Wednesday, November 30

The Ages of Man in Plasencia: come, see and enjoy

The cathedrals of Plasencia have become for the first time a large exhibition space as the venue for The Ages of Man 2022. Under the title of Transitus, 180 outstanding works of sacred art are shown distributed by the three Extremaduran dioceses, of which 60 belong to the placenta.

Now they come together in a unique exhibition to make possible “a first-rate cultural and evangelizing project in which we are going to find the soul of Extremadura,” summarizes Antonio Luis Galán, curator of the exhibition that the Fundación Las Ages del Hombre brings for the first time time to this region.

The exhibition is divided into seven chapters and an epilogue that narrate, with smells and music included in a route without barriers and also adapted to blind people, the historical evolution of the city and the diocese, their social and religious development and the importance they had different characters in the evangelizing expeditions in transit to the New World and the Modern Age, and the enrichment in all senses that this meant for both shores.

These are the seven chapters and the epilogue, with his most outstanding works, of an exhibition that represents a unique opportunity for Plasencia and Extremadura, which makes that city and this region the cultural event of the year in the country.

Chapter I

land of passage

Christ of the Doctors, a work by an anonymous author from the 14th century. /


The exhibition is accessed through the Romanesque portal of the old cathedral and as soon as you enter the visitor will find the small passageway that will take you to the origin of the city and the roots of Extremadura, the Roman, Visigothic, Jewish, Muslim and Christian and its influence in a land of passage like ours and, therefore, a place of confluence between cultures and religions.

Tombstone of liberty, by an anonymous author from the end of the 15th century. /


Among the works shown in this first chapter are elements of art from those cultures that converged in Plasencia, the tombstone of liberty (anonymous from the end of the 15th century) and the Christ of the Doctors (anonymous from the 14th century).

Chapter II

change of time

Sculptural ensemble of Calvary, by Egas Cueman from the 15th century. /


The arrival of the Catholic Monarchs brought about a time of change and a change of era, Plasencia once again became a royal dependency and humanism made its way as a cultural expression of this change. Hence, literature has a special role in this chapter of The Ages of Man and hand in hand with historical gems.

Literary gems by authors such as Fernando de Rojas, Homero and Lope de Vega. /


As for the works, the following stand out: the praying statures of the Catholic Monarchs (dated between 1676 and 1678, by Pedro de Mena y Medrano); the bust of Carlos I of Spain and V of Germany (from the Circle of Giovanni Angelo Montorsoli, around 1540); and the sculptural ensemble of Calvary (by Egas Cueman from the 15th century). And, of course, those literary gems such as, among others, Fenando de Rojas’ tragicomedy (1502), Homer’s Odyssea (1519) and The Five Sorrowful Mysteries of the passion and death of Our Lord Jesus Christ in his sacred Resurrection, by Lope de Vega (1582).

Chapter III

A diocese for a city

Santa Florentina, patron saint of the diocese, one of the works in this chapter. /


This chapter focuses especially on the origin of the diocese of Plasencia and, for this reason, the plans that show the construction of the cathedral complex from the 13th to the 16th centuries, the patron saints of the diocese and prominent bishops such as Pedro Ponce de León take on a special role. . The diocese understood as a town that transits in one place through the centuries, guided by its pastors and encouraged by its saints, especially relevant in the 16th century.

Original plan of Plasencia by Luis de Toro, which centers the poster for The Ages of Man. /


Among the works that are exhibited in this chapter, the figures of Saint Peter and Saint Teresa confessing stand out, but also those of the patron saints, Saint Fulgencio and Saint Florentina and, especially, the original plan of Plasencia that Luis de Toro made in 1573 and which is also the Transitus poster.

Chapter IV

the story of salvation

Altarpiece for the chapel of Ginés Martínez, work of Luis de Morales. /


Throughout this chapter the birth of Jesus, his adolescence, his public life, his death and resurrection and, with it, the birth of the Church are narrated. Hence, the great baptismal font of Jaraíz de la Vera is the first work that the visitor comes across as soon as they enter the room that narrates this part of The Ages of Man, because it is through the sacrament of baptism that it becomes part of the Church, to go to meet God, who has passed through the history of men making it the history of salvation, whose culmination is the Passover of Jesus.

Picture and sculpture of Pietà, by Luis de Morales and Alonso Hipólito. /


In addition to the baptismal font, this chapter highlights, among others, the altarpiece for the chapel by Ginés Martínez (work by Luis de Morales made between 1565 and 1566), The Last Supper (by Juan Correa de Vivar, 1546-1550), The Wedding at Cana (XVI), The Crucified Christ (by Lucas Mislata from the second half of the 16th century), the Pietà painting (by Luis de Morales, around 1565) and the Pietà sculpture (by Alonso Hipólito, from 1559 ).

