social scale until
beggars break up what nobles once built up. How constantly the traveller
meets with some splendid old cathedral still "hale and hearty," with the
weight of half-a-dozen or more centuries upon its head, around which he
knows were once grouped teeming populations full of strength, life, and
wealth, of which not a habitation may be left extending backwards for
more than a hundred years from the present date? Any exceptions to such
illustrations of the way in which fortune turns her wheel become the
especially cherished haunts of the antiquary, who knows that from day to
day they become rarer, and consequently more precious. Hence the
enthusiasm with which the neglected quarters of every old town are
visited in the hope of meeting with some relics of what may therein at
least appear, "remains of an extinct civilization." Some such reward I
met with in encountering, amidst much dirt and apparent poverty in the
quarter of San Benito, in Salamanca, the pretty façades of old
Renaissance houses which form the subjects of this sketch and of the one
which succeeds it.

[Illustration: PLATE 22


MDW 1869





THE Renaissance house now presented to the reader, although richer in
its ornaments, is not as complete as the one given in the preceding
sketch, having apparently lost its original roof. Instead of the
overhanging eaves casting a constantly cool shade over the open
balustrading, through which light and air still pass to "a chamber
that's next to the sky;" in this case nothing is probably left over the
principal apartment, the window of which richly decorated with heraldry
and arabesque is shown over the strong doorway with its deep flat arch,
excepting a dark and scarcely habitable attic. I think it very likely
that the wreath, coat of arms, and boys, which still occupy their
original position over the principal window, once supported the sill of
a superior window, and that the house which now appears to have two
stories only, had once at least as many as three.

Such houses as these of the ancient nobility, of which I could find only
two or three, must once have been common enough in the fashionable city
of Gil Blas, when the university numbered seven thousand students, and
eighty professors, with salaries of one thousand crowns each--a
bountiful payment in those days for the exercise of the noblest
talents--and swarms of assistants and "Pretendientes" on half-pay and

[Illustration: PLATE 23



MDW 1869]




THE Portal which forms the subject of my twenty-third sketch serves as
the entrance to the dilapidated old mansion of the Condes de Polentinos
at Avila, a view of the remains of the Patio of which will be found on
turning over this page. The architectural characteristics of this
striking gateway are certainly very singular. On catching a glimpse of
it from a distance, and seizing the aspect only of its ponderous masonry
and deep machicolations, I fully believed I was coming upon an old bit
of castellated construction of the fourteenth or fifteenth century at
latest. On nearer inspection, however, I found out my mistake, and
arrived at the conclusion that the Señor Conde, late in the sixteenth
century, who had caused the whole structure to be built, had probably
charged his architect, either to preserve the general form of some much
earlier portal of the old house, which he may have caused to be pulled
down, or to imitate the general aspect of some other aristocratic portal
of early date, which the Count may have admired elsewhere. Different as
the corbelling, &c., looks to the gateway, and the window over it, I
found that ornamental detail of a similar nature to, but somewhat
coarser style than that of the door and window dressings was worked over
most of the corbelling, and part of the upper gallery carried by the
corbels, but apparently by a provincial hand. The stone work of the door
and window had probably been left in the rough for awhile, possibly for
some fifty years, and then its carving entrusted to some superior
artist, working according to the latest lights of the fashion of the
close of the sixteenth century. Although the style of all this carving
is plateresque, there are many indications about it of an inclination to
Greco-Roman work. For instance, the griffins, the lions' heads of
antique type, and the arms and armour arranged as trophies, all indicate
acquaintance with the prevalent materials of Italian arabesque design of
late cinque-cento style. Indeed, the very form and fluting of the
corselets, brasses, vambrasses, and cuisses, would indicate that armour
of a date posterior to the middle of the sixteenth century had been
adopted as types for the making up of the trophies.

[Illustration: PLATE 24



MDW 1869]




NEXT to the general feeling of interest excited by the picturesque
aspect of decayed architectural grandeur, which is presented by the
remains of this dilapidated Patio, rises a feeling of curiosity as to
the mode and manner of life of those whose wants such costly building
subserved. Privacy and coolness appear to have been the chief
desiderata, and those architectural ornaments seem to have been
preferred, which recall, at almost every step, the hereditary dignities
of the family tree. Madame d'Aulnois, whose Letters from Spain, written
in 1679,[13] give the liveliest possible picture of life in those days
in the Peninsula, gratifies our curiosity in the most agreeable manner,
and with that quickness of perception, as to domestic habits, by means
of which, none but a woman can seize at a glance, the telling details
essential to give completeness and reality to a sketch. Speaking of the
Spaniards of the upper and middle classes of the seventeenth century she
says:--"All their houses have a great many rooms on a floor; you go
through a dozen or fifteen parlours, or chambers, one after another.
Those which are the worst lodged have six or seven. The rooms are
generally longer than they are broad. The floors and ceilings are
neither painted nor gilt; they are made of plaister quite plain, but so
white that they dazzle one's eyes; for every year they are scraped, and
whited as the walls, which look like marble, they are so well polished.
The Court to their summer apartments is made of certain matter, which,
after it has ten pails of water thrown upon it, yet is dry in
half-an-hour, and leaves a pleasant coolness; so that in the morning
they water all, and a little while after they spread mats or carpets
made of fine rushes, which cover all the pavement. The whole apartments
are hung with the same small mat about the depth of an ell, to hinder
the coolness of the walls from hurting those which lean against them. On
the top of these mats there are hung pictures and looking-glasses. The
cushions, which are of gold and silver brocade, are placed upon the
carpet; and the tables and cabinets are very fine; and at little
distances there are set silver cases or boxes, filled with orange and
jessamine trees. In their windows they set things made of straw, to keep
the sun out; and in the evenings they work in their gardens. There are
several houses which have very fine ones, where you see grottoes and
fountains in abundance."

[Illustration: PLATE 25


MDW 1869]




MR. STREET'S illustrations and description of all that is left of the
old glories of Avila, previous to the epoch of the Renaissance, are so
complete, that I can feel no compunction in having gleaned only from
this delightful old city two specimens of the ability of the Spanish
smiths of the period he repudiates, and two others showing remains of
the domestic architecture of the same style.

Let it not be supposed, however, that it was only the school of the
Renaissance which produced masterly iron-work, and even masterly iron
pulpits, in Spain. Mr. Street has himself given us a beautiful woodcut
of the pulpit in the church of St. Gil, at Burgos. This exhibits no
other than Gothic details, while in the pulpit which forms the subject
of my twenty-fifth sketch, as will no doubt be observed, Renaissance
details are freely intermixed with Gothic ones. The whole, however
different in style in different parts, appeared to me to be
contemporaneous; and I, therefore, regard this pulpit as an interesting
example of a transitional style, later of course, than that followed in
the pulpit of Saint Gil, which Mr. Street describes as the earliest he
saw. In both, the primitive mode of working through thin plates
superposed to form tracery has been adhered to, and the whole of the
ironwork has been applied to a wooden framework. I regard the pulpit at
Burgos as likely to have been executed early in the fifteenth century,
and the one now under consideration as of the close of the same century;
and both may, I think, have been produced under the influence of the
masters from Cologne, who did such wonders, and set so many fashions, in
Burgos and its vicinity, especially at Miraflores.

[Illustration: PLATE 26



MDW 1869]




IN method of manufacture no less than in style of design this pulpit,
which forms a pendant to the one last given just outside the choir of
Avila Cathedral, offers a contrast to its predecessor. We no longer meet
with a superposition of perforated plates, but the operations of beating
and chasing, and, indeed, cutting the metal with chisels, files and
hammers; working in fact as the Italians term it "a massiccio." The
basis of the design is no longer Gothic, but strictly of the regular
Spanish Plateresque Renaissance with balustrade columns, figures in
niches, and Arabesques imitated from the Italians. From all these
details, we may fairly be justified in ascribing this work to about the
middle of the sixteenth century.

The method of working this pulpit is no longer that of the simple smith,
but really corresponds much more closely with that of the armourer which
reached its zenith about this period. There can be no doubt that the
Spaniards gained much of their well-known skill in the manipulation of
iron and steel from the Moors, who had themselves obtained knowledge
from Damascus, and perhaps even improved upon the knowledge they had
derived from that source. From the times of the Carthaginians and
Romans, the Celt-Iberian mines had been known as amongst the richest
existing sources, from which iron could be procured. Many fragments of
finely wrought iron work, of the middle ages, still exist in Spain; but
for the most part in very fragmentary condition.[14] From the end of the
fifteenth century, however, in the Rejas, great seals and minor screens,
(such as that seen at the back of the pulpit in my sketch) of the
churches and cathedrals, and especially in the arms and armour of
Moorish and Christian Caballeros, (as attested by many splendid
specimens in the Real Armeria of Madrid), perfect examples are to be met
with of the skill of Spanish artificers in dealing with all the
metallurgical processes by which iron and steel can be made to assume
forms of grace and beauty. Charles V., Philip II., and Don Juan of
Austria, were boundless in their extravagance in the encouragement of
the best armourers, not of Toledo and Valladolid only, but of Milan and
Augsburg as well. There can be no doubt that the models of beauty bought
by these Sovereigns from artists in iron and steel, such as the Negroli
and Piccinini, tended to develope that perfection of workmanship, which
was attained in Spain in the reign of Philip III. The pains-taking
editors of the Catalogue of the Madrid Armoury cite Pamplona as at the
head of the trade at the close of the sixteenth and beginning of the
seventeenth centuries, and name as the chief rivals to Pamplona of the
cities of Spain, in the manufacture of splendid arms and armour, Tolosa,
Barcelona, and Calatayud.[15]

[Illustration: PLATE 27


MDW 1869]




IN all Spain I saw nothing which so ill-agreed with my preconceptions as
the Escorial. As for beauty, I could find none whatever in it. The
building appeared to me thoroughly unsatisfactory alike as church,
palace, or monastery. Still, to omit it altogether from any series of
Spanish sketches with pen or pencil, would be to leave out the Monument
which reflects, probably, more perfectly than any other in the
Peninsula, the mixture of arrogant extravagance, and arid ascetism,
which characterized its most potent rulers in the plenitude of their
historical importance. In it, in my opinion, Herrera proved himself an
architect thoroughly worthy of the masters who employed him, formal,
pedantic, cold, extravagant to a degree, and yet mean. That the building
contains many most interesting works of art, is as true, as that a visit
to it should on no account be omitted by any one who would at all
attempt to realize what the Spanish Court may have been in the days of
Philip II.; but, after all, I am bound to confess that what most pleased
me in the vast edifice, with the exception of some few pictures and
illuminated books, was the work of Italians and not of Spaniards, viz.,
the marble crucifix of Benvenuto Cellini, the magnificent gilt bronze
statues of the Kings and Queens of Spain in the Church, by Pompeio
Leoni, and the decorations of the Library, principally by Pelegrino
Tibaldi. To such a judgment may be objected that the structure now is
not what it was, let us see what an acute observer says of it, writing
late in the seventeenth century:--

"A while after we went to the Escurial, which to give it no less than
its due, may in Spain pass for an admirable structure, but where
building is understood, would not be looked on as very extraordinary. In
a general consideration, it seems a mass of stone of great perfection;
but going to particulars, scarce any of them but falls very short of the
magnificence imagined, and that so much, that if Philip the Second, who
built it, and was called the Solomon of his age, did no more resemble
that wise king then this edifice does his Temple, to which it is often
compared, the copy comes very short of the original; in the meantime to
stretch the comparison they please themselves in saying, that Charles
the Fifth, like another David, only designed his holy work, which (being
a man of war and blood) God reserved for his son. Ignorant strangers are
entertained with this tale, but such as are versed in history tell us,
that after the battle of St. Quentin, Philip the Second made two vows,
one never to go in person to the wars, the other to build this cloyster
for the Order of St. Jerome instead of that which had been burnt, it
cost him near six millions of gold, though out of consideration of
parsimony and convenience of bringing stone, he made choice of the worst
situation in nature, for it is at the foot of a barren mountain, and
hard by a wretched village called Escurial, that can hardly lodge a man
of any fashion; this may seem very strange to those that know the Court
is there twice in a year: the place it stands on is, by transcendence,
called the Seat, because it was levelled in order to build on.

"The fabrick is very fair, with four towers at the four corners, but
coming to it, one knows not which way to enter, for as soon as out of
the great walk, in a kind of Piazza, you see only little doors, which,
when you are over it, lead into two pavilions, that contain offices and
lodgings for some of the Court; when you have well viewed this side of
the square, you come to that which is towards the mountain, where there
is a very large magnificent portal, on each side beautify'd with
pillars; by this stately gate you enter a quadrangle, where right over
against it stands the Church, ascended to it by a stair of five or six
steps, as long as the Court is large, extending from one side of it to
the other, very fair columnes support the porch, and on the top of the
wall stand six statues, the middlemost of which are David and Solomon,
by whom they would represent Charles the Fifth, and Philip the Second.
About the church are many pavillions, all comprehended in the exact
square which environs that building. Report mentions many Bascourts, but
we could not reckon above seven or eight. That this is a very fair
cloyster for Friers cannot be denied, neither can it be allowed to be a
pallace magnificent enough for such a monarch as Philip the Second, who
having built it in one-and-twenty years, and enjoyed it twelve or
thirteen, boasted, that from the foot of a mountain and his closet, with
two inches of paper, he made himself obeyed in the Old and New World.

"The King and Queen's apartments have nothing in them that appears
roial, they are altogether unfurnished, and they say, when the King goes
to any of his houses of pleasure, they remove all to the very bedsteads;
the rooms are little and low; the roofs not beautiful enough to invite
the eyes to look up to them; its many pictures of excellent masters, and
especially of Titian, that wrought a great while there, are very much
vaunted, yet there are not so many as report gives out. The Spaniards
have so little understanding of pictures, they are alike taken with all,
and the Marquis Serragenovese, that accompanied us, sufficiently laughed
at the foolishness of a Castillian, who, willing to have us admire the
slightest and wretchedest landskipes of a gallery where we were, told us
nothing could equalize them, because in a place where their King
sometimes walked. There are yet in the vestry some good pieces,
especially a Christ, and Mary Magdalen; and in the Church others very
estimable. For paintings in fresco, the quire, done by Titian, is
doubtlessly an excellent work, and so is the library, I think by the
same hand, where amongst the rest is represented the ancient Roman
manner of defending criminals, who stand by bound hand and foot; Cicero
is also there pleading for Milo, or some other, I not being sufficiently
acquainted with his meen, to be positive, and without apprehension of
mistaking; this library is truly very considerable, as well for its
length, breadth, height, and light; the pictures and marble tables that
stand in the midst of it, as for its quantity of choice and rare books,
if we may believe the monks; they are certainly very well bound and
guilded, and if I mistake not, but seldom read. In the vestry, they show
priests' copes, where embroidery and pearl with emulation contend
whether art or matter renders them more rich and sumptuous; they showed
us a cross of very fair pearl, diamonds, and emeralds; it is a very
pretty knack, and would not become less such if it changed countreys, I
would willingly have undertaken for it if they would have suffered it to
pass the Pyreneans, had it been only to show my friends a hundred
thousand crowns in a nut-shell. The library I have spoken of, the high
altar and monument of their kings, which they call Pantheon (though I
know not why, unless because a single round arch like the Pantheon at
Rome), are certainly the best pieces of this magnificent fabrick. The
high altar is approached by steps of red marble, and invironed by
sixteen pillars of jasper, which reach the top of the quire, and cost
only a matter of fifty or sixty thousand crowns cutting, between these
are niches with statues of guilded brass, and so there are on the side
of the tables and praying places. The Pantheon is under the altar, and
descended by stairs, though narrow, very light; at the entrance of this
rich chappel, a marble shines, whose lustre is heightened by reflexion
of the gold, with which all the iron-work and part of that fair stone
are overlaid. In the middle of it, and right against the altar, is a
fair candlestick of brass, gilded, and in six several niches,
twenty-four sepulchres of black marble to receive as many bodies; above
the gate are two more. This stately monument is small, but sumptuous, it
was finished by the present King, who, about six months since placed
there the bodies of Charles the Fifth, Philip the Second, and Philip the
Third. The first was most intire; in the niches, on the left, lie the
Queens, and the last of them Queen Elizabeth of Burbon. He that preached
the day that these seven tombs or sepulchres had bodies laid in them,
began by his apprehension to speak in presence of so many kings who had
conquered the world, and expressed himself so well, and so highly
pleased the King that he got a yearly pension of a thousand crowns.
Nothing attaining such perfection as to secure it from the teeth of
criticks, the three pieces I have now mentioned, have been attacqued by
them. It is objected against the Library, that its entrance suits not
with its magnificence and grandeur, and that it stands as if stoln in,
and not of the same piece with the rest.

"Over against the great altar, where all is so well proportioned, they
wish away a silver lamp, whose size corresponds not with that of the
place it burns in, which is vast and large. In the Pantheon they find
great fault, that all the steps by which it is descended are not marble,
and that the sides of the walls are not incrusted with it, the chappel
being all so, and a like magnificence requisite everywhere. In the
brazen candlestick, the inner part which is not guilded is discerned
amongst the black and foul branches that extend from it. It cost ten
thousand crowns, which is ten times more than it is worth; but it is
common in this country to boast things of excessive price, which they
would have admired on that account, as if because they are foolish
merchants, the ware they buy too dear, were therefore the more valuable.
These are my observations of the so famous Escurial, adorned only by
some small parterras and fountains; one side of it affords a handsome
prospect, but the ground near it is the greatest part rock or heath,
some walks and groves are planted about it, but being cold and windy,
trees thrive not. There are some deer in a kind of park, ill-designed,
and with very low walls, the way to it is nothing pleasant, and the King
who goes thither thrice every year, one of which times is in the winter,
cannot certainly find any great diversion in those journeys, for during
three months all is covered with snow."

Nothing need be added, I think, to so graphic a "boutade" as this,
which, though somewhat satirical, would not appear to have been much too
highly coloured for the occasion.

[Illustration: PLATE 28



MDW 1869]




THERE is probably no city in all Spain, and few perhaps in any part of
the world, in which within a similar compass, so many good, although
fragmentary, materials could be found for illustrating styles and
inflections of style in building, from the days of the Romans through
those of the Moors and Christians, up to the period of the Renaissance,
than Segovia. Of this last named period, two of the greatest masters,
Gil de Ontañon and his son Rodrigo, have nobly left their mark in the
splendid Cathedral, a worthy rival to that of Salamanca, also executed
from the designs, and under the personal superintendence of the elder of
the two Ontañones. The city, probably, owes these varied monuments to
its merits, as a strong, as well as a beautiful position. Under these
circumstances, it is not to be wondered at that its old walls should
offer many features of interest as well as picturesqueness. In fact, to
the educated eye, the former is almost a necessary ingredient to making
up the latter. As I wended my way upwards, therefore, from the railway
station to the town, through this gateway, about which I caught
indications here of one style, and there of another, Roman, Moor, and
Christian doing here a jot and there a little, that I should linger on
my way for awhile; partly, perhaps, to cool myself, and partly to make
the little sketch I present herewith to my readers.

I need, perhaps, only add that the rough but effective cornice of the
gateway is made up from its top to its bottom by different combinations
of common tiles, and that its little enriched frieze is a specimen of
the clever stucco-work, probably executed by workmen of Moorish descent
in Renaissance times. The whole, even to the painting of the Virgin, is
roughly executed, but is not the less graceful, perhaps, from the
apparent absence of all effort. An aspect of spontaneity in works of art
has its own particular charm, as has the semblance of the most careful
solicitude under appropriate circumstances. The true artist, heedful of
his "when" and "how," is master of both moods.

[Illustration: PLATE 29


MDW 1869





DON Juan Alvarez de Colmenar,[16] writing at the commencement of the
eighteenth century, gives the following description of the Royal Palace
at Segovia--

"The Alcazar," he says, "is situated on a mountain in the highest part
of the city. It is entirely covered with lead; the access to it being by
means of a staircase cut in the rock. There is always a sentinel in the
towers, and on a platform may be seen many cannons of which the greater
number are pointed against the city and the residue towards the faubourg
and country. It contains sixteen richly tapestried chambers, one of
which has a fire-place of porphyry. Thence a descent may be made to
another platform smaller than the first mentioned, also furnished with
cannon. From this, access is obtained to a small chamber with gilt dado,
marble fire-place, and walls covered with mirrors up to the ceiling.
Near this room is the Royal Chapel, splendidly gilt and decorated with
very fine pictures, amongst which that of the Magi is of the highest
beauty. Issuing from the chapel is a magnificent hall gilt from top to
bottom. It is called the Sala de los Reyes, ("literally the Hall of the
Kings,") because therein are all the Kings of Spain from Pelayo to Jane,
mother of the Emperors Charles V. and Ferdinand. They are represented
seated on thrones under canopies, so artistically worked that they look
like agates. There is another hall lined with glasses of the height of
three feet, with marble seats and ceilings gilt with pure gold. All
these halls are differently ornamented, and with the exception of the
gilding there is not one like the others. The river which surrounds the
château forms its moat."[17]

I have preferred quoting this old description to giving one of the
present aspect of this once splendid palace, since of all its
magnificence nothing is now left but its massive walls covered here and
there with elegant stucco-work, some of which is given in my sketches,
and its commanding and noble position which is one of very great natural
strength. Here it was that the Moors, who never failed to fortify such
spots, reared the great central tower around which, after its capture by
the Christians, the Spanish sovereigns built the palace which contained
the majority of the apartments described by Colmenares, employing the
subjugated Moorish artificers for many of the original decorations. In
1412, a splendid hall called, from its celebrated ceiling, the Sala del
Arteson, was completed, as testified by an inscription to that effect
given at length by Cean Bermudez.[18] Other inscriptions mark the work
executed by the king, Henry IV., in 1452, 1456, and 1458, who resided
in it amidst his treasures, and the glorious spoils taken in what one
inscription designates "la guerra de los Moros." Here dwelt Isabella la
Catolica, and at a later date Charles V. The decorations described by
Colmenares were probably for the most part those executed by command of
Philip II., the elegant stucco work given in the sketch (No. 29) being
clearly of the time of Henry IV. Here lodged our Charles I. in 1623. The
wretched Philip V. with congenial propriety converted it into a prison,
justifying Le Sage's amusing sketch of the committal to it of Gil Blas.
Many of the Algerine and Barbary pirates taken by the Spanish men-of-war
were here confined. At length it was converted into an academy for
artillery cadets, and made a miserable sort of Woolwich. Decorations
were torn down, old windows blocked up, and new ones made in the most
barbarous style. Stoves were placed in most dangerous situations, until
as a natural consequence a fire broke out, and the "coup de grâce" was
given to the glories of this palatial fortress, which is now alike
useless for royal, military, or civic purposes.

