Friday, February 9, 2018

01 Works, RELIGIOUS ART - Interpretation of the Bible! from the SPANISH GOLDEN AGE, With Footnotes - 82

Juan Martín Cabezalero (1633–1673)
Saint Ildephonsus Receiving The Chasuble From The Virgin.

According to legend, on 18 December 665 AD the Virgin appeared in a vision to Saint Ildephonsus, Archbishop of Toledo and vested him with an embroidered chasuble from Christ’s treasury. In this great canvas by the Madrilenian painter Juan Martín Cabezalero, Saint Ildephonsus, dressed as a simple cleric, kneels before the standing Virgin and embraces the chasuble that she holds before him, while a mystical light emanates from her halo, illuminating the cast of angels and virgin martyrs in attendance and defining the interior of Toledo Cathedral, where the miracle was said to have taken place.

Saint Ildefonsus, born circa 607, died 23 January 667, was a scholar and theologian who served as the metropolitan Bishop of Toledo for the last decade of his life. 

Although his writings were less influential outside of Hispania, Ildefonsus was canonised and remained a potent force in the peninsula for centuries. Spanish and Portuguese missionaries spread his cult worldwide.

Ildefonsus was born to a prominent Visigothic family in Toledo during the reign of Witteric.[Civil wars racked the Visigothic kingdom during most of Ildefonsus' life. His uncle Eugenius, who later became Toledo's bishop, began educating the devout youth. Ildefonsus began his religious career circa 632 when Bishop Eladius of Toledo ordained him as a deacon. However, Ildefonse defied his family's plans for his clerical career by becoming a monk at the Agali monastery outside the city. While he was still a simple monk, he founded and endowed a monastery of nuns.  In 650 Ildefonsus was elected its abbot of Agali. In that capacity, he attended two synods of the Iberian church, the 8th and 9th Councils of Toledo. When his uncle Bishop Eugenius II died in 657, Ildefonsus was elected his successor as bishop of Toledo. King Recceswinth compelled him to accept the position.

At the end of the eighth century Cixila, Archbishop of Toledo, relates that Ildephonsus was praying one day before the relics of Saint Leocadia when the martyr arose from her tomb and thanked the saint for the devotion he showed towards the Mother of God.

It was reported that on 18 December 665 he experienced a vision of the Blessed Virgin when she appeared to him in person and presented him with a priestly vestment, to reward him for his zeal in honouring her. As Bishop Ildefonsus and the congregation sang Marian hymns, light engulfed the church, causing most worshippers to flee. The bishop, remaining with a few deacons, saw Mary descend and sit on the episcopal throne. More on Saint Ildefonsus

Juan Martín Cabezalero (1633–1673) was a Spanish draftsman and painter. Born in Almadén, he studied under Juan Carreño de Miranda, court painter to Charles II of Spain; Cabezalero lived at Carreño de Miranda's house until 1666. Both he and Carreño were influenced by Van Dyck.

Few works by Cabezalero have survived. His surviving works include his St Jerome (1666, Meadows Museum, Southern Methodist University, Dallas) and the Assumption of the Virgin (ca. 1670; Madrid, Prado). The latter had been formerly attributed to Mateo Cerezo, also a pupil of Carreño de Miranda.

Antonio Palomino praises Cabezalero's modest, studious nature and laments that he died young. More on Juan Martín Cabezalero

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