Seville Cathedral: Chapter House – Elliptical Dome

Dome of the Chapter House of the Seville Cathedral, Seville, Andalusicaa, Spain

Dome of the Chapter House

Elliptical Dome
The Sala Capitular (Chapter House) is an ellipse-shaped hall attached to the southeast corner of the Seville Cathedral. Crowning the Chapter House is a magnificent elliptical dome, whose interior is ornate with an ensemble of paintings, reliefs, stain glass windows, and artwork. The image shows the upper part of this dome.

As you can see, a beautiful ellipse-shaped roof lantern – which provides daylight to the hall below – surmounts the dome at the center. The interior decoration below the roof lantern consists of several ellipse-shaped concentric panels. The radial segments that flow from the top intersect these panels and divide them into trapezoidal blocks. The top two panels contain artwork and geometrical patterns, and the layer below contains paintings and circular stained glass windows.

At the center of the lowest panel is the La Inmaculada Concepción (Immaculata or Immaculate Consumption), a masterpiece by the Spanish painter Bartolomé Esteban Murillo. The rest of the panel has eight smaller paintings on circular canvases depicting saints from Seville, also painted by Murillo. Surrounding each painting is a rectangular decoration with the name of the saint inscribed in Latin at the top.

The following are the eight saints whose portraits are painted on the third panel in the clock-wise direction, starting from the portrait right of La Inmaculada:
1. San Fernando
2. San Leandro
3. San Laureano
4. Santa Rufina
5. Santa Justa
6. San Pio
7. San Isidoro
8. San Hermenegildo

Note: The Sala Capitular (Chapter House) is where the chapter of the cathedral (i.e., the advisory council to the archbishop comprising of clergymen) met to discuss the religious and administrative affairs of the cathedral.

Related Pages
Seville Cathedral: An awe-inspiring architectural marvel
La Giralda: A harmonious blend of Moorish and Renaissance architectural styles
Sala Capitular – The Chapter House of the Seville Cathedral
Sacristía Mayor – The Main Sacristy of the Seville Cathedral

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