[Illustration: PLATE 30

MDW 1869





In describing the last sketch (No. 29), some particulars were given of
the building from which both that and this (No. 30) were taken. It may
be well to note now the peculiar style of design illustrated by both.
This style is what is technically known in Spain as "Mudejar," _i.e._,
neither Gothic nor Moorish strictly, but a compound of both. The date of
these particular specimens happens to be well fixed by the inscriptions
to which allusion has been recently made, and of one of which a portion
is shown in the sketch (No. 30), as running horizontally between two
string courses on each side of the small quasi-rose windows. This
"Mudejar" work was certainly executed between the years 1452 and 1458,
in the reign of Enrique IV., King of Castille. It was the wise policy of
the most sagacious of the Spanish monarchs in their contests with the
Moors, to half-shut their eyes to what they could not eradicate, viz.,
the secret Islamism of the race. They long continued this laudable
inclination to tolerate and use the skilful Arabian artificers, under
Christian guidance and superintendence, in the various localities in
which they successively planted the Standard of the Cross, tearing down
that of the Crescent. At last the inflation which followed their
ultimate conquests under Ferdinand and Isabella, led to the
establishment of the pernicious Inquisition, the "teterrima causa" of
infinite misery, and the subverter of tolerance and progress throughout
the country. From that period gradually disappeared--lingering, as we
shall have occasion to observe, much longer in the South than in the
North--the skilled artificer, learned in all the technicalities, and the
elaborate geometrical principles of the combination of ornamental form,
which Arabian genius had engrafted upon the traditions of Ancient Rome,
handed down to them through the medium of Byzantium. The very antagonism
of creed induced the Moor to avoid polluting his art with types of form
or processes borrowed from the Christian, as he would have avoided
polluting his faith with Catholic legend or tenets. Hence when he and
his became the spoil of the Christian, which, to a great extent, they
did, the Christian necessarily inherited no unimportant addition to his
repertory of beautiful, fresh, and valuable arts and industries. This
precious inheritance was not altogether appreciated by the Spaniards, as
it might have been by a people of greater producing energies; but in
spite of their comparative ineptitude, they gained greatly by the leaven
of Moorish skill and talent; and as one of the first and best fruits of
the gradual conquest and absorption of the race, we may certainly reckon
the leading features of the "Mudejar" style.

[Illustration: PLATE 31


MDW 1869





IN Mr. Street's work on "Gothic Architecture on Spain," so justly
praised by all who know anything of ancient Spanish Art will be found on
Plate VIII a sketch plan, and on pages 185 and 186 a full description of
this extensive old Convent, and especially of the Church of the Vera
Cruz to which it is attached. I felt, therefore, that my duty to the
student would be best fulfilled by simply laying before him a sketch of
the exterior to supplement Mr. Street's ground plan, referring the
student for all further information to his work. It would have been easy
to extract from Cean Bermudez the same historical details; but it could
only have resulted in a thrice-told tale. It may suffice to note that
the entrance to the Convent may be sought (with much but rarely
effectual knocking and ringing) through the curious old porch
represented in my sketch on the right hand of the Church, which should
be visited in the morning, on account of its beautiful arrangement of
lighting, mainly from the East.

[Illustration: PLATE 32


MDW 1869]




SUCH a man as Francis Ximenez de Cisneros--the founder of the University
at Alcala de Heñares--would have been a man amongst men anywhere; but in
Spain, his union of prudence with strength, courage with calmness,
learning in the closet with action in the field, humility with aptitude
for supreme command, benevolence with the sternest energy, raised him
rapidly from poverty and insignificance to the Regency of that country.
So aggrandized, he ruled the kingdom for many years, until his death, in
1517, with far greater wisdom, and more to the benefit of the State,
than any Sovereign who has ever sat upon its throne. This is not the
place in which to dwell upon his life, intensely interesting as it was,
but only to briefly allude to the relics of his greatness as displayed
in Alcala de Heñares, in which locality he himself commenced his
studies. Protected by Mendoza he became confessor to Isabella in 1492,
who made him Archbishop of Toledo in 1495. Three years afterwards he
founded his great University dedicated to Saint Ildefonso; but which, in
honour of his ever famous labour, the compilation of the Complutensian
Polyglot,[19] bears the distinguished name in Spain of the "Universidad

The building, of which the main block of the façade shown in my sketch,
is about one hundred feet long, by about sixty-five feet high, contains
no less than three Patios of different styles. It was designed by Pedro
Gumiel, and, as originally planned, finished in 1533, by Rodrigo Gil.
The whole façade which is of marble, with the exception of the basement
of grey granite, was no doubt entirely the work of the last named
architect. The structure has been well illustrated, architecturally, in
the great government publication--the "Monumentos Arquitectonicos de
España"--to which the student may be referred for the details of this
immense establishment. About it, in the days of its full prosperity,
there were grouped no less than eleven thousand students, and nineteen
colleges. Nothing shows, perhaps, more clearly the "high estate" from
which the poor Spain of the present day has fallen, than a contrast
between the muster rolls of the University of Madrid of late years, and
those of Salamanca, and Alcala, in the sixteenth century.

The visitor to the "Colegio" of Alcala should on no account omit to see
the chapel built by Gil de Ontañon, since within it rests the Wolsey of
Spain. Upon a monument of white marble, by the skilful hand of Domenico
of Florence, reposes an effigy of Cardinal Cisneros. A lithograph of
this and of the quasi-Mudejar style of the chapel is given in the work
of Villa Amil,[20] and we may well take to heart the concluding sentence
of the description of it by Patricio Escosura:--"Una pregunta, y
concluimos; ¿Cuantos monumentos como el que acabamos de ejaminar
dejarémos nosotros en herencia à nuestros nietos?"[*]

[Illustration: PLATE 33



MDW 1869]




THE Archi-episcopal Palace of Alcala de Heñares is a building of many
periods and many styles. Founded upon the Old Alcazar, of which vestiges
remain, it contains several pretty mediæval windows, one of which Mr.
Street thought not unworthy of his pencil. The late Plateresque details
of its double Patios arrested my attention, and I was pleased to observe
in them a more than usual elegance of moulding, and originality, with
propriety of style. On account of their possession of these qualities,
their invention and the execution of the medallion-heads and ornaments
have been ascribed to Alonzo Berruguete, whose studies in Florence have
been looked upon as the main agents in purifying the then prevalent
tendency to exuberance in Plateresque design to which he might have
surrendered himself, but for his opportunities of becoming acquainted
with the works of Michael Angelo and other great contemporary masters of
Italian Art. If Berruguete had no hand in this work, (and I have been
able to find no proof whatever that he had), it lends greater
probability to the theory I have ventured to broach in the description
of the next sketch, which is taken from another but contemporary part of
the same building.

Another attribution of the design of these details has been to Alonso de
Covarrubias, but I can find no other authority for it than the fact that
Ponz considered them to resemble certain windows of the Alcazar at
Toledo which were known to have been designed by that master.

[Illustration: PLATE 34






ALTHOUGH commonly described as Plateresque, the architecture of the
Patio of the Archbishop's Palace at Alcala de Heñares, of which my
sketch represents the detail of the upper story, excites a far more
forcible reminiscence of good cinque-cento work. It seems to have been
executed principally by Spaniards of the sixteenth century, but still to
have been founded on pure Italian models. This is particularly shown, as
it appeared to me, in the regular form of the bell and volutes of the
capitals of the columns with the well drawn and cut acanthus leaves, and
the regular eggs and tongues of the cornice. Recognising this, and
noticing the correspondence in style between the execution of this work,
and that of the architectural parts of the monument to Cardinal Cisneros
alluded to in the description of the last sketch but one, I could not
but fancy it possible that the same artist, Domenico of Florence, who is
allowed to have produced that monument, may, after its completion, have
been retained to work upon the Patios of the Archi-episcopal Palace; and
possibly also upon some portions of the façade of the University which
was not as we know set in hand until some time after the Cardinal's

[Illustration: PLATE 35


MDW 1869]




THE situation of Toledo is most romantic, and presents as many charms
from its beauty to the architect, as the site for a commanding city, as
no doubt it offered from, its great natural strength, to the "man of
war" who must needs have regarded it as an almost heaven-born fortress.
It owes much, both of its beauty and its strength, to the clear and
abundant current of the Tagus, which more than half surrounds it. This
river has, as we shall have occasion to observe, been nobly spanned by
Roman, Moor, and Christian; and on its banks are yet traceable, in
architectural fragments, the handiwork of each of those races.

Our sketch represents a passage of this river which has once been
commanded by the Moorish fortress, above the "tapia" or concrete remains
of which, some shade-loving Spaniard of to-day has planted his vines and
gourds, and reared his modest, but neither unpicturesque nor altogether
uncomfortable, tenement. A fortification of this kind was much affected
by the Moors for salient points, on account of the command it gave them
of the various directions from which attack might be apprehended, and
was called by them "Almodovar."

Charles Didier has admirably described the charms of such a position, as
that occupied by the world-renowned capital of New Castille, in the
following passage of his "Année en Espagne," "Tolède doit à sa
situation," says he,[21] "une inépuisable richesse de sites et de vues.
La montagne escarpée dont elle couvre les flancs est séparée par le Tage
d'une autre montagne non moins escarpée, mais nue, déserte, abandonnée à
la stérilité et tombant à pic dans le fleuve. A micôte est le château
ruiné de Saint Cervantes. Un petit ermitage, _la Virgen del Valle_, est
égaré au sommet; mais, bâti au milieu des rochers, il s'en détache à
peine et se confond avec eux: des troupeaux de chèvres sauvages errent à
l'entour, et, presque aussi sauvage qu'elles, le pâtre, vêtu de peaux,
apporte au seuil de la ville les moeurs de la sierra. Ces contrastes
sont frappants, mais ce sont les vues surtout qui captivent; quoique
borné, le spectacle est varié; les masses granitiques dont la montagne
est formée s'adoucissent au-dessus du pont Saint Martin, et des villas,
appelées dans le pays _cigarrales_, étendent sur la pierre nue et
grisâtre de frais tapis de verdure; c'est le seul point champêtre du
paysage, tout le reste est sec et dépouillé. La montagne n'a pas un
arbre. La variété naît des mouvements du sol et des anfractuosités du
rocher; les perspectives sont courtes, mais frappantes; tantôt l'oeil
plonge sur le Tage, qui serpente en méandres verdâtres entre les deux
collines; tantôt la ville apparaît hérissée de ses innombrables
clochers, puis le rideau retombe, et enferronné dans une gorge déserte
et muette, on pourrait se croire tout d'un coup transporté dans quelque
solitude primitive. Ces brusques alternatives ont un grand charme; elles
impriment à ce paysage austère et mélancolique un profond cachet

[Illustration: PLATE 36



MDW 1869]




The brief words in which Ford gives the chronology of this "Bridge of
Bridges," carries one to the long series of Lords and Masters who have
made of Toledo a perfect mine of Archæological interest. "The Roman
one," he says, "was repaired in 687 by the Goth Sala; destroyed by an
inundation, it was rebuilt in 871, by the Alcaide Halaf, repaired in
1258 by Alonzo el Sabio,[22] restored by Archbishop Tenorio about 1380,
and fortified in 1484 by Andres Manrique." To crown the whole and make
it safe for ever, Philip II. placed it, by solemn dedication, under the
especial protection of San Ildefonso, who certainly appears to have done
his duty hitherto, as I saw few signs of repair or want of it from the
middle of the sixteenth century till now. I need scarcely say, that it
crosses the River Tagus in one noble and most lofty span, and connects
the walled city with its dependencies "across the water." Nothing can be
more picturesque than this bridge, or indeed than the whole aspect of
the position of the city placed upon seven hills, forming one lofty and
rocky eminence, around which, on more than two sides, tears the Tagus.
Conspicuous in my sketch is the lofty Tower controlling access from the
Bridge to the City on the side of the commanding "Alcazar," as literally
the "royal residence," as Alcantara is in Arabic "the Bridge." Cean
Bermudez[23] tells us, that one Mateo Paradiso was the architect, who in
1217 constructed a tower (probably, in at least the greatest part, the
same which now remains) upon this famous bridge. In support of his
opinion, he cites Estévan de Garibay, who in the ninth volume of his
"unedited Works" fol. 512 tit. 6º, speaking of the Memorabilia of
Toledo, says with reference to this Bridge, "that the river suddenly
rising destroyed one of its pillars in the month of February, 1211,
placing the bridge in peril of falling. As soon as it had been repaired,
Henrique I. caused a tower to be built upon it for the greater security
of it and of the city, as appears by an original inscription which once
existed upon the tower in these words.

     "Henry, son of the King Alfonso, caused this tower to be built in
     honour of God, by the hand of Matheo Paradiso in the year 1255."

Another tower of the time of Charles V. guards the access to the Bridge
from the side farthest from the city, that from which my sketch has been

[Illustration: PLATE 37



MDW 1869]




AMIROLA[24] has given us an excellent account of the origin of this
noble mediæval bridge, upon which the following short statement is
mainly based. Near to the site on which the bridge of St. Martin now
stands at Toledo, there was formerly a fine Roman bridge. This having
been entirely destroyed for useful purposes, by a tremendous flood which
rose, according to the most ancient annals of Toledo, in the year 1212,
the city determined upon building another bridge upon a better site.
Having erected abutments of vast strength, which were ultimately crowned
and weighted with two towers for defence, and having bedded two solid
piers in the line of the stream, their master of the works, Rodrigo
Alfonso, proceeded to span it with one of three lofty arches, two of
which are shown in my sketch. This magnificent arch of one hundred and
forty Spanish feet in width, and ninety-five in height was destroyed in
the terrible struggle between the King Don Pedro, and his brother Don
Henrique, in the year 1368. It was shortly after rebuilt, and the bridge
generally repaired by the great Don Tenorio, Archbishop of Toledo. Villa
Franca, Alcala de Heñares, and the neighbourhood of Alamin, all boasted
of bridges put up by the same Rodrigo Alfonso, who designed the bridge
of San Martin at Toledo.

Beyond the bridge, in my sketch, appears on the crest of the hill the
mass of the beautiful, though somewhat over florid church, San Juan de
los Reyes. Having been erected by Ferdinand and Isabella, in a period as
late as 1476, it fails to enlist the sympathies and approbation of some;
others have praised it enthusiastically, and certain it is, that if it
may have possessed faults when complete, scarcely anything can be more
picturesque as a ruin.

[Illustration: PLATE 38



MDW 1869]




Near to the bridge of Alcantara (sketch No. 36) on the road leading up
from it to the city, stands the celebrated Moorish gateway of the
"Puerta del Sol." This strong, large, and well fortified approach to the
city, I found to labour under two marked disadvantages for my
sketch-book, viz., it had been too often illustrated, and its curious
details had been so vigorously "restored" (when Spaniards do "restore"
there is no mistake about it), as to have lost in a great degree its
original and authentic characteristics. I looked about, therefore, in
the immediate vicinity of the bridge, for other vestiges of the
antiquity of the city. These I soon came upon in the old gateway of
which I give a sketch, and to the construction of which, both Roman and
Moor have contributed. As the poor heavily laden mules laboured up the
dusty stony road, with the patience of, in Spain, a much-abused race, it
was impossible not to speculate upon the generations upon generations
which had followed in the same track up the same road, on the same duty,
through every vicissitude of occupation of the Gateway, through which
they swayed monotonously from side to side.

[Illustration: PLATE 39



MDW 1869]




ALTHOUGH as appears from the steps shown in my sketch rising up through
this archway, which is known as that of the Zocodover, or more properly
Zocodober, which means in Arabic, according to Cean Bermudez, "a place
upon a lower level," the archway is situated upon _an ascent_, it by no
means follows that there may not be a higher plane to which it may still
be a _descent._ Such is the case in the Zocodover of Toledo, which is
really the "Place" of the city in the usual French, or the "Piazza" in
the Italian, sense. It is reached from without the walls by the steps
shown, and is yet literally the "lower Place" when compared with the
platform of the Alcazar or "Royal Residence." Of great strength, it must
in its time have been the scene of terrible struggles, and blood
shedding, as it dates from the days when Moors ruled in the North of
Spain, and had to be wrested from the descendants of its builders only
by many a tussle between the upholders of the Crescent and the Cross. On
the inside of the city to the market place it has been modified, and
Italianised, but to the thousands who pass up it daily from the lower
parts of the outskirts, it wears its original Oriental aspect.

Ford gives to the word "Zocodover" quite another meaning and derivation.
He explains it as "the square market." Whether he or Bermudez may be
right, I know not, but, certain it is that either meaning may be aptly
fitted to describe the spot to which our gateway leads--a spot of no
comfortable memories--since it still reeks with the cruelties of genuine
Spanish diversions, "Autos da Fe," and "Fiestas de Toros."

[Illustration: PLATE 40



MDW 1869]




FROM the spring of the year 712, when Tarik, with his renegade Jews and
Berbers, wrested the city from its Gothic rulers, to the spring of the
year 1085, when Alfonso VI.--the Emperor as he styled himself after
having won his laurels--reconquered the city for the Christians, Toledo
remained altogether an Oriental city. As such, it was inhabited by
Berbers, strict Mahommedans and Jews, the last named being occasionally
tolerated and occasionally persecuted as they had been by the Goths, and
subsequently were by the Castilian Christians. The duration of this
tenure of power has to be borne in mind continually, in the endeavour to
assign dates to the Moorish monuments of this city, of which there are a
great number. It is of course true that long after the date of Alfonso's
conquest the Moorish artificers worked for the Christians, but such was
their constant condition of subjection that it is not to be credited
that any one of them could have been allowed to live in the wealth and
luxury, in which the inhabitants of such a Moorish house, as that known
as the "Taller del Moro," a beautiful fragment of which forms the
subject of the fortieth sketch, must have lived. I can, therefore, have
no hesitation in repudiating for the date of its origin, as late a
period as 1350, which has been assigned to it. On the other hand, I am
no less confident that Señor Escosura, who has written of it as of
"between the ninth and tenth centuries," is also in error. What I
believe is, that this elegant set of chambers was really one of the
latest works in the city immediately preceding its capture by Alfonso,
in 1085. The style of its work is certainly later than any of that
executed under the Khalifate of Corduba while in the hands of the
Ummeyàh family. It belongs, I believe, to the school of the Almohades,
and reflects some of the novelties in complicated geometry introduced by
the Arabs of Damascus, in advance of the Ummeyàhs. They held to earlier
types, as may be seen in all the works at Corduba, including even those
ascribed to the author of the splendid Mih-ráb or sanctuary, the Sultan
Al-Hakem II., who completed the "cubba," or Cupola of the Mih-ràb (the
most complicated piece of design in all Cordova) in the year A.D., 965.

All that is left at present of this once sumptuous mansion consists of a
central chamber, (fifty-four feet long by twenty-three feet wide),
approached from a court-yard, the usual Moorish Alfagia, (no doubt, by
the doorway shown on the right hand side of my sketch), and of two
chambers, one at each end of the central one. Traces of colour and
gilding have almost entirely disappeared, but the stucco ornamentation,
where not wilfully or heedlessly destroyed, retains all its original
sharpness and beauty. I found the "Taller del Moro" in full use, or
rather abuse, as a carpenter's workshop.

[Illustration: PLATE 41



MDW 1869]




TOLEDO is, or rather has been, a city of peculiar devotion. Its
Christian mediæval architecture Mr. Street has fully illustrated, but he
has passed hurriedly over some of the remains of that peculiar mixed
style in which Christians usually gave the order, and Moors did the
work. I have, accordingly, sketched two Christiano-Moorish campaniles
which he has not given, and one which he has, but from a different point
of view.

The steeple of La Magdalena is, I fancy, of two periods, the
construction from the ground to the base of the belfry being of one
class, and the belfry itself of another. It has all the appearance of
having been the old tower of a mosque previous to the conquest of Toledo
by King Alfonso, and of having been subsequently taken down to a certain
level, and the belfry chamber and bells added, on the christianising of
the structure.

It is built almost entirely of brick, and although simple to the extent
of rudeness, its mass yet groups well with the long roof lines of the
convents by which it is as it were hemmed in.

As the student wanders through these old streets of Toledo, rendered so
picturesque by remnants of old Moorish use and ceremony, his mind is
naturally attracted to the days when the "mezquita" took the place of
the church, and was thronged by the worshippers of the "One God and
Mahomet his Prophet," by day and by night. The description given of the
comparatively modern Moors in the account of Commodore Stewart's embassy
to the Emperor of Morocco, in the year 1721, seems to carry us back to
the days when Toledo, and many other cities of Spain, owned no other
faith than that defined by the Koran. "The Moors," says the writer,[25]
"seem not (as we do) to observe the day for business, and the night for
sleep, but sleep and wake often in the four-and-twenty hours, going to
church by night as well as day, for which purpose their Talbs call from
the top of the mosques, (or places of worship) having no bells, every
three hours throughout the city. In going to church they observe no
gravity, nor mind their dress; but as soon as the Talb begins to bellow
from the steeple, the carpenter throws down his axe, the shoemaker his
awl, the tailor his shears, and away they all run like so many fellows
at football; when they come into church, they repeat the first chapter
of the _Alcoran_ standing, after which they look up, and lift up their
hands as much above their heads as they can, and as their hands are
leisurely coming down again, drop on their knees with their faces
towards the _Kebla_, (as they call it) or East and by South; then
touching the ground with their foreheads twice, sit a little while on
their heels muttering a few words, and rise up again. This they repeat
two or three times, after which, looking on each shoulder, (I suppose to
their guardian angels) they say, _Selemo Alikoon (i.e.,) Peace be with
you_; and have done. When there are many at prayers together, you would
think they were so many gally-slaves a rowing, by the motion they make
on their knees."

[Illustration: PLATE 42



MDW 1869]




PLATE Forty-two presents us with another type of Christiano-Moorish
Campanile from that given by the last sketch. In this case the usual
fashion of the mediæval church builders of dividing the total height of
the tower into several compartments, pierced with largish openings on
more than one floor, has been followed. The regular Arabian
praying-tower is generally simply the inclosure of a staircase, with a
gallery, or open chamber, only at the summit, from which "the faithful"
are duly summoned by the Imaum to their devotions. The conversion of one
or more stories into belfries, however, indicates (where the work is
clearly that of a Mahommedan artificer), that he has been working only
for the performance of the behests of a Christian, as in the case of the
Tower of San Pedro Martire at Toledo. The Church itself exhibits only a
clumsy and overgrown Palladian style of a thoroughly commonplace
description, gloomy and uninteresting.

