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Choir stalls

by Pedro Duque Cornejo

The re-use of the stalls from the former main chapel led to the creation of a new and lavish ensemble. The ambitious commission was possible thanks to the testamentary bequest of 120,000 reales from Archdeacon José Díaz de Recalde in 1742.

Following the submission of models and projects by different sculptors, Duque Cornejo was appointed to create the stalls. Thus, on 14 March 1748 he started to create an ensemble that would eventually include 30 upper seats and 23 lower seats. All of these were meticulously crafted and decorated in carvings. However, while the Cathedral choir stalls are a masterpiece due to the high quality of the material and execution, this is no less the case for the rich and diverse iconographic series appearing on them.

Moreover, the spectacular episcopal throne, commissioned through a deed signed on 26 September 1752, contains three seats and is designed as if it were an altarpiece, structured into two bodies and three aisles. Among these what stands out is the upper vault, on which we see the representation of the Ascension of the Lord, a sensational life-size figure with an interesting anatomical study. The composition is finished off with the presence of Archangel Raphael.

Pedro Duque Cornejo

The sculptor from Seville, a disciple of Pedro Roldán, won the competition that enabled him to create the choir stalls. The contract for the work, which would run until the sculptor's death, was signed on 31 October 1747. During his career he produced other prominent works, such as the Main Altarpiece in Iglesia de San Luis de los Franceses, a church in Seville, and the collection of sculptures in the Basílica de la Virgen de las Angustias in Granada

Technical sheet
  • Title: Choir stalls in Cordoba Cathedral 
  • Author: Pedro Duque Cornejo 
  • Date: 1748-1753
  • Material and technique: Carved mahogany
  • Location: Choir


Key features of the work
  • In the carved ensemble we can see a dense iconographic series, structured in the following manner:

    - Choir of the Arch-priest. Right side. Upper stalls: large medallions with scenes from the life of Jesus and small medallions with scenes from the Old Testament. Lower stalls: tondi with scenes from the life of the Cordoban martyrs

    - Choir of the Dean. Left side. Upper stalls: large medallions with a scene from the life of the Virgin and small medallions with scenes from the Old Testament. Lower stalls: tondi with scenes from the life of the Cordoban martyrs

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