SAN FRANCISCO OF BORJA AND ITS ICONOGRAPHY

Wifredo Rincón, Doctor of Art history and curator of the exhibition on the iconography of San Francisco de Borja of the Museum of the city of Valencia, says that “despite being such an important character, the existing iconography of San Francisco de Borja in the Spanish artistic panorama is surprisingly scarce.

“The doctor has made these statements in the course of the conference iconography of San Francisco de Borja in Spanish art before the attendees of the International Congress “Francisco de Borja and his time: politics, religion and culture in the modern age” Organized by CEU Cardenal Herrera University and the Higher Council for Scientific Research.

Rincón has pointed out that the iconography of Borja is fundamentally reduced to two spaces: to the houses of the company of Jesus,-as is the case of San Francisco de Borja of the School de Nª s ª of La Antigua-where there is “abundant” iconography of the saint and the province of Valencia, Especially the city of Valencia, Gandía and Llombai. The doctor explained that in the rest of places in Spain there is iconography but it is “scarce” perhaps because Borja “was not a popular saint by coming from a noble family and because after his death, the body was moved to Madrid”.

The historian has made a review of the iconographic aspects of San Francisco de Borja: iconographic type, clothing and attributes and images. Of iconographic type, Rincón has emphasized that the saint has a “recognizable” type because in much of the artistic reproductions of him he “maintains the original profile coming from the funerary mask”.Regarding the attributes and the identification of the saint, the Doctor has referred to the skull, crowned almost always, which refers to the Empress Isabel and that also means the renunciation of the world and that the Saint “always carries on a handkerchief in sign of I respect the Empress. ” The other particular attribute of the saint is the custody to which the saint gazes and represents the defense of the Eucharist. In addition, the Doctor has detailed a “Still life” of attributes that usually accompany him of religious character, like the Mitra, and the Capelos and, of civil character, like the ducal and marquesal crowns and the armour in some cases with the cross of the Order of Santiago. In addition, the historian has referred to Borja’s clothing expressing that Borja has “two aspects”, with the habit of a knight of Santiago and with the habit of the company of Jesus.

In the case of the San Francisco de Borja picture of our church, the attributes that appear are very simple. The skull appears without a crown. Custody appears here replaced by a Christ on the cross at a table in which a sackcloth is guessed. The ducal and marquesal crowns do not appear, only three Capelas cardenalicios symbol of the triple resignation of this dignity.