[Illustration: PLATE 43



MDW 1869]




THIS Church appeared to me to retain more of the primitive "Mezquita,"
or mosque, than any other in Toledo, excepting the celebrated "Christo
de la Luz." Its aspect is most picturesque as one descends from the city
towards the Vega, or once rich and lovely plain. I could not help
recognizing in it how good an effect might be produced in our ordinary
street architecture by the use of common brick, provided that the masses
of the construction should be artistically disposed, and used without
the appearance of pinching here and paring off there, which spoils many
of our usually too ambitious efforts.

In all such work as this in Spain, one is reminded only of the "bottom
of the purse" when the work remains unfinished. With us the aspect of
the "fond-du-sac" begins generally with the beginning, with the first
lines of the disposition of the plan, and ends only with the end of the
whole. As far as appearances go in this structure, differences of style
from those of the rest of the building shown in my sketch in the belfry,
and in the apsidal end of the choir of the Church, and in one or two
other parts, seemed to point to those features of the design as being of
considerably later date than that of the rest of the building. If the
primitive Moorish work may have been of the middle of the eleventh
century, the Christiano-Moorish may have been of the end of the

[Illustration: PLATE 44






DESCENDING from the main Piazza of the city, through the gateway shown
by the thirty-ninth sketch, the great "Hospedal de la Santa Cruz" is
speedily reached. This is generally considered the finest example of
Plateresque (literally silversmith's) Architecture left in Spain. Its
founder was the all powerful Cardinal D. Pedro Gonzalez de Mendoza,
"Tertius Rex," of Castile, Consolidator of the Monarchy, and Father of
the absolute supremacy of the Catholic Church in Spain. The style of
this building, and the circumstances of the birth and training of its
architect, raise the important question of the extent to which the
Plateresque style in Spain may, or may not, have been of national
origin? It appears that in 1459, a certain Anequin de Egas de Bruselas
(or Brussels) of the Cathedral of Toledo, in his capacity of "Maestro
Mayor," with his assistant Juan Fernandez de Liena, executed the façade
of the main southern transept of that Cathedral, and the entrance
familiarly known as "de los Leones." In this work, the architecture is
of florid Burgundian-Gothic, with scarcely a trace of Renaissance about
its original design. Anequin died in 1494, and his son Henrique was
appointed, by the Chapter of Toledo, to succeed his father as "Maestro
Mayor," the duties of which office he performed until his death in
1534. Henrique was the favourite architect of the King D. Fernando, and
of his son, the Archbishop D. Alonso, who actually disputed, in 1505, as
to which of them should for awhile avail themselves of his exclusive
services. He was called in to every important consultation of architects
of his time, and was evidently "au courant" of the great changes of
style which had been developed in Italy, and which were in course of
development in France, and in and about his father's native place. His
influence as a naturalizer of the exotic details of which models were
furnished to artists by the prints and portable works of the "petits
maîtres," is clearly manifested when we recognise the early dates at
which his florid Renaissance buildings were executed. For instance, in
those designed for Cardinal Mendoza, the dates of which are well known,
we find Renaissance features well carried out with scarcely any
admixture of Gothic. The earliest of these is the vast "Colegio Mayor"
de Sta. Cruz at Valladolid, which Henrique began in 1480 and completed
in 1492, and the second the splendid Hospital for Foundlings at Toledo
(1504 to 1514) from which the sketch, now under consideration, and the
two which follow it have been taken. In describing the second of these
sketches, we shall resume our consideration of the Plateresque style
generally from the point at which it is now left. It may be well,
however, with relation to this sketch, to state that it shows the
principal portal or great entrance to the Hospital, and that the top
story appears to be of later date and coarser execution than the portal
and the two elegant windows of the first floor. The carving in the
lunette of the doorway represents, in very good style, the "invention of
the Cross" with Sta. Helena and the Founder. The colour of the stone,
and the quality of the workmanship leave nothing to be desired.

[Illustration: PLATE 45



MDW 1869]




IT is in the interior rather than on the exterior of the Toledo
Foundling Hospital, that Henrique de Egas has best shown his command
over the Plateresque style. It was no longer in designing the former a
question of adding on ornament in fanciful door and window dressings, as
it was in the latter, but a necessity to adapt from existing models, or
originate essential parts of the structure, executing important
functions of use and stability. The columns, arches, and interspacing of
the arcading of the Patios evidence by their proportions, quite as much
as by their details, that Henrique's and his employer's backs had been
turned upon Gothic, and that a new style had been inaugurated for
Spanish architecture, as the successes of Ferdinand and Isabella, and
the discovery of America, had laid the foundations of an entirely new
era for Spain.

The construction of the building under notice was begun by Cardinal
Mendoza, under Henrique, in 1504; the year in which those Sovereigns
ascended the throne, and completed in the year 1514. Simultaneously with
the commencement of the great Hospital for the "Tertius Rex," Henrique
designed a still more extensive and magnificent Hospital which the
"Reyes Catolicos" proposed to construct at Santiago, and entered upon
many other great architectural works in other parts of Spain. Ford, who
was no mean judge, says of the Hospedal de la Santa Cruz, that its
"position overlooking the Tagus is glorious, and the building is one of
the gems of the world; nor can any chasing of Cellini surpass the
elegant Portal."

There is little doubt that Egas was stimulated to great exertion by the
rivalry of many competitors, few of whom, however, designed in exactly
his style. The work which most resembles his, I believe, will be found
in the detail of the wonderful Plateresque Town Hall at Seville, and
that of the Cathedral at Plasencia.

That so magnificent a Palace (for such it is) should have been thought
necessary, or at any rate should have been indulged in, for the
reception of foundlings, is to be partially accounted for by an old
assertion I have met with, that the Spaniards, not knowing the parentage
of the "niños perdidos," gave them "the benefit of the doubt," and
considered them all as children of Hidalgos, a questionable compliment
to the boasted morality, or at any rate austerity, of the upper

[Illustration: PLATE 46



MDW 1869]




THE facts that Moorish workmen should have been found in Toledo,
Segovia, and elsewhere in Spain, to modify their national style, in
their Mudejar work, and to incorporate freely in it many features of
late mediæval work; while they scarcely ever lent themselves to any
expression of Renaissance form, although they occasionally laboured in
buildings of that style, have been supposed to imply a greater affinity
between Arabian and Gothic modes of design, than between the Arabian
style and Plateresque. This may, to some extent, account for the
presence of this Mudejar work, assimilating in no way with the
last-mentioned style, in a building of so distinctly a Renaissance
character as this one possesses. The fact is, however, rather thus--that
after the expulsion of the Moors, and the institution of the Inquisition
(the period of the construction of this Hospital), the Moorish
artificers diminished very rapidly in number, and lost their
individuality almost entirely in Northern and Central Spain; and that,
whereas, during several centuries they had lived there in cities in
which Gothic architecture was practised by Christians, and had thus made
themselves partially acquainted with its details, they had but a short
term of scarcely tolerated national existence wherein to learn the
novelties which were beginning to be taken up by the Spaniards, at the
commencement of the sixteenth century.

My sketch, while it indicates the elaboration of this late specimen of
Mudejar stucco-work, shows by the figures I have introduced (from life)
the class to whose tender mercies this gem is now confided. Let it be
hoped that the "Genius loci," may protect it, for the respectable
Spanish soldier of the nineteenth century can scarcely be regarded as a
satisfactory Conservative element.

[Illustration: PLATE 47


MDW 1869]




THE Royal residence, for such is the meaning of the word "Alcazar," of
Toledo, is one of the two great Palaces which Charles V. caused to be
constructed in order that Spain might, for the first time, have "Royal
Residences" commensurate with her grandeur and wealth. He appears to
have chosen the same architect for both in the person of Alonso de
Covarrubbias. This distinguished artist was born in the locality, in the
diocese of Burgos, from whence he derived his name. At an early age he
allied himself with the family of the Flemish Egas, distinguished in the
highest degree as architects in the persons of Anequin and his son
Henrique. The wife of Alonso de Covarrubbias was a certain Maria
Gutierrez de Egas, and by her he became the father of several sons, who
in different ways (not in architecture) achieved great distinction and
consideration. To return to the architectural career of Covarrubbias.
Through the interest of Henrique de Egas, and probably in succession to
him, Alonso Covarrubbias was appointed "Maestro Mayor" of the Cathedral
of Toledo, whereupon he settled himself altogether in that city with his
brother Marcos. His great work in Toledo Cathedral was the famous Chapel
"de los Reyes nuevos," which he completed in the year 1534. He is then
said to have given some plans to Cardinal D. Alonso de Fonseca, for the
improvement of the Archbishop's Palace at Alcala de Heñares (see my
notes on that structure, Sketches, Nos. 33 and 34). He subsequently
occupied himself, until 1537, in designing and carrying out the splendid
entry to the Colegio Mayor (known as that of the Archbishop) in
Salamanca, and other works.

In the last mentioned year he was appointed, by Charles V., with another
architect, Luis de Vega, to make plans for rebuilding the Royal Palaces
of Toledo and Madrid. This commission was subsequently modified, giving
to Covarrubbias the works of Toledo, and to de Vega those at Madrid. The
Alcazar of Toledo had been originally built by King Alonso VI., on the
highest point of the city, when he took it from the Moors in 1085. It
had been added to at various dates, chiefly by the powerful Alvaro de
Luna, and lastly by the Reyes Catolicos. What Charles V. caused to be
built, consisted of a façade of great extent, a magnificent vestibule,
court-yard and staircase, on all of which he placed his insignia. The
Portal I have sketched, is stated by Cean Bermudez, from whom most of
the above mentioned facts have been derived, to have been constructed by
Henrique de Egas,[26] under the direction of Covarrubbias who closed an
honourable life, much favoured by his Sovereign, in 1570.

The Spaniards are justly proud of the noble simplicity and grand style
of Covarrubbias, which has none of the coldness and heaviness of
Herrera's; and this is one of the rare cases in which they have made, of
late years, a really splendid and not over-loaded restoration. Upon the
whole, the Alcazar at Toledo is one of the few buildings existing in
Spain which reflects, particularly in its grand Cortile, the
"magnificenze" of the Italian Renaissance, in their completest form.

[Illustration: PLATE 48


MDW 1869]




THE great Cardinal Primate, whose name this gigantic Hospital still
bears, was a worthy successor to Mendoza and Cisneros. In 1542 he
employed the Architect Bartholomé de Bustamente to design and construct
the four façades of this enormous pile. Not particularly attractive from
without, internally the extent, fine proportions, and simplicity of its
great Patios are very striking. It is one of the most regular pieces of
Italian architecture I met with in Spain, and would have produced a
highly satisfactory effect if its upper arches had been semi-circular
instead of elliptic. The Hospital is dedicated to St. John the Baptist,
and is placed without the walls of the city, whence its cognomen of "a
fuera." The Church of the Hospital is older in style if not in date than
the rest of the structure. Here in the room beneath the clock died the
famous Berruguete in 1561, shortly after completing the portal of the
Church and the marble monument within it which commemorates the cardinal
virtues of the illustrious founder.

[Illustration: PLATE 49



MDW 1869]




THIS pretty entrance to a Spanish nobleman's house of the latter part of
the sixteenth century has, like most of its class, little story to tell,
and that little, could I but unravel it, would probably turn out to be
only of the dullest. Let us see, therefore, from a contemporary witness,
what manner of life was ordinarily led by the class of nobles for one of
whom it may have been fitted up in the fashion of the century succeeding
that in which it was built. "In the morning as soon as they are up they
drink water cooled with ice, and presently after chocolate. When dinner
time is come, the master sits down to table; his wife and children eat
upon the floor near the table; this is not done out of respect, as they
tell me, but the women cannot sit upon a chair, they are not accustomed
to it; and there are several ancient Spanish women who never sat upon
one in their whole life. They make a light meal, for they eat little
flesh; the best of their food are pigeons, pheasants, and their olios,
which are excellent; but the greatest lord has not brought to his table
above two pigeons, and some very bad ragoust, full of garlick and
pepper; and after that some fennel and a little fruit. When this little
dinner is over, every one in the house undress themselves and lie down
upon their beds, upon which they lay Spanish leather-skins for coolness;
at this time you shall not find a soul in the streets; the shops are
shut, all the trade ceased, and it looks as if every body were dead. At
two o'clock in the winter and at four in the summer they begin to dress
themselves again, then eat sweetmeats, drink either some chocolate or
water cooled in ice, and afterwards everybody goes where they think fit,
and indeed they tarry out till eleven or twelve o'clock at night; I
speak of people that live regularly; then the husband and wife go to
bed, a great table-cloth is spread all over the bed, and each fastens it
under their chin. The he and she-dwarfs serve up supper, which is as
frugal as the dinner, for it is either a pheasant-hen made into a
ragoust, or some pastry business, which burns their mouth it is so
excessively peppered; the lady drinks her belly full of water, and the
gentleman very sparingly of the wine; and when supper is ended each goes
to sleep as well as they can."

[Illustration: PLATE 50






"LA FERIA" in Seville, has been time out of mind the essence of all that
is most "Picaresque" in the city. Not quite so thronged with Gitanos and
Gitanas as the suburb of Triana, it makes up for shortcomings in that
element of rascality and picturesqueness, by majos and majas, rustic
beaux and belles, bull-fighters and beggars, dogs and donkeys, mules and
muleteers, rags and tatters, and abundance of the most gloriously
coloured fruits under the sun--and, above all, there reign such a sun
and such a sky as denizens of the North have really little or no notion
of. As if these elements of the picture were not enough, by way of
background, stands a church in which the "battle of the Styles" seems to
have been fairly fought out, with the victory now inclining to Moor, and
now to Christian, while over all is seen a little of the Renaissance,
with more than a suspicion, in the heavy scrolls of the highest belfry,
of "Churriguerismo."

While I sat on a door-step making this poor little sketch, I think I
must have seen Murillo's by the dozen, and John Phillips' by the
hundred, not on canvas, but glowing with Nature's own light, and life,
and colour.

[Illustration: PLATE 51


MDW 1869]




SOME notion of the richness of Seville, in the remains of old Moorish
mosques converted into Christian churches, may be formed from the fact
that this edifice, in which we trace the two styles blended in the most
interesting way, finds no mention in the pages of Ford, O'Shea, Mellado,
or any other guide books of Spain I have been able to meet with, except
Bradshaw's. In that, Dr. Charnock thus briefly alludes to San Marcos.
"Note," says he, "its beautiful western façade which has served as a
model for several churches; the Retablo of the Altar de las Animas,
contains a painting by D. Martinez; the tower rising to the left of the
Church in imitation of the Giralda, is a fine monument of Arabian
architecture." It is, of course, to the grand portal, rather than to the
whole façade, that Dr. Charnock alludes, since the former from the
purity of its apparently late fifteenth century work, merits his praise,
while the latter cannot certainly be regarded as other than a

The tower, particularly pleasing in the style of its Mudejar additions,
has been engraved in elevation in "los Monumentos Arquitectonicos." It
is about seventy-five feet high by ten feet wide.

[Illustration: PLATE 52


MDW 1869]




THE habit of the Moors was almost universally to make their exterior
architecture plain, and to reserve richness and elaboration for the
interiors of their houses. The fact that what is commonly internal
architecture has been used by Moorish workmen on the external façade of
the little house, which forms the subject of this fifty-second sketch,
would be sufficient of itself to prove that it had not been executed for
a Moor, even if the Gothic mouldings and ornaments of the buttresses,
imposts, cornices, and string courses failed to assert the Christianity
of those for whom the house may have been built. The date of its
construction, judging from style, was probably about the middle of the
fifteenth century, at which period, in Spain, Renaissance features had
in nowise affected the integrity of either Gothic or Moorish
architecture. In this case all the mason's work is Gothic, and all the
stucco-work is Moorish; and this distinction of style, according to the
technical mode of construction, is not an uncommon feature of Mudejar
work. It was not only in stucco that the traditions of Moorish
art-workmanship enriched all Spain, since both in metal-work and
wood-work, the Moors continued to be employed long after their
subjugation, preserving very many of their old and excellent types of
form throughout many phases of transition. To this subject I may have
occasion to recur. I was myself fortunate enough to meet with a
beautiful little walnut-wood box, covered with Mudejar ornament, in the
midst of which a Moorish workman of the sixteenth century had carved the
I.H.S. of Christianity, and the sword of Sant' Iago.

[Illustration: PLATE 53


MDW 1869]




THIS window which is of the class known as "Ajimez," or literally
"through which the sun shines," _i.e._ in an external wall, is a
specimen of Mudejar work left as a "waif" in a part of Seville which,
with this exception, has been entirely modernised. It belongs to exactly
the house where one would least expect to find it, viz., one of the best
hotels, if not the best hotel, in Seville, the "Fonda de Madrid." All of
this pretty window is made of brickwork, once covered apparently in
Moorish fashion with thin plaster, excepting the column which is of
white marble. The room it lights is an ordinary nineteenth century inn
bedroom, with square casements, and not a vestige of the fifteenth
century left about it. I could learn nothing about this relic, or
perfect reproduction of the past, from any one in the hotel, so that all
I could do was to sketch it. While doing so, I could not but wonder how
with so sensible, and, at the same time, so pretty a window ready to
their hands as a model, the builders of the Fonda could have been
contented to execute the regular expressionless square-headed windows I
found everywhere else. After a few minutes moralising in this vein, I
began to ask myself whether, as an Englishman, I was not assiduously
"plucking the mote from my brother's eye," with a beam all the time in
my own?

[Illustration: PLATE 54


MDW 1869]




THE principal monument of Moorish magnificence still left in Seville,
is, of course, the "Royal Residence," the "Alcazar," commenced in 1181,
by Jalubi, the architect of Toledo. Next to it in importance is the
"Casa de Pilatus," as it is called, from which this sketch, and the
succeeding one have been taken. From the first named of these buildings
I did not sketch at all, feeling myself entirely baffled by the extreme
elaboration of all that was most interesting and admirable in the old
Moorish, Mudejar and Plateresque work. Such a building can be in no wise
now satisfactorily illustrated, excepting by one who may be in a
position to devote much time and study to the task. "Restoration," and
the adaptation of the structure to the necessities of nineteenth century
life have so mystified the work and intention of the original designers,
that although one may readily admire, it becomes exceedingly difficult
to analyse, all that meets the eye. I have, therefore, preferred giving
my attention, so far as this publication is concerned, to other,
although less noteworthy, specimens of the domestic architecture of

The student of the Fine Arts, and even the ordinary traveller, are sure,
without any urging on my part, to visit and enjoy the Alcazar, as a
Royal Palace; but may possibly, and, indeed, unless advised on the
subject, probably, may overlook the great beauty and curiosity of the
old, and now sadly neglected, Moorish and cinque-cento garden which lies
in the rear of the building. How to make a garden a delight the
Mahommedans learnt from the Persians, and taught by example, if not by
precept, to the Christians. Throughout these antique, orange, lemon,
box, and myrtle, groves, the Moors carried their system of irrigation.
Fountains and fishponds, baths and open water channels, even in the
hottest summer, still cool the favourite haunts. Many of these, Pedro
"el Cruel" caused to be formed in 1364 by architects specially brought
from Granada to rebuild a large portion of the Palace, for his
accommodation and that of his celebrated and beautiful mistress, Maria
de Padilla. Much more modern, and far less beautiful, gardening was done
by Charles V, but it is to the Moors the spot owes all its great charm.

To return to the "Casa de Pilatus," so called from an old tradition,
that it was intended as a reproduction of the house of Pilate at
Jerusalem. It was built in 1533, by Fadrique Henriquez de Ribera, after
his return from a pilgrimage to Jerusalem in 1519. From him the Palace,
for such it was, has descended (and, oh, how much descended!) to its
present owner, who is said to rarely visit it, a Duke of Medina Coeli.
From the Señor Duque, it has again _descended_ to his Administrador, who
does his best to keep it (for Spain) clean, and in tolerable order. My
sketch has been taken in the upper gallery of the third Patio.

[Illustration: PLATE 55


MDW 1869]




THIS sketch represents, to a larger scale, a portion of the doorway
shown upon a small scale in the preceding sketch. It illustrates two of
the special points of architectural value in this fine old Palace, viz.,
the entirely Moresque character of the stucco-work at a comparatively
late date, and the profuse use of "Azulejos" or coloured tiles. Some of
these may be recognized, although in a sketch in black and white, it is
not easy to make them apparent, in the coverings of the lower part of
the door jamb. It is, however, in and about the splendid staircase, that
this charming tile lining, of the use of which we have here of late
years commenced a very satisfactory revival, asserts its value as a
beautiful mode of introducing clean and permanent polychromatic
decoration--the only mode, indeed, as I believe, suitable for our
changeful climate, and smoky ways.

I regret that my sketch is not sufficiently minute to show a favourite
habit of the Moors of Granada and Seville, in the technical working of
their stucco, by the use of which they give an appearance of
extraordinary elaboration to their decorations. It consists in working
different patterns on different planes of the same piece of stucco-work.
At a distance the dominant lines of the pattern only are apparent, on a
nearer approach the pattern comes into sight which fills up the bold
openings left between the dominant lines of the top pattern; and on a
still closer inspection, a third series of forms running counter to the
main lines of the pattern on the second plane and filling up the
interstices of it may be traced. I am inclined to believe, from their
peculiar sharpness, that few, or none, of the repeats of these patterns
were done from moulds by the operation of casting, but that wire, or cut
metal stencils, were used as guides for the pointed tools and knives, by
which superfluous plaster was removed, whilst the whole was yet in a
plastic state.

This method of shaping semi-plastic stucco with sharp tools, was, I have
no doubt, derived by the Arabs from Roman tradition, as I have seen many
examples of a similar mode of working at Rome, Pompeii, Naples, and
elsewhere in Italy.

[Illustration: PLATE 56


MDW 1869]




"HOW are the Mighty fallen," is the predominant sensation, as one
wanders through these "banquet halls deserted." One may fairly
paraphrase Byron, and declare that "in Seville Alba's echoes are no
more." Ford and O'Shea, whose notes on the relics of domestic edifices
in Spain are invaluable, both tell us that this still beautiful, though
sadly destroyed, whitewashed, and dilapidated, old Palace, once
"contained eleven patios, nine fountains, and one hundred marble
columns." Of the elaboration of its workmanship, my sketch may serve to
give some idea. It was probably next to the Alcazar, the most important
residence in the City, far surpassing in extent the "Casa de Pilatus."

