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The Picturesque Antiquities of Spain Described in a series of letters   By:

The Picturesque Antiquities of Spain Described in a series of letters by Nathaniel Armstrong Wells

First Page:

Chuck Greif and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team at http:://www.pgdp.net

[Illustration: CHAPEL OF SAN ISIDRO,

IN THE CHURCH OF SAN ANDRES, MADRID.]

THE

PICTURESQUE ANTIQUITIES

OF

SPAIN;

DESCRIBED IN A SERIES OF LETTERS,

WITH ILLUSTRATIONS,

REPRESENTING MOORISH PALACES, CATHEDRALS, AND OTHER MONUMENTS OF ART,

CONTAINED IN THE CITIES OF

BURGOS, VALLADOLID, TOLEDO, AND SEVILLE.

BY

NATHANIEL ARMSTRONG WELLS.

LONDON:

RICHARD BENTLEY, NEW BURLINGTON STREET,

Publisher in Ordinary to Her Majesty.

M.DCCC.XLVI.

LONDON:

Printed by S. & J. BENTLEY, WILSON, and FLEY, Bangor House, Shoe Lane.

PREFACE.

The author of the following letters is aware that his publication would have possessed greater utility, had the architectural descriptions been more minute. He ventures to hope, however, that this imperfection may be in some measure balanced by the more extended sphere opened to whatever information it may contain.

The absence of many technical expressions, especially those which enter into a detailed description of almost all Gothic buildings, and the employment of which was forbidden by the occasion, may tend to facilitate the satisfaction of popular curiosity respecting Spanish art: the more so from the circumstance that the most intelligent in such subjects are scarcely sufficiently agreed on the application of technical terms, to allow of the compilation of a standard vocabulary. His ambition will be more than satisfied, should his past, and perhaps future researches, succeed, in some degree, in pioneering the path for a more scientific pen.

Should this work fall into the hands of any reader, whose expectations of entertainment may have been encouraged by the announcement of another Spanish tour, but who may feel but moderate enthusiasm for the artistic and monumental glories of the Peninsula, an explanation is due to him, exonerative of the author from much of the responsibility attached to the matter of fact tone of his descriptions. It is no less his nature than it was his wish to paint what he saw as he saw it. Unfortunately his visits to Spain took place after the accomplishment of the revolution, the hardest blows of which were aimed at her church. The confiscation of the ecclesiastical revenues has necessarily stripped the processions and other ceremonies of their former splendour, and by suppressing what constituted one of their chief attractions to the native population, transferred the interest of the lover of the picturesque from the bright colours of animated grouping, to the dead background of stone and marble they have left.

In studying, however, to preserve this strict accuracy in all that related to the principal subject of his correspondence, his aim was to enliven it by the introduction of any incidents worthy of notice which came under his observation. In this object he hopes he may have succeeded.

One more remark is necessary. The letters from Seville, which form the second of the two parts into which the volume is divided, although placed last in order of succession, date in reality from an earlier period than the rest; and even from a different tour, as will appear from the description of the route. They were addressed to various individuals, whereas those forming the first part were all written to the same person. They are thus placed with a view to geographical order and clearness, and to a sort of unity, which appeared advisable in the subject of a volume. The two excursions having been separated by an interval of three years, should alterations have taken place during that period in the places described, the above circumstance not being borne in mind might lead to an appearance of chronological inaccuracy in the descriptions, although there is not much probability of the existence of such changes.

LONDON. December 1845.

CONTENTS.

PAGE

PART I.

LETTER I.

TO MRS. C R 1

LETTER II... Continue reading book >>




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