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Seville Cathedral: Chapel of San Antonio

St Antony by Murillo

Outside, above the iron screen of the chapel there is a gothic stained-glass window made by Enrique Alemán in 1478 and depicting the Four Evangelists. The interior is illuminated by a stained-glass window by Juan Bautista de León dating from around 1685.

The centre of the chapel is taken up by a magnificent white marble font the basin and base of which are adorned with plant motifs and dancing angels, respectively. This a Renaissance work of art from the 16C.


The front the chapel is occupied by a large carved moulding by Bernardo Simón de Pineda dating from 1668. It frames the outstanding painting of The Vision of St Antony, one of the best of Bartolomé Esteban Murillo´s creations. This enormous painting has a balanced composition in which St Antony is shown in the lower part extending his arms towards the Child, his figure standing out in an atmosphere of soft half-light. In the upper part, surrounded by a surge of glory full of movement the Child Jesus floats weightless in the centre of a luminous aureole in the company of numerous winged angels.

Christ`s Baptism by Murillo

On the left-hand wall of the chapel there are four paintings belonging to a series of paintings about the Creation by the Flemish painter Simón de Vos in 1644. The episodes depicted are The Creation of the World, The Creation of the Animals, Separating light from Darkness and Separating the Water from the Land. Other representations in pairs on this wall are San Leandro with San Isidoro and Santa Justa with Santa Rufina. They are probably from around 1660 and have been connected with the style of Ignacio de Ries. The portrait of the Beato Juan de Ribera is an anonymous painting from the beginning of the 19C.

Less interesting are the oaintings at the back end of the chapel where we find and anonymous Inmaculada of the 17C School of Seville, a Virgin with Child by an anonymous disciple of Murillo´s from around 1700, a St Peter praying before Christ tied to a Column, an anonymous painting from the second half of the 17C, and The imposition of the Pallium upon San Isidoro, an original by Lucas Valdés fron around 1710.


As with all famous paintings, its history is full of remarkably interesting facts and anecdotes, the most important of which may be the event that took place on November 4th, 1874, when the figure of St Antony was cur out of the canvas by an unscrupulous individual who sent it to New York where it was offered to an antique dealer. Since he knew where the painting came from, the antique dealer bought it and returned it to Seville Cathedral. It was duly restored and the figure of the Saint was again perfectly integrated into the painting which, complete once more, was returned to its place in 1875.

The top of reredos shows The Baptism of Christ, another of Murillo´s paintings although it was executed in 1668, twelve years after that of St Antony. It is of exceptional quality and has an admirable flow to it, not easily improved upon elsewhere in the artist´s work.

HISPALIS Net Catedral Puertas Coros

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