This house presents one of the rare instances in Spain, in which the
Moorish stucco-workers have lent themselves to the rendering of
Renaissance details. For these, no doubt, they were furnished with
drawings or models, since in other parts of the same building, and
especially in many beautiful rooms in the interior, where they have
apparently been left to themselves, they have reverted partly to Mudejar
work, and partly to the old types of geometrical enrichment, which may
be regarded as specifically their own. Much of this is almost reduced to
a flat surface by repeated coats of whitewash. I was very much pleased,
however, to meet with one Spanish gentleman, occupying a suite of rooms
in the house, who was fully alive to the beauty of the Palace he lived
in; and who had, with his own hands, cleared off some of the whitewash,
and restored much of the fine ornamental detail of his rooms to its
original sharpness. Would that there were more like him in Spain!

[Illustration: PLATE 57


MDW 1869





TURNING from a consideration of the grand scale upon which the houses of
the old Spanish nobility have been usually constructed, and the
elaboration with which, as in the present sketch, the profuse ornamental
detail has been combined with heraldic insignia to set forth the
splendour and dignity of the family and its alliances, to the ruin and
dilapidation which seem to have fallen alike upon the architecture and
the families, one naturally wonders at the causes of the almost total
wreck. Some may, no doubt, be found in active assailment from without,
invasion, revolution, "y otras cosas de España;" but it is from within
that the real main enemy--pride--has undermined all. During the latter
part of the sixteenth, and early part of the seventeenth century, this
national infirmity reached its acme. Witness emphatically the sketch
given by an eye-witness towards the close of the last named century.

"It would grieve a body to see the ill-management of some great lords;
there are divers who will never go to their estates (for so they call
their lands, their towns, and castles) but pass all their lives at
Madrid, and trust all to a steward, who makes them believe what he
judges most for his own interest. They will not so much as vouchsafe to
inquire whether he speaks true or false; this would be too exact, and by
consequence below them. This, methinks, is one considerable fault; the
strange profusion of vessels only for an egg and a pigeon is another.
But it is not only in these things which they fail, but it is also in
the daily expences of their houses. They know not what it is to lay up
stores, or make provision of anything; but every day they fetch in what
they want, and all upon trust, at the bakers, cooks, butchers, and all
other trades; they are even ignorant what they set down in their books,
and they put down what price they will for every thing they sell; this
matter is neither examined into nor contradicted. There are often fifty
horses in a stable, without either corn or straw, and they perish with
hunger. And when the master is in bed, if he should be taken ill in the
night, he would be at a great loss, for they let nothing remain in his
house, neither wine nor water, charcoal nor wax-candle, and in a word
nothing at all; for though they do not take in provisions so near that
there is nothing left, yet his servants have a custom of carrying the
overplus away to their own lodgings, and the next day they furnish
themselves with the same things again. They observe no better rules with
the tradesmen. A man or woman of quality had rather die than to haggle
for, or ask the price of a stuff, or lace, or any other thing, or to
take the remainder of a piece of gold; they rather chuse to give it the
tradesman, for his pains of having sold them for ten pistoles that which
was not worth five. If there is a reasonable price made, he that sells
to them is so honest not to take the advantage of their easiness to give
whatever is asked them; and as they have credit given them for ten years
together, without even thinking of paying, so at last they find
themselves under great difficulties with their debts."

[Illustration: PLATE 58


MDW 1869]




THE architectural style of this very pretty house, No. 9, in the Calle
de los Abades, is much purer, that is more Italian in its Plateresque,
than is usual in other houses in Seville in which the hand of the
skilful Moorish operative is to be distinctly perceived. This is to be
accounted for by the fact, that although the mansion existed as a house
of importance at the commencement of the fifteenth century,[27] the
architectural features which now meet the eye were all executed for the
rich Genoese family of the Pinedos about 1533. If it were not for the
peculiar engrailed double edging to the arches, the thinness of the
marble central window shaft, and a few oriental turns here and there
given to the foliage, and enrichments of the mouldings, one could almost
believe that this architecture was regular Genoese cinque-cento. It is
possible however, that although here in the midst of ordinary Spanish
Plateresque one is tempted to cry out "Oh! how Italian this is!" if one
could only meet with a precisely similar building in Genoa; one would be
quite as much tempted to exclaim, "Oh! how Spanish this is!" The fact
of course is, that it exhibits a mixture of the two styles, produced
under the exceptional circumstances to which I have alluded.

After passing from its Genoese owners, it was inhabited by certain
Abades, rich members of the Cathedral Staff, who left behind them their
name, but no very popular odour of sanctity,

    "En la calle de los Abades,
     Todos han Tíos, y ningunos Padres."[28]

So runs the jingle Ford quotes, with manifest glee, adding as a sequel
to bring the matter home to the right offenders,

    "Los Canonigos, Madre, no tienen hijos;
     Los que tienen en casa, son sobrinicos."[29]

Possibly it may have been some of these very "sobrinicos" who hindered
my sketching by many small practical "chistes," for as the Patio served
as a play-ground to a tumultuous little boys' school, I found it by no
means conducive to that state of mind which facilitates elaborate
sketching. I fear also that such an occupation of its graceful galleries
may not prove conducive to the preservation of the noses, and possibly
even of the heads, of the "Caballeros de mucha consideracion," who fill
the medallions of the spandrels of the principal arches of the Patio.

[Illustration: PLATE 59



MDW 1869]




IN spite of all the habits of reckless extravagance, in the days when
America poured its countless riches into the mother-country, described
by travellers; and in spite of the quantity of money which must have
been lavished on building by nobles and superior ecclesiastics, (as in
the case of the extremely elegant Renaissance "Casa de los Abades" which
forms the subject of our fifty-eighth sketch,) the home-life of Spain
never approached the contemporary plenty and comfort which obtained in
Italy, France, and England. In spite of the occasional prodigality of
wedding feasts, such as that of Camacho in Don Quixotte, and in spite,
perhaps, of a little occasional "gourmanderie" on the part of the
"Señores Abades" of this Calle, neither cooking nor service appear to
have been carried to much perfection. It is in fact very curious, in
wandering over any fine old Spanish house, to observe how little
provision appears to have been made in them architecturally for the
kitchen and its service. Ornament appears to have been much more general
in the public parts of the richest houses than good fare in the interior
and private parts. Nor was there any such movement towards excess in
this particular, as usually accompanies the passage of a wealthy and
powerful people from wealth and power, through laziness, to poverty and

So late as 1775, the year in which Philip Thicknesse[30] travelled
through part of Spain, and whilst it was yet a comparatively unbroken-up
country, domestic luxury had reached but a little way beyond the
satisfaction of the simplest wants of nature in the simplest way. "The
people of fashion in general," he says, "have no idea of serving their
tables with elegance, or eating delicately; but rather, in the style of
our forefathers, without spoon or fork, they use their own fingers, and
give drink from the glass of others; foul their napkins and cloaths
exceedingly, and are served at table by servants who are dirty, and
often very offensive. I was admitted, by accident, to a gentleman's
house, of large fortune, while they were at dinner; there were seven
persons at a round table, too small for five; two of the company were
visitors; yet neither their dinner was so good, nor their manner of
eating it so delicate, as may be seen in the kitchen of a London
tradesman. The dessert (in a country where fruit is so fine and so
plenty) was only a large dish of the seeds of pomegranates, which they
eat with wine and sugar. In truth, Sir, an Englishman who has been the
least accustomed to eat at genteel tables, is, of all other men, least
qualified to travel into other kingdoms, and particularly into Spain."

[Illustration: PLATE 60






IN several previous notices, I have described the uses of the Patios in
olden times, and on a large scale, and the degree to which they have
been made, as architectural contrivances, to fall in with popular
manners and customs. It remains to notice the extent to which the
Spaniards of to-day sympathise in this respect with their forefathers,
and how essential the Patio still is to the happiness of domestic life.
It is at once cool and airy, and may be made quite private or
semi-public at pleasure. With its iron gate to the street closed, and a
screen drawn across it, it becomes private, and with its door opened it
occupies in modern life exactly the position which the "Atrium" used to
occupy in ancient classical life. An awning, drawn across from side to
side of the Patio, answers to the Roman Velarium, closing the Impluvium,
and gives shade and softened light during the glare of mid-day, allowing
the court of the house to be used as the ordinary sitting-room of the
family. Theophile Gautier[31] gives a pretty picture of the facility
with which the Patio may be converted at night into the "Salon," in
which what answers to the Soirée of the French is usually given by the
Spaniards. "The Tertullia," he says, "is held in the Patio which is
surrounded by columns of alabaster, and ornamented with a fountain, the
basin of which is encircled with flowers and masses of foliage, on the
leaves of which the trickling drops fall in small showers. Six or eight
lights are suspended against the walls, chairs and sofas of straw or
cane furnish the arcades; guitars are laid about here and there, and the
piano occupies one angle and a whist-table another. The guests, on
entering, salute the master and mistress of the house, who never fail,
after the usual compliments, to offer a cup of chocolate, which may or
may not be refused, and a cigarette which is generally accepted. These
duties fulfilled, the visitor may attach himself to whichever group in
the corners of the Patio he may consider most attractive. The family and
the elderly guests play cards. The young gentlemen talk to the young
ladies, and in fact, if they are so minded while away the time in
innocent flirtation, or perhaps less innocent gossip and tittle-tattle."
The Patio thus becomes the stage on which the elegant señoritas display
their most winning fascinations, and "spin cobwebs to catch flies" in
the shape of "novios."

It is principally in those cities in which classical and oriental
tradition is still strongest, such as Segovia, Toledo, Granada, and
Seville, that the use of the Patio, as the Romans and Moors used their
open air Cortiles, is chiefly affected. Our sketch was taken in Seville,
but hundreds of similar sketches might readily be taken there, or
elsewhere. There is nevertheless a special charm about these Seville
houses, in spite of their remorseless whitewash, which makes life in
them most pleasant. This has no doubt justified the old proverb, quoted
in German, Latin and Italian by Berckenmeyern[32] "Wen Gott lieb hat,
dem giebt er ein Haus in Sevilia." (To whom God loves he gives a house
in Seville).

[Illustration: PLATE 61


MDW 1869]




SWINBURNE,[33] who visited Cadiz in January, 1775, and who certainly
possesses the merit (so far as I can find out) of being the first
Englishman who made any drawings from the remains of ancient
architecture in Spain, found the Cathedral of that city, "la nueva,"
(intended to supersede the mean "la vieja," built in 1597,) in course of
construction, and the following is his description of what he then saw.
"On the shore stands the Cathedral, a work of great expense, but carried
on with so little vigour, that it is difficult to guess at the term of
years it will require to bring it to perfection; I think fifty have
already elapsed since the first stone was laid, and the roof is not yet
half finished. The vaults are executed with great solidity. The arches
that spring from the clustered pilasters to support the roof of the
church are very bold; the minute sculpture bestowed upon them seems
superfluous, as all the effect will be lost from their great height, and
from the shade that will be thrown upon them by the filling up of the
interstices. From the sea, the present top of the church resembles the
carcase of some huge monster cast upon its side, rearing its gigantic
blanched ribs high above the buildings of the city. The outward casings
are to be of white marble, the bars of the windows of bronze; but I fear
the work will be coarsely done, if one may draw inference from the
sample of a small chapel, where the squares are so loosely jointed and
ill fitted, that in a few years the facing will be quite spoilt. It is
unfair to prejudge a piece of architecture in such an imperfect state,
but I apprehend the style of this will be crowded and heavy."

In spite of all Swinburne's forebodings the real effect of this
Cathedral is now, internally at least, vast and stately, although in too
florid a style as to detail to be quite satisfactory. The true cause of
much of the delay, culminating in total stoppage in 1769, of which
Swinburne complains, was the cupidity of certain Commissioners who
appropriated to themselves the funds (a tax on American imports)
allotted by the government for the work. To give a cover to their gross
dishonesty, they laid blame on the designs of the architect, Vicente
Acero,[34] which could not, as they averred, be completed. At last, in
1832, the scandal was wiped out by the zeal and liberality of Bishop
Domingo de Silos Moreus who caused the interior to be completed, and the
exterior partially so, mainly out of his privy purse.

[Illustration: PLATE 62



MDW 1869]




IN almost every Spanish town there exists a feature, too often wanting,
under similar circumstances, in England, in the shape of a public walk,
or "paseo." In these popular airing places in the summer-heats the
inhabitants turn out, take exercise, meet and chat with one another, the
poor with the rich (by mutual consent) under the shade of green trees,
usually within compass of the scent of flowers, and almost invariably
within hearing of the pleasant trickle of some pretty fountain. Such
places, which, as their name imports, the Spaniards have inherited, with
almost all that makes life pleasant, from the Moors, are called
"Alamedas." In this particular Malaga is especially favoured, for not
only is her Alameda, which forms the principle Plaza of the city, cooled
by refreshing breezes from the sea,

    "La que baña dulce el mar
     Entre Jazmín y Azahar,"

but it is adorned by one of the prettiest fountains in the world. It is
made of pure white marble, and of such exquisite workmanship that it
would betray its Italian origin at a glance, even if it did not possess
a history of its own which places the fact beyond a doubt.

Ordered originally at Genoa by Charles V. for his Palace at Granada, it
was shipped, on its completion for conveyance thither, on board a
Spanish galleon.[35] On the voyage the vessel was captured by
Barbarossa, and recovered by Don Bernardino de Mendoza, General de
Galeras. Ford remarks that the costume (_à la_ fig leaf) of the nymphs
and Amorini which adorn it is somewhat too slight for Spanish ideas of
propriety, and O'Shea caps his observation by commenting on its perfect
suitability to the Malagan climate.

[Illustration: PLATE 63



MDW 1869]




NOT only is Malaga endowed with an "eternal summer" by its lovely
climate, there being actually no "winter of its discontent," but it has
also enjoyed historically a splendid and long summer of prosperity, its
present state being comparatively autumnal. This "golden age" existed
under the Moors for many centuries preceding the dreadful siege laid to
the city by the Catholic kings, which ended on the 18th of August, 1487.
It has never altogether recovered from the christianising influences
then brought to bear upon it, though the charms of its position and
climate prevented its being altogether deserted at any time. They indeed
produced an after-crop of splendour, in the shape of fine residences of
powerful nobility, enriched many of them by the spoils of the Moors, and
yet more by the silver of America and the great profits of the foreign
trade, to say nothing of the smuggling carried on in its port. Of such
our sketch presents a specimen, more Italian in its character than would
be likely to be met with in Spain, in any other locality than a "Port de
Mer." The great establishment of the Genoese merchants, the "Casa de los
Genoveses," may have exercised a powerful local influence upon the arts
and especially the architecture of Malaga, as that of our "Merchants of
the Steleyard" did upon those of London.

In the distance is seen one of the cupola-covered towers of the vast
Cathedral--most promising and picturesque from a distance, but
unsatisfactory in its incompleteness, when visited by the

[Illustration: PLATE 64



MDW 1869]




THIS pretty window of, as I believe, the early part of the sixteenth
century is evidently of Mudejar design with little of the Moorish
element left in it, excepting the obvious Orientalism of the workman.
Take away the engrailed intrados of the arch, and the little dove-tailed
break in the line of the archivolt, and all that is Moorish in the
design would disappear; but still the particular mode of combining the
brick and tile work would be left to show the disinclination of the Moor
to quit or alter his old technical habits as an operative.

This window is associated in my memory with some sad scenes of
suffering. It is situated, as it were, on the road to a sort of wicket
or buttery-hatch, at which aid is given daily to cripples out of the
funds of the great Hospital of Santo Tomé. At an early hour these poor
creatures, the halt, maimed, diseased, and blind, take up their stations
against the wall, and gradually creep onwards towards the spot at which
the distribution takes place. The "Ay de mis" and "Por l'amor de Dios,"
echo in a dismal strain, interrupted only by a few especially ferocious
oaths as one a little stronger or more active than the rest struggles
forwards to cheat the others of their turn. The whole scene would have
made an admirable subject for Callot's needle, Hurtado de Mendoza's pen,
or Van Obstal's chisel. Lazarillo de Tormes and his blind "Amo" sat
before me; and one could clearly recognise what it must have cost
noblemen, like D. Miguel de Manana[A] and his "cofrades" of the vast
Hospital of the "Caridad" at Seville (the great rival no doubt to the
Malagan Hospital), to carry on their works of mercy in the midst of a
dirt and squalor which should be seen to be realised.

[Illustration: PLATE 65


MDW 1869]




TRAVELLERS in Spain rarely fail to observe and comment on the great
strength of ordinary entrance doors, the thick planks forming which are
frequently held together by iron bars, or plating, with ponderous bolts,
or nail-heads, often of very pretty design. Such doors have descended
apparently from Roman days, and the retention of the type, by Moor and
Christian down to the present day, has been regarded as an evidence of
the proverbially jealous temperament of the Spaniard. I think it bears a
much clearer testimony to the want of good police in the streets, and
the frequency of quarrels and rows, to say nothing of marauders and more
serious fighters in disastrous times. One is strengthened in this belief
by the inclination ever shown by the old Spaniards to have as few
external windows as possible on the ground floors of their houses, and
those few raised high above the pathway, and protected by close and
strong iron grilles and thick shutters. These may have been useful
restraints on the love-making propensities of the Spanish Lotharios; but
the difficulties they presented to pilferers and "Soldados de Fortuna,"
when a little out of luck, were, perhaps, of even greater importance to
the householder.

The portion of the door I have sketched, formed part of a solid defence
against a formidable class in Spain, bold in attack, and not easily cast
down even in retreat--the beggars. Much of the enormous sums given by
the devout to God in Catholic times, this class believed they had as
good right to scramble for as the monks; and it behoved the latter to
fortify themselves, as they never failed to do, pretty strongly against
the importunity of the former. No doubt the coronetted knocker of the
Monastery of Sant' Jago was intended to inspire the beggars with fitting
awe, and an intimation that it was not to be audaciously handled by
vulgarity. Some such scarecrow was certainly locally necessary, for I
well remember being driven away by clustering beggars no less than four
times before I could accomplish my very hasty sixty-fifth sketch.

[Illustration: PLATE 66


MDW 1869]




NO one looking from the quarter of the city to which, after its conquest
by the Christians in 1480, the Moors who lingered behind the bulk of
their fellows, were relegated, (as the Jews by the Popes to the Ghetto
at Rome,) would be justified in supposing that the stern-looking and
dilapidated fortresses, and lines of walling of vast height and apparent
strength, which meet the eye, contained nearly complete specimens of the
loveliest and most elaborate system of ornamentation, both in form and
colour, which has ever existed. The position of the Alhambra is worthy
in every respect of the treasures of art it contains. It overlooks the
Vega, an extended plain, which in the days of the city's prosperity was
literally one vast garden, and even in the present day is, to most of
central Spain, pretty nearly what an oasis may be supposed to be to a

On the extreme left in this sketch is seen the great mass of the "Torre
de Comares," which contains the celebrated Hall of the Ambassadors; next
to it on the right are the ancient buildings of the Patio de la Mezquita
or Mosque. Behind these, and further to the right, rises the great
rectangular mass of the Palace of Charles V. The flat space, in front
and on the right of the Palace, is known as the Plaza de los "Algibes"
(of the tanks) and the mass of towers and buildings beyond are those of
the Alcazaba, (the fortress) with, conspicuous on the extreme right, the
Torre de la Vela, (the Watch-Tower,) from which a constant look-out was
kept far and wide over the city to the west, and the far spreading Vega
to the west and south. On the horizon stretched the great range of
snow-clad mountains, the Sierra Nevada.

The beauty of the view from this tower cannot be exceeded, and I never
shall forget the aspect of the scene upon one especially lovely
moonlight night. By such soft illumination, the desolation of which one
saw so much by day was passed over in the breadth of the great masses of
light and shade. As the moonlight caught the snow-clad peaks of the
Sierra Nevada and traced itself in the silver lines of the winding River
Genil, coming from the far off distance to the city beneath, and losing
itself in the thousands of twinkling lights of the suburbs in which its
silver threads seemed to get entangled and lost, everything was perfect;
and as one turned away towards the nearer mountain heights, and saw,
upon their hilly eastern slopes, the Generalife and the Alhambra, almost
close at hand, one felt inclined to forget the present in the past and
to think of ruin as perfection, and of death as life.

By day the illusion was destroyed, the young Alhambra of the night faded
away, and in its place one saw all the seams and stains and wrinkles age
had left upon its hoary head and face, all the more painfully perhaps
from the efforts one recognise as having been made here and there, by
loving and anxious hands, to mend and palliate conspicuous decay.

[Illustration: PLATE 67



MDW 1869]




OUR sixty-seventh sketch illustrates the road by which the traveller
usually ascends from the City of Granada to the delights of the
Alhambra. On passing through the massive gateway, seen in the middle of
the sketch, he finds himself in a thickly-planted wood or "bosqué,"
cool, shady, refreshing, and beautiful. At several turns in the winding
road, fountains, abundantly supplied with crystal water, charm his eye
and ear at the same moment. With his pulse just quickened by the gradual
ascent, everything seems to conduce to ease of body, and to throw him
into a happy frame of mind for enjoying the feast of beauty which lies
in store for him. As a preparation for such a banquet, I know nothing
better calculated to insure a healthy digestion of the artistic
"pabulum" the Alhambra furnishes, than a thorough acquaintance with the
views of Owen Jones upon the subject of Moorish art generally.

If in his noble work on the Alhambra he has described the system "no
work so fitted to illustrate a grammar of ornament as that in which
every ornament contains a grammar in itself. Every principle which we
can derive from the study of the ornamental art of any other people is
not only ever present here, but was by the Moors universally and truly

"We find in the Alhambra the speaking art of the Egyptians, the natural
grace and refinement of the Greeks, the geometrical combinations of the
Romans, the Byzantines, and the Arabs. The ornament wanted but one
charm, which was the peculiar feature of the Egyptian ornament,
symbolism. This the religion of the Moors forbade; but the want was more
than supplied by the inscriptions, which, addressing themselves to the
eye by their outward beauty, at once excited the intellect by the
difficulties of deciphering their curious and complex involutions, and
delighted the imagination when read, by the beauty of the sentiments
they expressed and the music of their composition. To the artist and
those provided with minds to estimate the value of the beauty to which
they gave a life, they repeated _Look and Learn_."

