Briefs

Church of San Ildefonso

In the Church of San Ildefonso, known commonly as the Jesuit Church in Toledo, Spain, we can find what has been termed a “trompe l’oeil” which is nothing more than the illusion of fake architecture that created with paint, surrounded by columns and frame paintings in perspective. In observing the altarpiece of the main chapel, one can see the fresco that Velazquez brothers, Luis and Alejandro, painted thus creating this visual trap. As a matter of fact, Alexander was a professor of art perspective at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Madrid.

Through the painting the most revelant events in the life of San Ildefonso are depicted, the miracle of the Descent of the Virgin to invest a chasuble* on San Ildefonso. According to tradition, the event took place in the cathedral, as a reward for the bishop’s defense against Jovinian Toledano and other heretics in his work the “Perpetual Virginitate”. Jovinian was a Christian monk and theologian who lived in the late fourth century and early V, died in 405. He was against asceticism, cause to be considered a heretic in 393.

In the scene we see on the altar, we see the book of San Ildefonso exalted and shown by an angel, while others set fire torches to the writings of the heretics.

*Chasuble: Vesture placed over the alb of a Priest when preparing to celebrate mass, consisting of an elongated piece with a central opening for the head top and falling front and back into two equal and rounded parts.

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