Chapter V

The reformation of Trent

The Coronation of the Virgin, work of El Grego, 1591-1592. /


Born of Easter, the Church, due to her condition as a pilgrim, is in permanent transit towards fullness. And it is here where the council that is the focus of this chapter takes on exceptional relevance, which, in addition to refuting the Protestant theses, establishes the doctrine of the Church and launches a great movement of spirituality hand in hand with outstanding saints. This is the most powerful chapter of The Ages of Man 2022 from an artistic point of view.

The Temptations of Saint Jerome, a work by Francisco Zurbarán. /


Among the many outstanding works that come together in it are Jesús Salvador (El Greco, 1602-1605), The Coronation of the Virgin (El Greco, 1591-1592), the amphorae to consecrate the oils in the Chrism Mass, The The Baptism of Jesus (by Francisco Rizi de Guevara, 1678), The Assumption of the Virgin and the Christ in Agony or Helplessness (both by Luis Salvador Carmona), the Crucified Christ (by Francisco Zurbarán, 1636-1639), the Imposition from the chasuble to San Ildefonso (Zurbarán, 1644) and The temptations of San Jerónimo (by the same author, around 1640).

Chapter VI

between two dreams

Letter from Pope Alexander VI to the Catholic Monarchs, dated May 4, 1493. /


The visitor will now enter a small corridor in which they will feel that they are traveling through the sea on a ship towards the discovery of the New World. And you will be able to listen and watch an audiovisual to learn about the importance of Extremadura and the Extremadurans in these expeditions, those that were carried out in response to every man’s dream of going further. That is why men like Hernán Cortés, Vasco Núñez de Balboa or Pizarro take on a special role.

The visit made by Carlos V to Hernán Cortés, by José Caballero Villarroel. /


Noteworthy among the works are the letter from Pope Alexander VI to the Catholic Monarchs in which he divided the world between the crowns of Portugal and Castile (May 4, 1493), the bust of Francisco Pizarro (by Enrique Pérez Comendador) and The visit made by Carlos V to Hernán Cortés (by José Caballero Villarroel, from 1870).

Chapter VII

The work of evangelization

Eucharistic urn, a jewel of Novohispanic art 1673-1960. /


The last chapter takes the visitor to enter the structure of a ship to glimpse the evangelizing project in the New World because that was the end of the expeditions. Even with lights and shadows, the important work of the missionaries is shown and the greatest fruit of Spain in this mission, because unlike other countries it has a miscegenation, as represented by Santa Rosa de Lima, her father marries a native. And this miscegenation and the work carried out by the missionaries and the Extremadurans who came to the New World entails the cultural enrichment that is achieved on both shores.

Cristo de la Encina, a work by an anonymous author from the 18th century. /


In this last chapter, in which the names of the men and women who left Extremadura for America in the 15th, 16th and 17th centuries appear on large panels and there is also a scale reproduction of the ship San Pedro, there are outstanding works such as the Cristo de la Encina (anonymous from the 18th century), the Eucharistic urn (a jewel of Novohispanic art, 1673-1690) or the Cristo del Sagrario (an anonymous from the early 17th century).


Paddle out to sea

Altarpiece of the Assumption, by Jorge de la Rúa and Juan Flores from 1561. /


Transitus closes with an epilogue starring a single work: the altarpiece of La Asunción, by Jorge de la Rúa and Juan Flores (1561). A painting in which there are two spaces, a heavenly one with the Virgin surrounded by angels who becomes the hope of the believing people, and another earthly with the apostles, whom Jesus sent to evangelize.

A work with which The Ages of Man recalls the message that Jesus transmitted to Peter, “the one that he transmits to all of us, because we are all called to evangelize more within, further, in other spaces, in other places”, recalls Antonio Luis Prince. Because Transitus not only reflects the evangelizing project carried out in the passage to the Modern Age, but also the need for the transit to continue, to go ahead with that evangelizing mission.

dates and times

The exhibition can be seen until the December bridge from Tuesday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. On Saturdays, Sundays and holidays, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Admission will end 45 minutes before closing. It will be closed on Mondays. For reservations: 927041134 or [email protected]

Tickets will be purchased at the Casa de la Mitra, the late-19th-century building located opposite the Casa del Deán and next to the cathedral, which has been renovated to serve as the office for The Ages of Man. The individual ticket is 6 euros and there are guided tours for groups of no more than 20 people for 125 euros. Which includes the entrance, it lasts approximately 70 minutes and it is necessary to book in advance. Group guides are not allowed except for the specialists in sacred art of the exhibition.

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