It is not, of course, from the study of the monuments of one period, or
of one locality, that any accurate idea is to be formed of the
Architecture of any races, whose national history and whose dominion
have extended for many centuries over many lands. Nor, indeed, is a just
appreciation of the artistic value of the system of Art, sectionally
studied, to be arrived at until the student has compared it with its
antecedents in its own and other localities. Such works, therefore, as
offer to the inquirer means for instituting studies of the nature
alluded to, acquire peculiar value, although necessarily incomplete for
sectional study. The student of Oriental Architecture, from this point
of view, has been laid under a debt of gratitude by M. Girault de
Prangey,[36] whose works enable him to obtain a fair idea of the
varieties of style practised by the Mahommedan races in Asia Minor,
Syria, Egypt, Spain, Sicily and Barbary. Through all these there
evidently runs a harmony of system, but not the less clearly have we to
recognize an endless variety of detail, and an incessantly changeful
development--reaching its climax certainly in the Alhambra at

[Illustration: PLATE 68


MDW 1869]




WENDING his way upwards through the beautiful "Bosqué," it is on
arriving at the celebrated "Gate of Justice"[37] that the traveller
first finds himself face to face with the Moor, and his wise and
patriarchal habits, as well as his inherent love for the beautiful.
Within these venerable walls once sat the Monarch, as Solomon sat, to
administer justice to the poorest, as to the richest, of his subjects.
On the side shown to the outer world the archway wears the stern
features of the fortress; while on the inner side, the one shown in my
sketch, there are traces of a beauty and richness suitable to the Palace
to which it led. What is most remarkable architecturally about this
Gateway is, firstly, the ingenuity of its plan for resisting surprise in
attack; and, secondly, the beauty of the coloured tiles by which its
inside elevation is decorated.

First, with respect to its plan. This, so far as the passage way from
gate to gate (carried between walls of great thickness and massive
construction) is concerned, assumes the form of two letters L placed in
contact with one another, thus,

     __    B
    |  __|
  A          ,

the gate of entry from without being at A, and the gate of exit at B.
The consequence is that no assailant entering from A can form any idea
of what preparations for resistance may exist in the interior of the
gateway. Neither can he gain anything by a rush, as the impetus of any
attack would be broken by the necessities of having to stop, turn round
and start in another direction for too short a distance, before having
to check and turn again, to acquire any momentum or "élan." Even after
fighting his way from gate to gate, the assailant would only find
himself in a narrow gallery between high walls and upper platforms
through which it would be most difficult to advance, exposed to missiles
from every direction. While attacking the outer gate and intermediate
obstacles, the besieger would, of course, be liable to the amenities of
molten lead, &c., from the upper chambers of the Gateway.

Secondly, with respect to the beauty of the coloured tiles. These are
unlike, both in colour and texture, as well as I could see, any other
tiles existing in the Alhambra, or any left at Cordova, Seville or
Toledo. My impression is, that they may have been a present from
Damascus, Cairo, or from Persia proper. The peculiar deep granulated
blue which is conspicuous in them, I have only seen in fragments from
ancient Mosques, which have been brought from the East. The mode of
manufacture is not that either of the usual Moorish and Spanish
Azulejos, with raised outlines forming compartments for the separate
colours; nor is it like that of the Majorca tiles and dishes, and the
usual flat tiles of the Alhambra, which, with their fine white surfaces
for painting on, formed the basis of Majolica. It is, however, quite
like that of the half-encaustic, half-painted tiles of the early
Mahommedan buildings in India, Persia, and especially Arabia proper.

A long inscription occurs in two lines over the inner gateway, towards
the exterior. The following is from the translation of the distinguished
Arabic student and historian, Don Pasqual de Gayangos.

"This gate, called Bábu-sh-shari'ah (the Gate of the Law)--may God
prosper through it the law of Islám, and He made this a lasting monument
of His glory--was built at the command of our Lord, the Commander of the
Moslems, the warlike and just Sultan Abú-l-walid Ibu Naor, (may God
remunerate his good deeds in the observance of religion, and accept of
his valorous performances in support of the faith). And it was closed
for the first time in the glorious month of the birth of our Prophet, in
the year 749. May the Almighty make this gate a protecting bulwark, and
write down its erection among the imperishable actions of the Just."

[Illustration: PLATE 69


MDW 1869]




TO describe the progress of the visitor through the Courts and
apartments of the "Casa Real," as the Palace of the Alhambra is called,
would be to echo a more than thrice-told tale. For present purposes, it
may suffice to say, that in the Hall of the Ambassadors he reaches the
acmé of Moorish magnificence. My sketch represents one of the nine
windows by which the hall is lighted on the level of the floor. The
space from the single arch, which is on the internal face of the
apartment, to the coupled arches which are on the external face of the
building, represents the thickness, no less than about eight feet, of
the wall of the Tower of Comares. The window I have chosen for
sketching, looks towards a Renaissance addition to the Alhambra, made by
Charles V. for the accommodation of his Queen.

This elegant pavilion, from which is obtained a view of almost
unparallelled loveliness over the Vega, is known as the "Tocador de la
Reina," or, Boudoir of the Queen.

The Hall of Ambassadors occupies the whole of the internal area on plan
of the Tower, and is an apartment thirty-seven feet square and
seventy-five feet high. It is entered from the Court of the "Blessing,"
(as Mr. O'Shea considers the Patio de la Berkàh to be more properly
called, than the Court of the Fish Pond,) or "de la Alberca," the title
by which it is usually known. Advancing from the Patio, the visitor
traverses the Sala. In the wall opposite to the door of entrance to the
Hall are three windows. In the central one appears to have been placed
the throne of the Sultan. In each of the walls, on the right and left of
the entrance, are three nearly-similar windows: the one I have selected
for representation being the middle one of the three in the wall on the
right upon entering.

The dado which runs round the whole of the splendid Hall, is made of
Mosaic and Azulejos for a height of about four feet from the pavement;
and above it run bands with inscriptions and medallions. Over these, the
walls, covered with lace-like diapers in stucco, to a height of about
seven and twenty feet from the floor, run up to a second tier of
windows, five on a side, lighting the upper portion of the Hall.

At a height of about forty feet, occurs a beautiful stalactite cornice
from which starts a noble dome, or "Artesonado" ceiling, most
ingeniously made in inlaid wood, and gorgeously decorated. This ceiling,
splendid as it is, occupies the place only of one yet more marvellous,
which fell down. The original ceiling, or rather hollow cone, was of the
same description as the existing stalactite, or pendentive, ceilings of
the Hall of "the Abencerrages," of "Justice," and of "the two Sisters;"
but larger and finer. Mr. Owen Jones has given us, in Plate VII of his
magnificent work, a long section, to a large scale, passing from the
window in which the throne of the Sultan was placed, through the Hall of
the Ambassadors with its arch of entrance, through the Sala de la Barca,
the splendid anteroom, as it were, to the Throne room, through the
Loggia, or Arcade, of the Patio of the Alberca, through the Patio
itself, and through the end Loggia of the Court with its exquisite
Pavilion on the first floor. From this section can be admirably
realised, what must have been the view, or "colpo d'occhio," of the
Sultan, as he sat upon his throne to receive foreign Ambassadors.[38] It
seems impossible to conceive of any position more imposing, or better
calculated to impress the imagination particularly of Eastern magnates.
Even now, bereft of so much that must once have added to its charm, the
view is one of exquisite and most romantic beauty. It is, indeed, a
sight to stir a poet's heart, although

    "Lonely and still are now thy marble halls,
       Thou fair Alhambra! there the feast is o'er;
     And with the murmur of thy fountain falls,[39]
       Blend the wild tones of minstrelsy no more.
     Hushed are the voices, that in years gone by,
       Have mourn'd, exulted, menaced, through thy towers,
     Within thy pillar'd courts the grass waves high,
       And all uncultured bloom thy fairy bowers.
     Unheeded there the flowering myrtle blows,
       Through tall arcades unmark'd the sunbeam smiles,
     And many a tint of soften'd brilliance throws
       O'er fretted walls and shining peristyles."[40]

[Illustration: PLATE 70




MDW 1869]




IN describing the subject of the last sketch, our theme was the general
aspect of the "Sala de los Embajadores." I have chosen to let this
minute specimen of its detail follow the statement of its large
dimensions, in order the more forcibly to convey an idea of its
wonderful elaboration. The elegant morsel of stucco-work now presented
to the student has been actually traced from a portion of the
stucco-work of one of the window recesses immediately above the dado. It
affords an admirable illustration of two principles constantly followed
by the Moors in their treatment of decoration--viz., to preserve the
continuity of all scroll work from root to fully developed foliation--a
principle entirely disregarded in all previous ornamentation based upon
classical practice--and to care first for larger surfaces to satisfy the
eye with harmonious relations of those surfaces to one another, and to
the spaces they have to enrich, from a distance; and then to provide
minor fillings and intersections so as to supply adequate elaboration
for close inspection. In addition to the decorative effect produced by
variations in relief, still greater refinement was obtained by patterns
in colour, painted upon the surfaces of the modelled ornaments. Although
almost everywhere the colour has either been rubbed off, or rubbed into
confusion, the abrasion has affected for the most part only the pigment
and its albuminous vehicle, leaving the surface of the stucco bare, and
showing the outline of the delicate ornament which has been drawn in by
the pencil of the artist.

It is on the nature of the stucco itself I think it may be well to offer
here a few remarks. It certainly appears to be harder, closer in
texture, tougher, and much less absorbent, than gypsum or plaster of
Paris, when set in the usual manner. Lime alone, as ordinarily slacked,
would not I believe give any such texture, even if it could be
manipulated into similar ornamental forms. I believe the Moorish Stucco
to be almost if not quite identical with the Indian "Chunam," and that
in its turn to be a substance produced much in the same way that the
fine Stucco of the Romans was ordinarily wrought by that people. In the
native treatment of all of these substances, I believe four
peculiarities to have been generally used. Firstly--to employ the finest
lime only. Secondly--to mix it with pounded earthen-ware. Thirdly--to
beat it thoroughly. Fourthly--to use saccharine substances to retard the
setting and keep the mass plastic under the tool.

The present is scarcely a fitting occasion upon which to state in any
detail the grounds upon which I have been led to this conclusion, but I
have little doubt that any student will be struck by the identity of
practice of Roman, Indian, and Moor, who will refer to the practical
descriptions of the various modes of the formation of terraces given by
Vitruvius, by Captain Phipps, in "The Barrackmaster's Assistant,"[41]
and by John Windus, in his "Journey to Mequinez."[42]

I have elsewhere noticed the command the descendants of the Moors seemed
to retain over all operations of plaster and lime work throughout Spain,
as evidenced by the beauty and elaboration of the Mudejar style in those
materials, long after they ceased to be the dominant race in the
localities in which they continued to practice their old technical

[Illustration: PLATE 71





MDW 1869]




THIS little pattern which forms the centre, or eye--the point of
departure in fact--of an elaborate geometrical mosaic has been most
carefully traced and copied from the original, which yet remains in the
centre of the dado on the side of the window on the right of the
Sultan's throne in the Hall of the Ambassadors. It may thus be said to
occupy an especial post of honour and so to challenge, as it were,
curiosity and admiration. Both these a close inspection thoroughly
justifies, since in all the history of the manufacture of vitrified
substances I know nothing more curious and puzzling. The pattern is in
bluish-black on a white ground; and both ground and inlay are made
apparently in two separate pieces of glass, and in two only. The most
minute inspection shows no joint whatever on the surface of either
coloured material; at the same time it establishes the fact that the
ground has been made with the whole pattern sunk "en creux," and that
the inlay has been made in one piece--practically a specimen of glass
lace--and fixed into the cavity of the ground with a very fine
calcareous cement, made probably of lime and white of egg. To inlay
glass in glass involves little difficulty, if ground and inlay are as it
were fused together; but to produce a ground apparently in glass, and to
inlay it with so fine a pattern, both "au froid," is a perfect marvel in
vitreous manufacture.

The only way in which I can imagine that such an effect could be
produced is as follows, but in offering any such explanation I desire to
do so with all due deference to practical glass-workers. I believe that
two metal-moulds were made, one with the ornament in relief, and the
other with the same ornament sunk in intaglio. From each mould, glass
reproductions having been made of about equal substances (so as to
contract equally in cooling), and, with the exception of a black film in
one case, of the same glass, the two reproductions were stuck together
firmly by the calcareous cement. The black glass in "cameo" would then
be encased within the white glass in "intaglio;" and the pattern would
of course be invisible, the two reproductions being firmly stuck
together face to face, making apparently one white glass tessera of
double the requisite thickness. The back of the cameo side would then
have to be ground away, probably at a lapidary's wheel, until the back
of the black pattern in cameo should be reached. At the same moment the
face of the white intaglio would be exposed; and the tessera, being
reduced to its proper thickness for insertion with the rest of the
adjoining glass mosaic, would be fit to permanently combine with it;
showing an elaborate black pattern held in by calcareous cement, on a
white face, exactly as it now appears.

Any such resolution of a difficult technical problem exhibits the Moors
to us as excelling in two of their favourite Arts, viz., inlaying and
glass manufacture.

For much of their knowledge of both of these arts there is no doubt
that the Moors were indebted to the Arabians. The Arabians were in their
turn inheritors from the Byzantine Greeks of many of the traditions of
manufacturing excellence once practised by the Romans. Amongst these
were, no doubt, almost every process of glass-working and mosaic.[43]
Considerable doubts exist as to the inheritance by the Greek of the
lower empire of the process of inlaying from the Romans, and to their
originality in adapting the process to their architecture. The first
building in which it appears to have been freely used by the Greeks was
the Mosque of Santa Sofia, built by Justinian. For that building he is
known to have invoked the assistance of Persian designers and
artificers; and from the divergence in the patterns of those inlays from
any patterns usual in Roman contemporary work, I am inclined to believe
that they represent the foreign element to which I have alluded. A most
interesting comparison may be made, by the student, of the patterns from
the Aya Sofia given in Salzenburg's great work, with those of the
principal of the Cairene Mosques drawn by Mr. James Wild and given in
the "Grammar of Ornament."

[Illustration: PLATE 72





MDW 1869]




IN the description of the last sketch I alluded to the sources whence
the Moors derived much of their knowledge of glass-making and
mosaic-working. In the specimen now given, the full size of the
original, on the opposite page, a considerable advance is shown upon
what was usual in the contemporary, "Opus Grecanicum," as executed,
either in Italy or in Greece itself. The advance is principally to be
seen in this particular, that whereas in the last mentioned work, every
complicated pattern is made up out of tesseræ, or glass strips cut into
squares, oblongs, triangles, or other simple figures; in the Moorish
work, arbitrary shapes of considerable geometrical complexity are given
to each separate piece of mosaic. When these tesseræ, so shaped, are
brought together, their combination immediately results in the formation
of perfect patterns, such as the one now illustrated. Tesseræ of this
description were no doubt formed by squeezing plastic clay into metal
moulds, and almost perfect identity was obtained between the tesseræ
obtained from the same mould. These, after firing, were then apparently
covered with coloured vitreous glazes by a subsequent operation.

In illustration of the advantages possessed by the Moors over the
Greeks, in working such mosaics as the one I have sketched, it may be
noted, that while a Greek would have required one hundred and nineteen
separate pieces to make up what is shown, the Moor wanted only
forty-nine. Moreover, instead of having to chip every one of the one
hundred and nineteen pieces to a definite size and shape, and then to
place them slowly so as to ensure the truth of his angles of forty-five
and twenty-two and a half degrees, as the Greek or Italian had, the Moor
had only to place one of his forty-nine pieces with precision; and,
provided he never took any of the eleven patterns, of which his repeats
are composed, out of their right turn, his mosaic would work itself with
scarcely any other attention on his part. Another source of anxiety was
saved to him; viz., constant heedfulness as to the working of the
interlacement of his lines--_i. e._, their running, as it were, under
and over one another. The result, in this particular, is far clearer and
more effective in the Moorish, than according to the Greco-Italian
method; since, while in the former there are no joints which do not help
to define an interlacement, according to the latter, the joints
occurring on the line of mitre of every angle become confused with the
joints which express interlacement. A comparison of the Sicilian, with
the Alhambrese, geometrical mosaics, would show in a moment the
superiority of the last mentioned method.

No people, except perhaps the Chinese, have ever equalled the Moors in
devising patterns of most complicated appearance, in which colours were,
as it were, counterchanged by combining tiles, or tesseræ, of similar
geometrical forms, but made in different tints or tones.

Beautiful examples are given in profusion in the works of Mr. Owen
Jones, M. Girault de Prangey, Herr Hessemer, M. Coste and many others.

[Illustration: PLATE 73



MDW 1869]




THAT the Moors themselves were fully conscious that in creating the
Alhambra they were creating types of beauty for all generations, would
be clearly manifest from the inscriptions of the Hall of the two
Sisters, (from which our illustration is taken), even if every other of
the hundreds of inscriptions the building contains in other apartments
were destroyed.

"I am the garden, and every morning do I appear decked out in beauty.
Look attentively at my elegance, and thou wilt reap the benefit of a
commentary on decoration."

"Indeed, we never saw a palace more lofty than this in its exterior, or
more brilliantly decorated in its interior; or having more extensive
apartments--markets they are, where those provided with money are paid
in beauty, and where the judge of elegance is perpetually sitting to
pronounce sentence."

"Here is the wonderful cupola, at sight of whose beautiful proportions,
all other cupolas vanish and disappear."

Such inscriptions are not all of them of this hyperbolic stamp, since
some of them serve to record the names of illustrious founders, and to
explain the uses of various parts of the structure. To an inscription of
this kind we are indebted for an accurate knowledge of the uses of such
niches as the one represented in my sketch. Many travellers and writers
had supposed that their purpose had been to hold the slippers of the
visitors, but this theory was entirely dispelled, when M. Pasqual de
Gayangos read the inscription of the left niche of the Hall de las dos

"Praise to God! With my ornaments and tiara[44] I surpass beauty itself,
nay the luminaries in the Zodiac out of envy descend to me.

"The water vase within me, they say, is like a devout man standing
towards the Kiblah of the Mihrab,[45] ready to begin his prayers."

The idea that these niches were used to hold water-bottles is further
strengthened, as Mr. Owen Jones has justly remarked, by the existence of
the mosaic linings amid the plaster work by which they were surrounded;
as well as by the white marble slabs which serve for their base or
floor. The wall and pier dados, which extend from these marble slabs to
the beautiful Azulejos floor, are all made in elegant mosaic. Above the
niche in the sketch appears the ingenious pendentive impost from which
spring the great arches carried by the piers, with the characteristic
ingrailed fringe work which was almost always retained even, as we see
at Seville, in the latest Renaissance Mudejar work.

[Illustration: PLATE 74

MDW 1869







THE correctness of this sketch, as to dimension at least, has been
ensured by the mode in which it was obtained, viz., by gently pressing a
piece of paper against the surface of the piece of ornament (so as to
obtain a slight impression of its outline,) then marking it faintly with
pencil, pressing it out again quite flat, and finishing it in ink on the
spot. It may be looked upon, therefore, as giving, as nearly as is
possible on a plane surface, an accurate transcript of the elegant
ornament from the Sala del Tribunal selected for illustration. My reason
for this selection was, chiefly because I desired to show the minute
scale and extreme delicacy of much of the decoration in relief with
which the walls of the principal apartments of the Alhambra are covered.
It was partly also because this particular specimen retained faint
tracing lines drawn, most likely with a silver or lead point, and a free
hand, upon the flat surfaces of certain parts of the ornament in relief.
These served as guide lines for the yet more delicate labour of the
painter, who carried the subdivision of parts, by means of the
application of contrasting colours and gilding, into yet more
microscopic superficial enrichment.

As this is the last illustration I have to offer of the Alhambra, it may
be well to direct the reader's attention briefly to the general system
upon which such Art as the Moors practised, and most dearly loved, was
based. Those who would know "all about it," must give themselves
diligently to a study of all Owen Jones' works; from the ponderous
"Alhambra," with its magnificent illustrations, to the little guide to
the "Alhambra Courts of the Crystal Palace," not forgetting to test his
theory by his practice in the beautiful reproductions of Moorish Art he
has created for their edification at Sydenham. In the pages of the
smaller volume they will find the system epitomised simply and
delightfully in nine propositions under the following heads.

First, to decorate construction, never to construct decoration.

Second, to let all lines grow out of each other in gradual
undulations--always so as to conduce to repose.

Third, to care first for general forms and then for harmonious
subdivisions and fillings.

Fourth, to balance straight, inclined, and curved forms so as to produce
harmony and repose by contrast.

Fifth, to let all lines flow out of a parent stem, traceable throughout
its course.

Sixth, either radially (as in nature with the human hand or in a
chestnut leaf.).

Seventh, or tangentially,--as stems from branches.

Eighth, to avoid the simpler curves and use only those of a higher

Ninth, to treat all ornament conventionally, _i.e._, not in direct
imitation of Nature, but in a mode of imitation subordinated to the
architectural conditions of the surface or form to be ornamented.

[Illustration: PLATE 75


MDW 1869





IT is always interesting to watch the first rays of light which
dissipate clouds of darkness or prejudice; and this, by the aid of the
annals of the early printing press, we are enabled to do (with
comparative certainty as to chronology) in the case of the dawn of the
revival of classical architecture in every country of Europe except
Italy. In that favoured land, the sacred fire of Roman tradition was
never quite extinguished, and in its great cities the renascent flame
was already lambent, and gaining strength, before Sweynheim and Pannarz
started their celebrated press at Subiaco.

The first edition of the ten books of Vitruvius printed by G. Herolt at
Rome, _circa_ 1486, was immediately followed by the edition of Florence,
under the editorship of Leon Baptista Alberti, bearing the imprint of
the previous year. At least two other editions were exhausted in Italy
before the close of the century, and succeeded by many more previous to
the middle, of the sixteenth century.

Alberti's own admirable writings on Architecture and the other Fine Arts
moved all Italy, giving a thoroughly practical direction to the lessons
somewhat obscurely inculated by Vitruvius; whose writings, without
Alberti's comments, would have been of little practical use in countries
in which ample remains of classical art were not at hand for reference
and study.

The first French edition of the text of Vitruvius is of 1523; the first
German is of 1543. The first French translation dates from 1547; the
first German from 1548, published at Nuremburg. It was "volgarizzato" in
Italy from 1521.

The Latin text was translated into Spanish by Miguel de Urrea and
printed after his death at Alcala de Heñares in 1587. Its publication
had however been long preceded in Spain by the digest of the views of
Vitruvius under the tide of "las Medidas del Romano o Vitruvio,"
published by Diego de Sagredo in 1526. Sagredo had no doubt been
stimulated to such studies, (as Alberti had previously been) by his
admiration of the vestiges of Roman architectural greatness, still
abounding on the soil of his native land.

