Jose Montenegro Capell, The Alcazar
Jose Montenegro Capell (1865-1929) was a 19th century Orientalist painter from Andalusia, Spain. A student of a Sevillian art school, Capell painted primarily architectural structures and landscapes located in his home country. The Alcazar is a royal palace located in Sevilla and one of the buildings that inspired construction of the Hotel Ponce de Leon. The painting of the same name features a room known as the Hall of Justice. Originally constructed as a Moorish fort, the Alcazar has been modified several times, and the palace represents a cultural melting pot of different religions and architectural styles reflecting the region's history.
Cape's painting, the lovely at first glance, offers a historical window into the minds of Orientalist painters. Cape presents the Hall of Justice as an empty place, filled with nothing but natural lighting and color. The scene is more set as a tourist photo, rather than as a place of religious worship and gathering. In the lower left-hand corner of the painting sit a lone man, set as a piece of furniture rather than as a person in prayer. Although the rest of the painting appears to be in perfect focus, the man is portrayed as blurry insignificant, a common feature in Orientalist paintings. The Hall appears to be in pristine condition, almost as if it has never been occupied by human presence. This is a typical trait of Orientalist painters, who aimed to achieve a beautiful, tourist-like photo of a religious building, rather than an accurate representation of the human interaction with the area.
The texts were prepared by: Samantha Brown, Mahaly Grant, Andrea Heideman, Katherine Lombardi
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