What oral tradition could teach previous to the publication of these
texts in Spain, no doubt the architect of the Cathedral of Granada,
Diego de Siloe, had learnt from his father, Gil, the even more
celebrated Sculptor of Burgos; whose monuments to Don Juan II., his
Queen, Donna Isabel, and the Infante Don Alonso, and whose "Retablo" in
the Cartuja of Miraflores in the outskirts of that city, have never been
surpassed in tasteful elaboration.[46] From whatever source Diego de
Siloe may have obtained his knowledge, certain it is that he must share
with Alonso Covarrubbias, the honour of having been the earliest
revivers of classical architecture in Spain: not in its details only as
had been attempted by the early Plateresque architects, but in its
structural proportions and in its symmetrical arrangements of great
leading features. The following is the account of the construction of
this Cathedral given by Amirola.[47]

"It was begun," he says, "on the 15th of March, 1529, and consists of
three naves, the principal of which terminates in the choir after the
Gothic manner. It is four hundred and twenty-five feet (Spanish) long,
and two hundred and forty-nine wide. The order is Corinthian, but
defective in its true proportions, since the principal nave is only
forty-five feet wide, its height is one hundred and twenty." It would
profit us but little to follow Amirola through his straight-laced
criticisms on a design the beauty of which he was unable to apprehend;
and it may be well to take a larger and juster view of its merits. The
following which, I heartily endorse, is the verdict of a far better
judge.[48] "Looking at its plan only, this is certainly one of the
finest churches in Europe. It would be difficult to point out any other
in which the central aisle leads up to the dome, so well proportioned to
its dimensions, and to the dignity of the high altar which stands under
it, or one where the side aisles have a purpose and a meaning so
perfectly appropriate to the situation, and where the centre aisle has
also its functions as perfectly marked out and so well understood. All
this being so, it is puzzling to know how it has been so neglected."

My sketch has been taken from the "Ambulatory" at the back of, and
surrounding, the choir. Its dimensions, as will be at once apparent, are
enormous. The arches, which separate the choir from the ambulatory, and
through one of which in my sketch the high altar is seen, are of very
great interest. They form the earliest examples I have ever seen (out of
Italy) of artificial perspectives, "guocchi di prospettiva." The arches
next to the choir are narrower and lower than those next to the
ambulatory; the distance between the two, owing to the necessities of
supporting and distributing the weights of the vast cupola, being very
considerable. The two archways are connected by falling lines of impost
mouldings and converging lines of coffering. The consequence is that, as
appears in the sketch, the archways, which really occupy only about five
and twenty feet in depth, look at least double that dimension.

[Illustration: PLATE 76



MDW 1869]




I WAS tempted to sketch this magnificent screen for four reasons:--

Firstly, because it is, I believe, entirely of iron, which most of the
Spanish Rejas are not.

Secondly, because it is, I also believe, the earliest specimen of
anything like equal importance in Spain.

Thirdly, because of its historical interest in enclosing the tombs of
"the Catholic Sovereigns" on the spot before which the greatness of
their lives had been achieved.

Fourthly, because I considered it to be the best in design of all I saw.

It is by no means the richest, but it appeared to me to be arranged upon
the justest principles. Its chief merits, as compared with many others,
I considered to be as follows:--

Firstly, its _transparency_. One of the most important qualities any
such screen should possess, is that of due subordination to the great
architectural features of the locality in which it is placed. Where
ornament is spread all over the surface of a screen, or where the main
lines wander about in capricious directions, the eye is arrested by the
metal work as a plane surface; and if not actually stopped by it, is at
least led off in wayward directions, and fails to pass beyond it. In
this case, the rectangularity of the whole gives great repose; the plain
vertical bars almost disappear; while the splendidly ornamented portions
of the screen seem as if suspended in mid air, and in no wise injure the
effect of the architecture,[49] or diminish the apparent space of the
locality they decorate.

Secondly, its _stability_ without heaviness. The subdivision of the
whole surface into regular compartments allows of a concentration of
strength in the skeleton lines, and gives great constructional stiffness
without too much formality.

Thirdly, its _propriety of design_. Its author has simply, as it were,
asserted the principle of "serve God and honour the King;" instead of,
as is usual, "look at me, and see what a fine fellow I am." At the
summit of his design he has represented the Crucifixion; immediately
beneath, the leading incidents of Gospel history, making conspicuous (in
compliment no doubt to the triumph of the Church in the entry into
Granada of his sovereigns), Christ's entry into Jerusalem. As the
central object, not much less than twenty feet square, he has grouped in
masterly style the full heraldic insignia of those whose remains are
deposited in the chapel beyond. The lower portion of his design has
evidently been intended simply to give stability to the upper part, and
to close the access to the magnificent marble and alabaster monuments
of Ferdinand and Isabella, and of Philip of Burgundy and "Juana la
Loca," without interfering with the facilities for seeing them of those
who might gain access to the Antechapel, but be refused it to the
Mausoleum itself.

The name of the admirable artist, "el Maestre Bartholomé," who wrought
this Reja in the year 1522, is inscribed upon it, near to the keyhole of
the great central gates.

[Illustration: PLATE 77


MDW 1869]




A CAREFUL contrast of this stately old mansion in which, if not the
hand, at least the influence of the architect, Henrique de Egas, (son of
Anequin de Egas de Bruselas, so greatly patronized by the celebrated
Cardinal Mendoza,) may be clearly traced, with the great Palace of
Charles V., ascribed to the artist Machuca, (both at Granada,) may
afford a useful lesson to the architectural student. In the earliest of
the two monuments--the Arzobispado--a window of which I now offer a
slight sketch, the florid Plateresque style, as exemplified by the
celebrated Hospedal de la Santa Cruz, at Toledo, (Sketches 44, 45, 46)
is at once recalled to the memory. In the latest, we find a marked
sympathy with the symmetrical style of the then fashionable Italian
architects. The Circular Cortile of Vignola's masterpiece at Caprarola,
is exceeded in dimension, and indeed in dignity of style, by the vast
round Patio of the Palace of Charles V., with which it is probably
nearly contemporary.

Such sober architecture, though enriched by the chisel of sculptors who,
like Berruguete, had been ardent admirers of Florentine and Roman
models, was the form of Plateresque which, intervening between the
first form of Renaissance, founded on French and Burgundian models, and
the austere Italian of Herrera, found special favour in the eyes of the
most judicious critics in Spain.

How far the best designers of Spain, amongst whom must certainly be
reckoned Juan de Arfe y Villafañe, acknowledged their dependence upon
the great Italian masters for all they considered most excellent in
style, may be gathered from the curious account of the development of
good art in his time[50] that he gives in his celebrated Treatise on
Sculpture and Architecture. After dwelling upon what he curiously enough
calls the "obra moderna," with which the great cathedrals of Spain had
been, as he considers, built, he observes, "This _barbarous work_,
having arrived at its end, its disuse having commenced in our times,
gave place to the ancient styles of the Greeks and Romans. Although this
style of work had been revived at an earlier period in Italy by the
diligence and study of Bramante, Master of the Works of St. Peter's at
Rome, Baldassare Perruzzi and Leon Baptista Alberti, celebrated
architects, it also began to flourish in Spain through the industry of
the excellent Alonso de Covarrubbias, Master of the Works of the
Cathedral at Toledo, and of the Royal Palace, father of the most famous
doctor, Don Diego Covarrubbias, President of the Supreme Council of his
Majesty and Bishop of Segovia, and of Diego Siloe, Master of the Works
of the Cathedral and Palace of Granada. These masters began to use this
kind of work in many places wherever they built, although always with
some admixture of the modern work (Gothic or early Plateresque) which
they could never entirely forget."

[Illustration: PLATE 78



MDW 1869]




THIS is unquestionably one of the most important of the Palaces of the
ancient nobility left in Spain, worthy of the renown of the Mendozas,
long Seigneurs of Guadalaxara. In spite of its present picturesque
aspect, however, architecturally speaking, it is a strange jumble of
incongruities; and offers but a ghost of the beauty it must have
possessed upon its first construction towards the end of the fifteenth
century from 1461 onwards. Splendour it must have possessed in
perfection at the date at which it excited warm admiration in the breast
of the captive sovereign, Francis I. of France, who was here
magnificently entertained by the then Duque del Infantado. The top story
with its remains of continuous arcading and balconies, the walls, the
splendid doorway, and above all the Patio, with the exception probably
of the top cornice and the Doric columns of the ground-floor arcade, all
belong to the original construction. These remains afford sufficient
indication of what has been destroyed to make way for Italian decoration
and barbarous repair, to enable the practised eye to see the whole as it
once existed; before a vulgar desire for novelty, and especially for
foreign novelty induced the desecration of the integrity of the design.
One might have fancied that every true Spaniard would have regarded this
palace almost as a holy place, from its having received the last breath
of the great Cardinal Mendoza--the "Rex tertius," whom Felipe Vigarny,
or some other dextrous sculptor, portrayed in the carvings of the
Cathedral at Granada,[51] riding with Ferdinand and Isabella, and
receiving the keys of the Alhambra from the hands of the unfortunate
"Boabdil el Chico."

The interior of this Palace is fully as rich and remarkable as the
exterior. The Patio which is about eighty feet long by fifty-six wide,
(about two-thirds of the size of the court-yards of the Royal Exchange
and the India Office), is surrounded by arcades of two stories, each
about twenty feet in height. Both series of arches are of a Gothic and
fantastic form, with spandrels filled in on the lower story with lions,
and on the upper with winged griffins. Between each arch are columns,
surmounted with armorial bearings, eagles, and grouped finials. The
whole, if coarsely, is very spiritedly carved, and produces a stately
and simple, though rich effect. The saloons are large and lofty, with
remains of beautiful half Moorish ceilings, and much effective Italian
fresco decoration of good colour and enriched with harmonious Arabesque

The state of this once splendid structure is unfortunately as
dilapidated as the national finances. What more can or need be said?
Everything going to pieces for want of that "stitch in time," which
nowhere, and in nothing, in Spain, seems ever likely "to save nine."

[Illustration: PLATE 79


MDW 1869]




IN and about Guadalaxara may be found many indications of the
traditional preservation, long after the expulsion of the Moors, not
only from New Castille, but from Spain generally as well, of their
excellence in the technical arts, amongst which brick-making, combining,
and laying were conspicuous. Hence, especially throughout the two
Castilles, Aragon, and Andalucia, the common method of using brick-work
is peculiarly Oriental and effective. The entrance doorway to the
Monastery of San Miguel, which forms the subject of our seventy-ninth
sketch, illustrates this mixture; as well it may, since traces are yet
to be found of the structure having been originally a mosque converted,
probably, shortly before the year 1500 to Christian uses. The round
instead of square buttresses, with conical terminations, the segmental
arch, with its ponderous archivolt, the great strength and almost
heaviness given by the regular rectangular setting out of the
woodwork--and a coarseness and yet spirit in the execution of carving,
are marked features of Aragonese style; the echoes of which may not
unfrequently be met with at Naples, especially in the entrance gateways
to many an old house. I well remember being puzzled by several of those
which I sketched there, and which appeared to me to differ from ordinary
contemporary Italian architecture in other localities. I subsequently
recognized similar features in Palermo, and elsewhere in Sicily.

[Illustration: PLATE 80


MDW 1869]




THE traveller who takes his seat for an hour or so before some old
portal of a Spanish provincial mansion, garnished with heraldic
insignia, proclaiming the rank, if not the dignity, of the possible
owner, can scarcely fail to be struck by the usual incongruity between
the assumption of the structure, and the modesty, not to say meanness,
of those who pass in and out of it generally at long intervals. The
sketcher's operations naturally, after a little while, attract the
attention of some few, and "their name is legion" throughout Spain, of
those who have nothing to do; or who, at any rate, do nothing, but
wander lazily but restlessly up and down to while away the time. After a
compliment or two, and probably a request that the spectators will not
stand exactly between the artist and the object he may be drawing, an
inquiry very generally follows as to "whose house that may be?" If the
answer extends beyond the usual "Quien sabe Caballero?" it may chance to
be "del Señor Duqué," or "del Señor Marques," something or other, or at
any rate of a "Señor somebody," "somebody," "somebody." To the next
inquiry, as to where the Hidalgo, if he be such, may be? the usual
answer will be "Madrid" or "Paris," or at any rate the "chef-lieu" of
the Province. The next demand may likely enough be, "Who lives there
then, now?" If the answer is not the usual "No puedo decir a Usted," it
may possibly be, "El Señor Administrador," the Steward, or "Algunos
Pobres," or "Don Manoel, the shoemaker," or "Don Juan, the carpenter."

Where the nobility live, if they are not all absentees, it seems very
difficult to find out; and hence it is that instead of ladies and
gentlemen, and liveried servants, who pass in and out of these grand
looking "portone," the sketcher usually sees only extremely picturesque
poverty. Sometimes this presents itself in the shape of a ragged girl or
two, carrying antique-shaped earthen water-jars, sometimes an old woman
with a heap of long-haired unkempt children sitting down to spin, or
reel off yarn, or lolling against the wall, distaff in hand; and
sometimes, possibly, two or three boys or young men assemble, who, after
smoking out some cigarrilos or stumps of cigars, coil themselves up on
the threshold, and go off into a comatose condition closely resembling

Such were my experiences whilst trying to gain some local information as
to the mansion of the very noble, the Duqué de Ribas at Guadalaxara.

[Illustration: PLATE 81



MDW 1869]




THE outskirts of Guadalaxara are very picturesque, and the traveller who
wanders about in quest of beauty, old or new, cannot fail to be
rewarded; not only by glimpses of scenery, but by the discovery of many
quaint little fragments of art which have escaped the attention of the
many despoiling locusts--native as well as foreign--who have done their
best at different times to "devour the land." Of such, a specimen is
given in the "knowing" little knocker, or door-handle illustrated in my
eighty-first sketch. It is no doubt a joke on the part of some cunning
smith, of the last century, mindful of the still greater cunning of his
handicraft, traditions of which may have descended to him, from the days
when the armourers of Spain rivalled those of Milan and Augsburg.

[Illustration: PLATE 82



MDW 1869]




PONZ speaks with great complacency of the sumptuousness of the houses of
Saragossa--particularly those with columns, (such as that of the Marques
de Monistol) and those the Patios of which are adorned with
sculptures--"such costly and sumptuous works," he says, "as no one
undertakes now a days." Amongst these he particularises the house which
forms the subject of the present sketch. Before his time it appears to
have belonged to the Citizen Gabriel Zaporta, "muy distinguido y rico,"
as Ponz calls him. From him it was bought by the widow of a certain Don
Gabriel Franco. At the close of the last century it was the home of the
Infante Don Luis, (uncle of Charles IV. of Spain), a Cardinal and
Archbishop of Toledo! who married "La Vallabriga," earning exile to
Saragossa for his pains. She lived here with him, and procured for the
house its popular and best known name, la Casa de la Infanta. Their
eldest daughter was bestowed, as an Infanta of Spain, upon the
detestable Godoy--"Prince of Peace,"--the recognised lover of her first
cousin by marriage, the Queen, wife of Charles IV., thus crowning a
double mésalliance.

"On the ground floor," says Ponz,[52] "of the Patio are twelve arches
supported on columns wrought with a thousand fancies, as are those also
of the first floor. On the lower floor of this house is a painter's
studio. Both floors are enriched with medallions representing kings,
fanciful foliage, and infinite labour in cornices, mouldings, &c."
Similar elaboration, now much defaced, is to be seen in the staircase
with vaulting, and handrail with medallions recalling those of the first

Amongst the most important palaces, next to the house of Zaporta or de
la Infanta, and that of the Marques de Monistol, were those known as the
"Castel-Florit," which belonged in Ponz's time to the Count Aranda--and
another the property of the Duqué de Hijar. The "Casa de Comercio" which
forms the subject of my eighty-fifth sketch was less important as to
quantity, but more important as to quality, than those last mentioned
appear to have been. As a general rule, the Saragossan houses appear
very large but coarsely treated as to detail, even in the richest, such
as those with showy windows behind the Seminario, in the Plazuela de San

My sketch sufficiently shows the "base uses" to which the truly palatial
Casa de Zaporta, or de la Infanta, has "come at last." It is well that
as many as possible of the rising generation of art-students should see
it, for it is not likely that any of it will be left for their

[Illustration: PLATE 83


MDW 1869]




THIS sketch gives to an enlarged scale some of the architectural
features represented in little in the preceding sketch. Many of the
arches which were once open in a beautiful arcading are now closed up in
lath and plaster; with a heartless indifference to everything else than
getting as much room as possible to let to the poor lodgers who swarm in
this once splendid Palace. The whitewash brush goes recklessly over any
surfaces with which it is brought into contact at the command of
sanitary inspectors, who enforce perfunctory cleansings from time to
time of at least the "outside of the platter." As I sat sketching and
"poking about" for some hours in this apparent "rabbit warren" of a
house, I could not but become conscious that the Arragonese had by no
means lost their old character for devotion, not to say bigotry. "Our
Lady of the pillar," the tutelary of Saragossa in spite of all alleged
pilferings from her shrine, seemed still at a premium in popular
estimation; and casts of her in the poorest plaster were multiplied even
in the poorest tenements. In fact, this seemed to be the very place for
meeting with the truly Spanish couple of the lower middle class, so well
sketched by the German Fischer in his travels at the close of the last
century. "I cannot conclude this letter," says he, "without saying a
word or two of my hosts. Both the man and his wife are originals not to
be met with but in Catholic countries; both bigots to excess, but each
in a different way. In the husband, this disposition has assumed a
silent and gloomy cast of character, while in his wife it bears all the
symptoms of tenderness. The husband has filled the whole house, and
especially his own apartment, with images of saints, resembling an
entire collection of the little Augsburg toys so well known in Germany.
In fulfilment of a vow, he mutters his prayers three times a day before
these idols, an occupation which daily employs two full hours. He also
imposes on himself very painful mortifications, talks very little, reads
gloomy books, and remains whole hours with his eyes shut, so that he is
on the high road to become either a madman or a saint. The wife's
fanaticism is much more social, and her pious imaginations bear the
stamp of the mildness and softness of her sex. She has got herself
received a "slave of the Holy Trinity" (esclava de la Santissima
Trinidad), of which she has obtained a certificate in form from her
confessor, and in consequence of which she is bound every day to
decorate a large picture with flowers and tapers, to repeat a certain
number of prayers before it, and to pay a certain sum weekly to her
confessor, an agent of the Trinity; yet all this does not seem to her
sufficient for salvation, and she has besides an image of the Holy
Virgin, which she very punctually supplies with all the necessary
habiliments, both for day and night, besides tapers, flowers and all
that can contribute to ornament the happy idol.

"This devout esclava is a little woman very affable and complaisant,
whose religious sentiments do not at all interfere with other
terrestrial feelings, while her impassive husband seems to have arrived
at all the spirituality of the blessed."

[Illustration: PLATE 84


MDW 1869]




THERE is something about the exterior of this fine building essentially
Florentine in style. The bold overhanging and crowning cornice, the
Ricardi-Palace kind of windows, the simplicity of the Mezzanine, and
indeed the introduction of a Mezzanine at all, associated with the
severity of the rectangular structure, massive in a noble simplicity,
rather recall the work of the grand masters of Tuscan Architecture at
the end of the fifteenth century, than any styles, Plateresque or
Greco-Roman, one recognises as peculiarly Spanish.

The name of the architect appears to have been lost, but there is no
question as to the date of its erection, which is given by an
inscription which runs beneath a cornice in the interior, and states
that it was completed in "1551, reynando Donya Jona y Don Carlos su

The "Lonjas," or Exchanges, of Spain, constitute an important and
interesting class of buildings, dating, from mediæval times in the most
commercial of the towns on the seaboard, and from the Renaissance period
in those of the interior. The term Lonja, originally only implied a
"long place" or platform, the sort of spot in a town on which merchants
would meet, as on "the flags" at Liverpool. In process of time the
Lonjas came to be covered in, and converted into handsome "Exchanges."
The earliest structure of this class is, or rather was, at Barcelona.
All the fine old building of 1383, Mr. Street tells us, has "been
completely destroyed, with the one exception of its grand Hall, which
still does service as of old. This consists of three naves, divided by
lofty and slender columns, which carry stilted semi-circular arches. The
ceiling is flat ... and the dimensions about one hundred feet by
seventy-five." The "Casa Lonja" of Valencia, which Mr. Street has also
fully illustrated[53] is one of the prettiest of the late Gothic
buildings in Spain. It was erected between 1482 and the close of the
fifteenth century. The next important Lonja in point of date was the
Saragossan of 1551. The last was that of Seville built by Herrera
between 1585 and 1598, and certainly one of his best works. It was
avowedly built in rivalry with Gresham's Royal Exchange--completed in

To the interior of the fine building under notice I could not obtain
access, and have therefore to trust to Ponz's description of it. "It
forms," he says, "a splendid saloon with an internal double gallery of
Doric columns and arches, to the number of fifty." Within it are erected
an altar to, and statue of, the guardian angel, in fact the building had
its Lararium. Ponz mentions, further, many paintings. These appear no
longer to exist, since all I could learn by personal inquiry on the spot
was that the place, having long been used as a carpenter's shop and
warehouse was now absolutely empty and unused. I fear therefore that the
"Angelo Custode" has had too much to do, and has broken down under his

[Illustration: PLATE 85


MDW 1869]




THIS house, originally a Gothic one, in some of its earliest details,
still acknowledges its allegiance to the noble family of the Torrellas,
its founders. Their arms, with a lion, and the three little towers which
pun heraldically upon their name, as charges, still exist upon a Gothic
escutcheon over one of the doorways. The house is locally stated, I know
not on what authority, to have been occupied, and altered by a company
of Genoese merchants, whence, no doubt, its popular name "de Comercio."
It is situated in the Calle de Sant' Jago, and is now the property of
the Marquis de Ayerve.

Although retaining the usual Saragossan bracket-capitals and "Anillos,"
in the shape of quasi bases and dies or pedestals united, the symmetry
of the plan and the regularity of the cinque-cento ornament and
Arabesque of the panels and pilasters certainly bear out the tradition
of the Genoese occupation and alteration of an original mediæval
structure early in the sixteenth century.

At that time, and for nearly a couple of centuries afterwards, the bulk
of the commercial transactions of Spain were administered by foreigners,
principally at first Italians, and subsequently Flemings and Frenchmen.
The expulsion of the Moors, the persecutions of the Jews, and the
pouring in of American silver opened up a splendid field in Spain,
during this period, for the trafficking talents of people endowed with
greater activity and commercial genius than the Spaniards themselves
possessed. Their function was to despise trade, and use, but detest, the
foreigners, whose aptitude for work supplied the wants engendered by one
of their besetting sins--laziness. "Ociedad, raiz de los vicios, y
sepulchro de las virtudes," as Marcos Obregon exclaims. "En quatro
cosas," he continues, "gasta la vida el ocioso, en dormir sin tiempo, en
comer sin sagon, en solicitar quietas, en murmurar de todos."[54]

The following are the Countess d'Aulnois' comments on the effects of the
mixed jealousy and laziness of the Spaniards in her time--the latter
part of the seventeenth century.

"All strangers," she says, "what services soever they may have done, the
Spaniards ought to fear them, they considering themselves and interests
only, in such a manner that the Italians and Flemings, that are this
king's subjects, are used no more favourably than if born under another
master. If they pretend to imployments, either at Court or in the
armies, they are told they are not natural Spaniards who engross all, as
well to keep up the glory of the nation, as out of diffidence of others,
whom they in a manner declare incapable of all trust because not born in
Spain; this country, nevertheless, abounds in strangers, but they are
only artificers and mercenaries invited by gain, and that meddle with
nothing but their peddling traffick. It is thought that there are above
forty thousand French in Madrid, who, wearing the Spanish habit, and
calling themselves Burgundinians, Walloons and Lorraines, keep up
commerce and manufacture; it concerns them to conceal their country,
for if it be discovered, they are obliged to pay a daily Pole-money of
about a penny to the town, and, any bad success happening to the
publick, appearing in the streets, are liable to a thousand insolencies,
even to blows.

"They that know what number of strangers are in this town, report, that
would they undertake it, they might make themselves masters, and drive
out the Spaniards."

[Illustration: PLATE 86

1869 MDW





THE great dimensions of this house, and its massive strength and
solidity are no bad emblems of the old sturdiness, wealth, and pride of
the Aragonese nobility, whose Plateresque architecture "differed" as Mr.
O'Shea justly remarks, "in many points from its countertype the Seville
Moro-Italian, or strictly Andalusian style, applied to private
dwellings." Although apparently far ruder in execution than either of
the other two houses I sketched--that of the Infanta and that known as
de Comercio--in the same city, I have little doubt that this is of
considerably later date. The florid Spanish Plateresque of the former,
and the cinque-cento carving of the latter, took precedence of the more
regular Greco-Roman architecture aimed at by the architect of the house
now under notice. The retention of the bracket capital in lieu of either
arches or a lengthened column, and of the "anillo" or ring dividing the
shaft into two heights, illustrate the way in which local habits
interfered with the adoption of the rigid rules prescribed by the
writers on architecture, and practised by contemporary architects, of
the Herrera type.

Considering the terrible "fortunes of war," to which Saragossa has been
exposed, and its frightful hand to hand fighting in the heart of the
city, it is only wonderful that so much of the past should still linger
within the lines of defence. If the ruinous sieges have left Saragossa
poorer than they found her, they certainly do not appear to have left
her weaker or less fierce. She struck me as being poorer and prouder
than any other city I visited in Spain. At the same time, both men and
women show a hardy activity and lively inclination to pugnacity I did
not see elsewhere. The only answer I got from a Madrileño to my question
as to "why the Saragossans did not work?" was, that "they preferred
fighting," adding that "while they would look hard at a peseta before
they would undertake even a trifling job for it, they would at any time
do a good day's fighting for one half of that coin."

[Illustration: PLATE 87



MDW 1869





THE quaint little animal, or rather conventionalised notion of an
animal, which I found in an out of the way "Plazuela," or "little
place," of Saragossa, doing duty as a knocker, furnishes a good
illustration of the ready dexterity in his craft of the old Spanish
smith and brazier. Of splendid bronze work (in spite of the intrinsic
value of the material which has no doubt led to the fusion of thousands
of treasures of Art all over the Peninsula) Spain yet possesses
invaluable treasures. Amongst these the most salient which occur to my
memory as single pieces, are the magnificent eleven gilt life-size
portrait statues of the greatest of the Spanish Royal Family from
Charles V. to Philip II. with which Pompeio Leoni decorated the
"Entierros Reales" of the Escorial--and the same sculptor's still finer
statues of the celebrated prime minister and favourite, the Duqué de
Lerma, and his Duqueza, founders of the Convent of San Pablo, at
Valladolid, whence they have been transferred to the museum of that
city. As semi-architectural, semi-sculpturesque works in bronze,
occasionally with an admixture of iron upon a large scale, of course the
most important and abundant are the late Rejas, or metal screens, of
the great Spanish churches and cathedrals. Of these, ample notices are
given by both Ford and O'Shea--authorities, at once so excellent, and so
readily accessible, as to render unnecessary any more on my part than a
passing reference to them.

Another form in which copper and bronze have been well and plentifully
used by the Spaniards is in the shape of coverings and strengthenings to
doors. In this guise the models have been mainly derived from the Moors
whose doors may generally, whether in wood or metal, be regarded as
perfection itself, for beauty, strength, and fitness for the
circumstances under which they have been used. The Spaniards (at Toledo
Cathedral for example) have produced many admirable doors in which, by
the judicious strengthening of the joiner's work with embossed and
occasionally perforated bronze plates, they have combined strength with
moderate substance, and the appearance of great richness with fairly
simple and not costly labour.

[Illustration: PLATE 88


MDW 1869]




THE interest of every other building in Lerida altogether pales before
that of its noble, but now much desecrated Cathedral. Its ancient
glories may be well studied in Mr. Street's pages, but its present
humiliation can only be appreciated upon the spot. Toiling up from the
city through streets and open platforms on the hill-side, thronged with
soldiers, gipsies, beggars, and ragged boys innumerable, the traveller
at last arrives, not at a church, but at a monster-barrack. In lieu of a
sacristan he has to engage the services of a corporal as Cicerone, and
with the consent of, I am bound to say, an exceedingly polite Spanish
officer, he is free to examine, at his leisure, a Cathedral which, as
Mr. Street says, "is in itself worth the journey from England." Its
construction, and that of its splendid cloister, occupied almost the
whole of the thirteenth century, and the vastness and regularity of its
plan, its solid and perfect execution, and the just proportion of its
structural and ornamental details certainly, to my mind, justify the
praise bestowed upon them by that accomplished architect.

It was sad to see such a building cut about by the insertion of floors
and partitions, and to hear the piquant, not to say ribald, jokes,
"refranes, seguidillas" and songs of the soldiers, echoing from vaulting
which once rang only with peals from the organ, and chants and hymns
from the priests and people.

As my stay was bound to be short in Lerida, and I remembered that Mr.
Street had done full justice to the Cathedral, I looked elsewhere for a
subject for my note-book, and found it in the picturesque tower of the
Church of San Lorenzo, given by my eighty-eighth sketch.

The legend runs that this Church, and that of San Juan, were originally
mosques; and that after the taking of the city from the Moors in 1149,
they were applied to Christian uses. I am inclined to think this
probable, although the detail is not anywhere Mahommedan, so far as the
darkness of the interior would allow me to form any opinion. The great
thickness of the walls, the mode of lighting, the form and proportions
of the entrance archways (shown in my sketch) and the materials and mode
of building of the base of the tower all seem to favour the supposition
of an original Moorish construction. The octagonal form of tower is a
favourite feature of this district, and occurs on a grand scale in the
old Cathedral. The upper portion, at least, of this tower of San
Lorenzo, may probably date from early in the fifteenth century.

[Illustration: PLATE 89






AS Prescott[55] observes, "The City of Barcelona, which originally gave
its name to the county of which it was the capital, was distinguished
from a very early period by ample municipal privileges. After the union
with Aragon in the twelfth century, the monarchs of the latter kingdom
extended towards it the same liberal legislation; so that by the
thirteenth, Barcelona had reached a degree of commercial prosperity
rivalling that of any of the Italian Republics. She divided with them
the lucrative commerce with Alexandria; and her port thronged with
foreigners from every nation, became a principal emporium in the
Mediterranean for the spices, drugs, perfumes, and other rich
commodities of the East, whence they were diffused over the interior of
Spain and the European Continent."

Amongst its other merits was that of having established in 1401 the
first bank of Exchange and deposit in Europe--as well as of having
compiled the first written code amongst the Moderns of Maritime law. Her
great merchants were "magnificos" ennobled, not degraded as in Castile,
by connection with trade.

The long civil war which began in 1462 and ended with the surrender of
the city to King Juan in 1472 was the first great check the city
received in its splendid career of prosperity.

The house I have sketched was doubtless well adapted to such troublous
times, affording comparative safety on its lower floors and comparative
air and comfort as its occupants mounted higher and higher. It was
probably built shortly after the middle of the fifteenth century,
revealing here and there traces of a French mason's handicraft. It
follows the type, not of the merchant's, but of the cavalier's house.
Such towers, half residence, half fortress, were, especially in the
south of Europe, far more numerous than one may now be justified in
supposing; and the more frequently Italian street views in pictures and
illuminated manuscripts are studied, the more natural and usual appears
what we now fancy to be strange and rare. With the introduction of
Renaissance architecture, the character of these quasi-mediæval
structures changed altogether.

Navagiero[56] writing of the condition of Barcelona in 1524, says that
"the houses are good and commodious, built of stone and not of earth, as
are those of the rest of Catalogna. Although lying on the sea it has no
port, but an arsenal, in which many galleys were wont to be constructed,
now there are none. Bread and wine are scarce, but of every kind of
fruit there is abundance. The cause is said to be that the land is
stripped of men through the war with King John on account of his son Don

Depopulated the city may have been, and its commerce may, no doubt, have
suffered in consequence, but the Catalonian character was energetic, and
the city still preserved much of its previously accumulated wealth.
Merchants too have a knack of prospering in troublous times, especially
those who thrive on profits upon imports. Hence we still find merchants'
houses of great comfort, although evidently constructed during the evil
days of Barcelona. Of one of these I furnish (in my ninety-sixth sketch)
a good example, offering an interesting theme for comparison with the
sketch now given.

[Illustration: PLATE 90


MDW 1869]




WITHIN the ancient "Palacio de la Diputacion" is preserved the elaborate
late Gothic Chapel of St. George (protector of Catalonia) with a small
but highly wrought entrance from the arcading on the first floor of the
Patio de la Audiencia, represented in my sketch. This Patio is so called
because its arcades, in which habitually sit many lawyers, and saunter
many clients, lead to the Courts of Justice, in which causes are tried.
The existence of this Chapel has, for ages, given a sort of prescriptive
right to the public to invade the Patio, the Chapel, and its precincts,
upon St. George's day. Of the gay scene which then takes place
Parcerisa[57] has given an animated lithograph, showing the very
different aspect it then wears to any it habitually presents.

Under any circumstances, however, its architecture, which is bold, even
to the verge of rashness, gives it a permanent interest. It is a subject
for wonder, that any structure in which the main supports of a heavy
third story appear so insignificant as do the little marble columns
(about two inches in diameter only) of the first floor of this Patio
should have existed from mediæval days to our times. The truth, no
doubt, is that the main weight of the walls of the top story, and of the
roof, is carried by means of massive beams, acting as cantilevers, back
to the walls which form the internal faces of the arcades, a device not
quite maintaining that beautiful "lamp of truth" we are taught to look
for in all mediæval designs. The users of the arcades have lately
procured the building up of many of the arches, leaving windows to light
the arcades. I have taken the liberty of omitting all of these but one,
as I was desirous of showing, not what the lawyers have done, but what
the original architects devised, no doubt as a "tour de force."

I was told upon the spot that this building up of the arches, the
supports of which certainly appeared to my eye far too fragile for
beauty, was a matter not of choice but of necessity.

[Illustration: PLATE 91



MDW 1869]




IF Catalonian architecture differs from ordinary Spanish, and it is
quite manifest from my sketch that it does in detail, as I have already
shown that it does in system, the character of the Catalonian men and
women differs even more markedly from that of the Spanish. While one of
the latter in his laziness, as Marcos Obregon says, "ni come con gusto,
ni duerme con quietud, ni descansa con reposo," the former, on the
contrary, eat with appetite, sleep with tranquillity, and throw off
their cares healthily in rest. The latter, in fact, chew but scarcely
digest the bread of idleness, while the former thrive on that of
industry. As a natural consequence, there is no love lost between the
two races. The Castilian regards as mean and debasing the cultivation of
the very mechanical arts, excellence in which the Catalonian well knows
to be the source, not only of wealth, but of power and honour as well.
To Barcelona belongs the credit of having been one of the first cities
in the world, out of France, to establish gratuitous schools of design
in which poor youths were taught specially to design for manufactures.
Both Laborde and Whittaker[58] testify to the extent and excellence of
these schools at the end of the last century and beginning of the
present. The latter, writing in 1803, says, "we visited the Academy of
Arts instituted in the Palace of Commerce, and supported in the most
magnificent manner by the merchants of Barcelona. We were conducted
through a long suite of apartments, in which seven hundred boys were
employed in copying and designing; some of them, who display superior
talents, are sent to Rome, and to the Academy of St. Fernando at Madrid;
the others are employed in different ways by the merchants and
manufacturers. The rooms are large and commodious, and are furnished
with casts of celebrated statues and every proper apparatus. We observed
a few drawings of considerable merit, produced by the scholars; but the
grand picture before us of liberality and industry, amply rewarded our
visit; and was the more striking to us, for having of late been
continually accustomed to lament the traces of neglect and decay, so
visibly impressed on every similar institution in the impoverished
cities of Italy."

[Illustration: PLATE 92



MDW 1869]




THIS quaint and very late specimen of Gothic, although Ecclesiastical
enough in its sculpture, is purely domestic in its architecture. The
latter is in its character rather French or Burgundian than Spanish,
while the former was, I have little doubt, the work of a native of the
Peninsula. So far as I could see, no preparation had ever been made for
glazing this window, and the wooden shutters, both in their form and
mode of joinery, were rather Moorish than Spanish. No one can be
surprised at such symptoms of internationality, in works executed at a
sea-port like Barcelona--in which the Arts, like the prevalent language,
may have had a "lingua franca" of cosmopolitan freedom from prejudice.
In most of such Gothic work, and indeed in every kind of building in
Spain, however fantastic and not unfrequently over intricate the detail
may be, we scarcely ever observe any flimsiness, or want of due
substance in the constructional parts. In this matter the Spanish
architects merit, for attention to the erection of permanent structures
in all their styles, the praise bestowed by Mr. Street upon those mainly
who wrought in the mediæval ones. Of those last, the Spanish critics,
who have been sometimes accused of overduly estimating what they call
Greco-Roman architecture, early showed what I regard as a fair
appreciation. Antonio Ponz, for instance, in the last century certainly
praised Berruguete, Covarrubbias, and even Herrera in very glowing
terms, but I know few writers who have better expressed an opinion as to
the fitness of the mediæval styles, and especially the old Spanish
system of the sturdiest construction, for ecclesiastical purposes.

Of this "Arquitectura Gótica," he says,[59] "nadie puede con razón
decir, que falta en la majestad y el decoro: al contrario parece
inventada para dárselo á los Templos, y casas del Señor. Los mas
insignes Arquitectos han confessado su solidez, y han tenido mucho que
admirar en el capricho de sus adornos, y en la prolixidad con que están
acabadas todas sus partes. Muchos países de Europa se precian de sus
monumentos, y en España los hay magnificos, como son la Catedral de
Burgos, la de Sevilla, Valencia, y otras."

[Illustration: PLATE 93



MDW 1869]




THE mission to Spain of the Count de Laborde on the part of the French
Government at the moment when Napoleon I. thought he had the whole
country within his grasp, was essentially economic in its object. Hence
his accounts of, and investigations into, its past, present and future
capabilities for trade are of far greater value than his topographical
and archæological investigations, most of which are founded on the
writings of Ponz and other well known authorities. While Spain was at
the height of its prosperity, Seville and subsequently Cadiz commanded
the South American trade, but Barcelona remained as it had been from a
very early date, the great maritime means of communication and
interchange of commodities between Spain and the rest of Europe. The
business transactions carried on at its Lonja, or Bourse, and its Town
Hall were very extensive, and these buildings were of commensurate
importance. Our present sketch represents an internal doorway of the
last named building, and the cosmopolitan character of its architecture,
of probably the commencement of the sixteenth century, will be manifest
at a glance. The following is Laborde's[60] epitome of the history of
that great foreign trade of which Barcelona once shared with Valencia
and Almeria almost a complete monopoly.

"The state of Spanish manufactures, in the fifteenth and sixteenth
century, will form a tolerably accurate clue to that of commerce at the
same period. The latter was then in a most flourishing condition, and
its ramifications extended to all parts of Europe. The cities of Medina
del Campo, Rio Seco, Burgos, Segovia, Toledo, Cuenca, Granada, Almeria,
Cordova, Jaen, Seville, Barcelona, Valencia, Ciudad Real, and Sant'
Jago, carried on a very extensive commerce. Almeria, Valencia and
Barcelona pushed their commercial concerns into Syria, Egypt, Barbary,
and the Archipelago. These cities were equally important, in a
mercantile view, with the Hanseatic towns. Barcelona had a very great
foreign trade; after the commencement of the fourteenth century; under
the Kings of Aragon it equipped and maintained armed ships for the
defence of the Catalonian coast and the protection of its trade. It
established factories in the extreme parts of Europe and Asia, as far as
the river Tanais; kept a consul, who represented the city, and who was
presented to Tamerlane the Great in the year 1397, when he returned in
triumph from his military expedition into Muscovy and the Kipzac, a
country lying east and west of the Caspian Sea and the river Volga.

"Spain at that period had a large navy, and its shipping trade was
immense. If the account of Thomé Cano in his 'Arte de construir Naves'
be admitted, it possessed a thousand merchant vessels at a time when
the European marine was far less extensive than it is at present."

To return for a moment to the picturesque doorway I have sketched. Its
sculpture, which in execution is very good of its kind, is as completely
Renaissance in character as its architecture is still Gothic; it in fact
corresponds to Mudejar work, with this difference, that the admixture
with the Gothic in this case is Plateresque, while in the Mudejar work
it is Moorish.

[Illustration: PLATE 94



MDW 1869]




IN the vicinity of the old church of Sta. Lucia yet exist at Barcelona
several interesting stone houses of the fifteenth century. Upon the
doors of these are to be still found specimens of excellent iron work of
the same period. It is not however to be supposed that the Barcelonese
possessed any very special gifts in this line, since evidences of almost
equal dexterity are to be found scattered over the whole extent of the
Peninsula. In the north and south alike, the "Rejas," or vast screens,
sometimes of iron only, sometimes of brass and bronze, and sometimes of
mixed metals, are yet to be found of great importance and interest. The
most famous of the "Rejeros," as they were called, or makers of Rejas,
were Francesco de Salamanca who flourished in 1533; Christobal Andino of
1540; Francesco de Vilalpando of 1561; and Juan Bautista Celma of 1600.
Because these men's names have become "household words" amongst all
students of Spanish Art, it should not be forgotten that great men "to
fortune and to fame unknown" lived before those whose good deeds and
works encountered fitting record. By some of these were executed many of
the various admirable specimens of metal work commented upon in terms
of high praise by Ford, Street, O'Shea and other writers. The finest
metal worker who really startled his contemporaries by the beauty and
splendour of his workmanship, its "elaboracion y prolixedad," was the
celebrated Henrique de Arfé, gold and silversmith of Leon, founder of a
family which for several generations supplied artist-workmen in the
precious metals whose fame rests upon the same platform as that of
Cellini and Caradosso di Milano. His principal works were, according to
the account given to us of them by his grandson Juan, in the "Varia
Commensuracion," the custodias (or "ciboria" for holding the sanctified
wafer) of the Cathedrals of Leon, Cordova, Toledo, and Sahagun. Of
crosses, paxes, censers, pixes, feretories, candelabra, monstrances,
lamps, &c., he scattered specimens broadcast throughout Spain. In all of
them he showed, as his descendant declared, "El valor de su ingenio
raro, con mayor efecto que puede escribirse."

As the present is the last occasion on which, in this volume at least, I
may have to speak of mediæval metal work, and especially iron work, I
may be allowed to allude very briefly to the two principal tools by
which it was worked, viz.: the hammer and the pliers. In England and in
France the first was used in preference at least to the last; while in
Germany, Burgundy and the Low Countries, the last was specially
affected, and by its means foliage, both natural and conventional, was
rendered with great skill, facility and taste. The Spaniards, as is
proved by the present sketch, and that which follows it, were at an
early period dexterous in the use of both tools; uniting the massive
style engendered by the predominant use of the hammer with the more
florid and fanciful manner springing out of the light and convoluted
forms created by a more liberal use of the pliers.

[Illustration: PLATE 95


MDW 1869]




IN this fanciful little object we meet with another illustration of the
spirit of humour as well as of dexterity in their craft, manifested in
abundance by the excellent old ironworkers of Spain. Still good as the
blacksmiths unquestionably were, the triumphs of Spanish metal working
were chiefly embodied in the precious metals. It is rather in the
cabinets of connoisseurs than in the churches of the country that
specimens should be sought for to justify the splendid reputation those
artist-workmen enjoyed in the palmy days of the Spanish Court and
Church. Everywhere the traveller comes now only upon exhausted
treasuries and emptied sacristies. Even since the days of Ford's
inimitable handbook the spoiler has been rampant, and of the custodias
and virus, the "blandones" and "portapaces" in which he delighted, so
far as my perquisitions extended, scarcely a vestige was to be met with.
Even since my sketches were made, the contents of the treasury of
"Nuestra Señora del Pilar" have been brought to the hammer; and the
pressure of other engagements alone prevented my return to Saragossa
empowered to secure a share of those artistic curiosities for our
National collection.

No doubt many beautiful specimens of Gothic precious metal work once
adorned the principal mediæval ecclesiastical structures of Spain, but
it was not till a later date that the most important and famous works,
other than those already noticed (by Henrique de Arfé,) were produced. A
brief notice of some of these from the pen of a contemporary may not be
altogether uninteresting.

"Although Renaissance architecture was introduced in Spain in a fully
developed form before the middle of the sixteenth century, it was never
thoroughly understood and adopted, we are told by Juan de Arphe y
Villafañe,[61] in ecclesiastical plate, 'until my father, Antonio de
Arfé, began to use it in the Custodia of Santiago in Galicia and in that
of Medina de Rioseco, and in the portable shrine of Leon.'

"In all his work he evidenced an imperfect knowledge of good style,
introducing fanciful columns of irregular proportions according to his
own fancy. Juan Alvarez, who was a native of Salamanca, died in the
prime of his life in the service of Don Carlos of Austria. For this
reason he left no evidence of his rare talent in any public performance.
Alonso Beceril obtained reputation in his turn on account of having made
in his studio the Custodia of Cuenca. This work secured the approbation
of every artist in Spain who at that time was really learned in Art.
Juan de Orna was an excellent plate-worker in Burgos. Juan Rinz,[62] a
disciple of my grandfather, made the Custodias of Jaen, Baza, and that
of San Pablo of Seville. He was the first who used the lathe for
forming plate in Spain; he set the fashion for the principal pieces of
silver services for the table, and instructed workmen throughout
Andalusia. All the above artists, and others, began to give elegant
shapes to the principal objects made in silver and gold for the use of
the church, each one improving in symmetry and general excellence upon
the works of his predecessors until those types became established which
I am now about to describe."

Juan de Arphe proceeds, after complimenting Philip II. on his majestic
works at the Escorial, to give the forms and proportions of the five
orders, and their application to every variety of silversmith's work,
recognised as suitable for employment in sacred offices and
ecclesiastical rites and ceremonies in his time.

[Illustration: PLATE 96



MDW 1869]




IN noticing my ninety-first sketch I took occasion to comment on the
difference which existed between Spanish and Catalonian architecture,
and Spanish and Catalonian character. Both are pressed upon one's
attention in looking over a house which, like the one I have sketched in
the Calle de Moncara at Barcelona, appears to have been the comfortable
home of a well-to-do merchant, with roomy stores and warehouses on the
ground floor facing the entrance, domestic offices to the left, and
counting-house and living rooms on the first floor, with bedrooms above.
As is becoming in the house of one welcoming alike buyer and seller, we
find a total absence of that almost Asiatic privacy which the Spaniards
generally, and especially the Andalusians, appear in their homes to have
adopted from Moorish models. Under the old Counts of Barcelona the
architecture of the city had no doubt been mainly French. After the
annexation of the city to the crown of Aragon, the architecture became
tinctured with detail corresponding with much yet to be seen at
Saragossa and elsewhere in Aragon, and finally after the consolidation
of the whole monarchy by the marriage of Ferdinand and Isabella, and
the expulsion of the Moors, Barcelonese architecture fell under the
Plateresque revival and the subsequent Greco-Roman mania which affected
all Spain. The date of erection of the house of which I now give a
sketch, appears to have brought it under the second of these two sets of
conditions. In the twisted column, its cap and base, and some other
features, we may recognise the Aragonese style, while in the staircase
and some of the windows there is to be traced, I consider, a decided
French influence.

In spite of legislative assimilation, the Catalonians have never been
able to cordially adopt a Spanish nationality. They have never warmly
responded to the caresses of their monarchs. Even as late as 1802, when
Charles IV. paid a visit to Barcelona with the infamous Godoy, and a
retinue like an army, and drew some eighty thousand strangers to the
city, a visitor in the following year records that "the Catalans felt a
generous pride in observing that no accident or quarrel occurred on that
occasion, and no life was lost, _notwithstanding the enmity subsisting
between them and the Spaniards_."[63] Whittaker further illustrates this
mutual jealousy and spiteful feeling by the following characteristic
anecdote:--"This enmity," he says, "is carried to such a height that
when it was proposed to strike a medal in honour of the King's visit,
the Academy of Arts of St. Fernando, at Madrid, were requested to
superintend the execution; but this body, actuated by a most illiberal
and unworthy spirit, endeavoured to excuse themselves, and made every
possible delay, which so enraged the Catalans, that they withdrew the
business from their hands, and trusted it to their own academy. The
medal was produced in a month, and remains a record rather of their
loyal zeal, than of their ability in the fine arts."

[Illustration: PLATE 97


MDW 1869]




I AM induced to give this one little specimen of what the Spaniards call
"Churriguerismo" for these reasons: 1stly, because it is a prettier
example than usual of the style practised early in the eighteenth
century by the fashionable José Churriguerra--the William Kent of
Spanish architecture; 2ndly, because it affords a good specimen of the
comfortable house of a rich Barcelonese merchant of the last century;
and 3rdly, on account of the singular arrangement of the jointing of the
masonry, which converts the apparently double arch into very little else
than one tolerably stable spanning of the whole space.

In describing my eighty-fifth sketch I alluded to the fact that the
trade of Spain gradually fell into the hands mainly of foreigners, and
especially at first of the Genoese, the difference between them and the
native Spanish merchant being that while the former were crafty,
industrious and dishonest, the latter were stupid and lazy, but (except
in the matter of smuggling) strictly honest. Plenty of witness is borne
by different writers to both facts. Quevedo, for instance, abounds in
hits at the Genoese and other Italians. "Give an Italian to the Devil,"
he says in his "El Alguazil Endemoniado," "and the old gentleman won't
try to take him, for an Italian would take away the Devil himself."[64]
Elsewhere in the same satire he cautions his readers telling them that
they are bound to know "that in Spain the mysteries of the accounts of
the Genoese are disastrous for the millions that come from the Indies,
and that the cannons of their pens are batteries for purses. There are
no incomes which, if they once get into the strokes of their pens, and
the inkholders of their inkstands, escape without drowning."[65]

The poco-curante honesty of the Spaniard on the other hand, (the
"poco-curanteeism" at least an inheritance from the East,) kept business
in his hands which, but for his reliability, ought according to every
recognised law of probability in trade, to have left him before it did.
Laborde, a writer by no means inclined to take too favourable a view of
the national character, confesses that "Spanish probity is proverbial,
and that it conspicuously shines in commercial relations. Good faith and
punctuality are generally prevalent among merchants, the instances of
deception, negligence, fraudulent dealing and non-fulfilment of
engagements, so general in the trading world, being unknown to and not
practised amongst them." As an illustration, Laborde mentions some
coined silver sent home in the year 1654, which was paid away by the
Spanish merchants, and was subsequently discovered to have been debased.
Not only were the Spanish merchants eager to make good the loss to those
who had dealt with them, but having discovered the culprit they obtained
his conviction, and the wretched man was publicly burnt alive. In spite
of honesty, however, trade and commerce will not thrive in any country
in which they are looked upon as degrading. A Catalonian might work,
since he was but half a Spaniard. A Castilian, however, was quite
willing to pay any one who would work for him, and as with his increase
of wealth his wants became more and more artificial and luxurious, the
swarms of foreigners he harboured about him to do his bidding, increased
to an unprecedented extent. The Countess D'Aulnois gives a capital
account of the state of things in this respect in her time (circâ 1679).

"Spain," she says,[66] "cannot well be without commerce with France, not
only on the frontiers of Biscai and Arragon, where it hath been almost
ever permitted, but through the whole country where it is prohibited,
for Provence hath ever had correspondencies in the kingdom of Valentia,
by its necessity of the others commodities; and for the same reason
Britaign, Normandy, and other parts on the ocean have continually sent
theirs to Cadiz and Bilbo. I speak not of corn and stuffs of all sorts
brought from that country, but even of ironwork and swords; by which it
appears a mistake to think that in these dayes the best come of Spain.
No more being now made at Toledo, few but forrain are used, unless a
very small quantity that come from Biscai, which are excessively dear.

"It is, moreover, hard to imagine how much Spain suffers for want of
manufactures. So few artificers remain in its towns, that native
commodities are carried abroad to be wrought in forrain countries. Wools
and silks are transported raw, and being spun and weaved in England,
France, and Holland, return thither at dear rates. The land itself is
not tilled by the people it feeds. In seed time, harvest, and vintage,
husbandmen come from Bearn and other parts of France, who get a great
deal of money by sowing and reaping their corn, and dressing and cutting
their vines. Carpenters and masons are (for the most part) also
strangers, who will be paid treble what they can get in their own
country. In Madrid there is hardly a waterbearer that is not a
foreigner, such are also the greatest part of shoomakers and taylors,
and it is believed the third of these come only to get a little money
and afterwards return home; but none thrive so much as architects,
masons, and carpenters. Almost every house hath wooden windows (here
being no glass), and a balcony jutting into the street."

[Illustration: PLATE 98


MDW 1869]




IF my last sketch illustrated the regular rich merchant's house of the
eighteenth century--symbol of peace and plenty, police and
protection--the kind of residence I now submit to the reader's attention
is cast in quite a different key. It is essentially a fighter's house,
the only kind of structure in which (before the use of gunpowder) a
family could hold its own for months of foreign siege or protracted
street fighting. Gerona has always been, as we shall have occasion to
recognize in examining its fine old walls, almost a frontier city,
struggled for repeatedly by Christian and by Moor. The house I have
sketched is one of the earliest and most complete of its class I have
ever seen, the lower half alone having been materially altered from its
original construction. It dates in all probability from the middle of
the twelfth century, and yet stands strong and stalwart in a quarter of
the city in which very little of anything not comparatively of yesterday
meets the wandering visitor's eye. On comparing this sketch with that
from a house at Barcelona (No. 96) erected at least three hundred years
later, it will be found that the type furnished by the earliest in date
had changed but little in the interval. Hence we may fairly infer that
the conditions of insecurity affecting domestic life had scarcely varied
in Catalonia during the whole of that term. In fact, it was not until
the invention of printing spread abroad the elements of education, and
brought about changes in social systems, that men began to dream of
peace and security ensured by other preservatives from danger than heavy
armour and fortress-like houses.

[Illustration: PLATE 99


MDW 1869]




THE west front of the Cathedral at Gerona stands at the top of a noble
flight of eighty-six steps, and these ascended, platforms are reached on
the west and south of the splendid pile from which fine views over the
city and its environs are obtained. The sketch now under notice was
taken from the southern platform, the wall enclosing which upon the west
cuts off something like thirty feet in height of the fine old house
which forms the principal object in the sketch. Its uppermost story,
with its continuous arcade, has a symmetrical and agreeable effect, and
appears to have been the only portion of the building really suitable
for habitation according to modern views as to the value of abundant
light and air. On the right is seen the cathedral well, the waters of
which have no doubt alike served for the bodily and spiritual ablutions
of Mahommedan and Christian, since cathedral, mosque, and then again
cathedral, have existed in turn upon the same site from the days of
Charlemagne to the present time. During the Moorish occupation in the
eighth century the Christians were permitted to worship in the original
church of San Feliu (Felix) the truncated spire of the successor to
which appears in my sketch between the old house, and the south-west
angle of the cathedral, shown on the extreme right. The present church,
dedicated to San Feliu, dates probably from the early part of the
fourteenth century. Its history has been clearly traced by Mr. Street
from a comparison of the building with the particulars given and
documents quoted in the "España Sagrada." "The steeple is said to have
been finished in 1392. Pedro Zacoma having acted as architect as late as
A.D. 1376." It was struck by lightning in the year 1581, and has
remained ever since shorn of its fair proportions, as we now see it.

San Feliu, as he is popularly called, was an early Spanish Christian,
deacon to San Narciso, the Martyr, Protector and "Generalissimo" of the
See of Gerona.

[Illustration: PLATE 100


MDW 1869]




FROM the date at least on which Charlemagne captured Gerona from the
Moors, it has been a victim to the horrors of war; manned through all
history, and under every circumstance of siege and occupation, by men
and women of the sternest courage and determination it has been held
with the utmost tenacity, as really even more than Figueras (the actual
frontier town), the key to the easiest line of advance from France into
Spain. Hence the strength and interest of its fine old walls, which in
spite of every ancient and modern vicissitude, still retain more curious
features of middle age defence than, to the best of my belief, any other
city of Spain, with the exception of Avila. As will be seen from my
sketch, the apse of the fine old Romanesque church of San Pedro, which
actually forms a bulwark, has been raised so as to bring it into
practical fighting order; and the covered galleries for marksmen, with
bow and cross bow, matchlock and firelock, still extend from it to the
north and to the south in easily to be recognised, and still fairly
complete, galleries of well-sheltered communication. The present aspect
of the north of Gerona forms a fair pendant to the description Charles
Didier gives of its sister fortress to the side of France, Figueras. He
says, "Tout a un air d'abandon et de désolation; les casernes sont
magnifiques, mais désertes; les casemates spacieuses, mais vides; les
longues herbes de la solitude croissent partout, et la seule partie des
bâtiments qui soit aujourd'hui de première nécessité, l'infirmerie,
n'est point terminée; les pierres à moitié taillées jonchent le sol et
sont couvertes de mousse. J'errai longtemps seul dans ce silencieux
désert sans rencontrer personne; de loin en loin seulement, j'apercevais
quelque sentinelle perdue à la pointe d'une demi-lune et nonchalamment
appuyée contre les canons et les mortiers; de gros rats rongeaient en
paix les affuts; ils se sont si bien emparés du lieu, que mon approche
les dérangeait à peine; je n'avais pas fait trois pas, qu'ils se
remettaient à l'oeuvre. Voilà sous quels traits l'Espagne apparaît au
voyageur qui vient de France, triste et frappante image d'une chute sans
exemple et d'une misère sans terme."[67]

One would have preferred receiving from any other than a Frenchman so
dreary a picture of the desolation mainly wrought by Frenchmen.
Returning to Gerona, to which Didier's description applies (as I have
already stated) nearly as well as to Figueras, in sight of which he may
have written it, we shall find Mr. Street no less strongly impressed
than I was with what Spain owes to France in the matter. "All this havoc
and ruin is owing," he says, "like so much that one sees in Spain, to
the action of the French troops during the Peninsular War." It is
however but just to the French to add that the Spaniards are not, like
them, endowed with wonderful recuperative energy.


[1] Von P. L. Berckenmeyern. Hamburg, 1731.

[2] "The Frenchman like an eagle. The German like a bear. The Italian
like a fox. The Spaniard like an elephant. The Englishman like a lion."

[3] Waring (John Burley) Architectural, Sculptural, and Picturesque
Studies of Burgos and its neighbourhood. Folio. London. 1851.

[4] Examples of Architectural Art in Italy and Spain. Folio. London.

[5] "Viaggio in Spagna," quoted by O'Shea, page 498.

[6] Examples of Ornamental Heraldry of the sixteenth century. London,
1867. Privately printed.

[7] Given at length under the No. XXXV in the Appendix to the First
Volume of the "Noticias de los Arquitectos y Architectura de España,
&c.," por Señor D. Eugenio Llaguno y Amirola, &c. Madrid, 1829.

[8] Carefully illustrated geometrically in the "Monumentos
Arquitectonicos." Madrid. Folio.

[9] See: "Historia de las ordenes Militares de S. Iago," por F. Caro de
Torres. Madrid, 1629. Folio.

[10] O'Shea. Page 236.

[11] Ingenious and diverting letters of "A Lady's Travels into Spain,"
London, 1720, Vol. I, page 308.

[12] See Colmenar's description of the condition of the University in

[13] London 1771, Vol. II., page 24.

[14] There is much in this very town of Avila in the beautiful old
church of San Vicente.

[15] Catálogo de la Real Armeria--siendo Director General, &c.--el S. D.
José Maria Marchesi--Madrid, 1849, pages 188-89.

[16] Les Délices de l'Espagne et du Portugal--Leide chez Pierre van der
Aa, 1706.

[17] See the true and topographical views given in the above work, and
the artistic and considerably embellished one by David Roberts in
Jennings' Landscape Annual for 1837.

[18] "Documentos," Vol. I. of the "Noticias" Appendix No. XXXVIII.

[19] Printed at Alcala in 1514-15 in 6 vols. folio.

[20] España Artistica y monumental de Villa Amil y Escosura, Vol. I.
page 82.

[21] Tome I., page 222. Bruxelles, 1837.

[22] The greater part of the above facts are verified by the inscription
which was placed upon the bridge by Alonzo the Wise, in 1252, and the
original of which is given by Cean Bermudez in his "Documentos" Vol. I.
Number XXIV.

[23] Noticias de los Arquitectos, &c. Par Amirola y Bermudez, Madrid,
1829. Vol. I. page 41.

[24] Noticias &c. Vol. I. page 79.

[25] A Journey to Mequinez. London, Jacob Tonson, 1725.

[26] Probably a son of the great Henrique de Egas, who died in 1534.

[27] O'Shea states (page 410) that the Infante Don Fernando, uncle of
Juan II., lodged in it in 1407.

[28] In the Street of the Abbots, all have _uncles_ none _fathers_.

[29] The Cathedral Canons have no _sons_, those they keep at home are
_little nephews_.

[30] "A Year's Journey through France and Part of Spain," by Philip
Thicknesse. Bath, 1777. Vol. I. pages 260-1.

[31] In his amusing "Tra los Montes." Bruxelles, 1843. Vol. II. page 44.

[32] Neu-vermehrter Curieuser Antiquarius. Hamburgh. 1731.

[33] Travels through Spain in the year 1775 and 1776, in which several
monuments of Roman and Moorish architecture are illustrated by accurate
drawings taken on the spot by Henry Swinburne, Esq. London. 4to. 1779.

[34] O'Shea adds the name of Cayon to that of Acero, describing the two
as descending from the Salamanca school, founded by Churriguera and

[35] There is a little discrepancy between Ford's and O'Shea's accounts,
the former says that it was given by the Republic of Genoa to Charles
V., the latter gives the facts as I have stated them.

[A] Miguel Mañara Vicentelo de Leca (1627-1679). Note of etext

[36] See, especially for Spain, his "Monuments Arabes et Moresques de
Cordoue, Séville et Grenade." Paris, 1832-3, and its
continuation--"Monuments Arabes d'Egypte de Syrie et d'Asie Mineure,"
1842-5, Paris. The above are essentially pictorial works, but in his
"Essai sur l'Architecture des Arabes et des Maures," &c., Paris, 1841,
he has discussed the whole subject historically with much ability.

[37] Plan section and elevation of the outer side of this Gateway, to a
large scale, will be found on Plate II. of Owen Jones's great work on
the Alhambra. I sketched the interior of this Gateway, mainly because
that was the only part of it which he had not given.

[38] A pretty coloured view from this very point will be found in M.
Girault de Prangey's "Choix d'Ornements moresques de l'Alhambra," Paris,
1842. Plate No. 3.

[39] An alabaster fountain probably occupied the centre of the Sala de

[40] It is but just to Señor Contréras to remark that the Poet's picture
was sketched before the date of his admirable conservatorship. He is a
true artist, and has done wonders in the way of restoration, completing
and as little as possible interfering with the marvellous picturesque
character of the noble old Palace.

[41] Calcutta, 1821.

[42] "A Journey to Mequinez, the residence of the present Emperor of Fez
and Morocco, on the occasion of Commodore Stewart's Embassy thither for
the redemption of the British Captives in the year 1711." London, Jacob
Tonson. 1725. A very interesting old book, the descriptions in which
carry the mind forcibly back to the Moorish occupation of Spain.

[43] For full information on the Glass of the Romans, the
Byzantine-Greeks, and the Arabs, of Damascus especially, see Mr.
Augustus Franks' account in Mr. J. B. Waring's beautiful work on the
Manchester Exhibition, Mr. Alexander Nesbitt's "Historical Notice"
Introductory to the Catalogue of Mr. Felix Slade's collection, M.
Bontemps' "Guide du Verrier," and M. Labarte's "Histoire des Arts
Industriels au moyen-âge et à l'Epoque de la Renaissance."

[44] Of course alluding to the ceiling, which is even more beautiful in
the same style, than that of the Hall of the Abencerrages, which, my
colleague, Mr. Owen Jones so perfectly reproduced in the Crystal Palace
at Sydenham.

[45] "The Kiblah is the point in the horizon towards which Mahommedans
turn in their prayers marking the place where Mecca stands. The Mihrab
is the enclosure before the Kiblah."

[46] See Mr. J. B. Waring's masterly sketches of the details of these
works of art.

[47] Who also states that in his time the drawings of the design by
Diego Siloe were yet extant, "Noticias de los Arquitectos y Arquitectura
de España." Madrid. 1829. Vol. I. page 199.

[48] "History of the Modern Styles of Architecture," by James Fergusson.
London. 1862. page 135.

[49] Mr. Street in referring to the usual practice in good mediæval iron
screens observes that in such "the ornament is reserved for open
traceried crestings, with bent and sharply cut crockets, for traceried
rails, and for the locks and fastenings." He mentions a very fine iron
screen, thirty feet high, as existing at Pamplona, the general design of
which seems to have a good deal in common with that of the "Reja de los
Reyes" at Granada. It appears, however, to be of earlier date, and
consequently more decidedly Gothic in character.

[50] "Varia Commensuracion." Sixth Edition, pages 221-222.

[51] Casts of these sculptures I caused to be placed in the surbase of
the Renaissance Court of the Crystal Palace.

[52] Viage de España. Vol. XV. page 79.

[53] "Gothic Architecture in Spain," page 270.

[54] "Marcos Obregon por el Maestro Vicente Espinel." Madrid. 1804.
Pages 40-41. (note of etext transcriber: sagon should read razón.)

[55] "History of the Reign of Ferdinand and Isabella the Catholic." New
York. 1845. Page cxi.

[56] Navagiero--"Il Viaggio fatto in Spagna." Venice. 1563. Page 3.

[57] "Recuerdos y Bellezas de España," por F. J. Parcerisa escrita y
documentada, por P. Piferrer y J. Pi y Margall. Cataluña. Tome II., page

[58] "Travels through Spain and Part of Portugal." Sherwood Collection.
London, 1818, page 281.

[59] Ponz, Antonio, "Viage de España." Third Edition. Madrid. 1787. Vol.
I. page 54.

[60] "A View of Spain." Translated from the French of Alexandre de
Laborde. London, 1809. Vol. IV., pp. 371-3.

[61] Even better known as "El Vandolino."

[62] "Varia Commensuracion para la escultura y Arquitectura, sexta
impresion." Madrid, 1773. Page 222.

[63] "Travels through Spain and Part of Portugal," by the Rev. G. D.
Whittaker in 1803. Sherwood's Collection, London, 1813, page 279.

[64] "Days al Diablo un Italiano, y no le toma el Diablo, por que ay
Italiano que tomara al Diablo."

[65] "Y haveys de saber que en España los misterios de las cuentas de
los Ginoveses, son dolorosos para los millones que vienen de las Indias,
y que los cañones de sus plumas son de bateria contra las bolsas, y no
ay renta que si la cogen en medio el tajo de sus plumas, y el jarama de
su tinta no la ahoguen." (The reader will observe the double meaning
which points Quevedo's sarcasm--"cañones" express at the same time
quills and cannons.)--"Sueños y Discursos por Don Francisco de Quevedo
Villegas Zaragoza." 1627. Page 19.

[66] "Letter of a Lady's Travels into Spain." London. Ninth Edition.

[67] "Une Année en Espagne," par Charles Didier. 1837.

[*] This should read: "¿Cuántos monumentos como el que acabamos de examinar
dejarémos nosotros en herencia à nuestros nietos?" (note of etext

[Etext transcriber note:]

Vicente Acera was corrected to Vicente Acero

The name of the city Alcalá (acute accent) de Henares is very often
printed ALCALA DE HEÑARES. (tilde on the N)

Duque is consistently printed Duqué (acute accent)

Guadalajara and Guadalaxara are used

Mih-ràb (grave accent) and Mih-ráb (acute accent) are used

Bosque (forest/woods) is printed bosqué (acute accent)

*** End of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "An Architect's Note-Book in Spain - principally illustrating the domestic architecture of that country." ***

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