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Exterior of the Collegio di Spagna.
View towards the interior courtyard and the loggia.
Exterior view.
Exterior view.

The Collegio di Spagna (or Royal Spanish College) (officially Real Colegio Mayor de San Clemente de los Españoles) is a college for Spanish students at the University of Bologna, Italy, which has been functioning since the 14th century. Its full original name in English translation was the College of Saint Clement of the Spaniards.[1] It has been under the Royal patronage of the Spanish Crown since 1488, as authorized by Pope Innocent VIII.

Contents

History

The college was founded in 1364 by the Cardinal Gil Alvarez De Albornoz (1310–1367) and built in 1365–1367. The Collegio was the model for the colleges founded at the University of Salamanca, starting in the late 14th century (notably the Colegio Viejo, 1401) and at other Spanish universities in the following couple of centuries. [2] Since 1488, all Spanish monarchs have reconfirmed its Royal patronage. It is arguably the oldest institution carrying the name Spanish outside of Spain, predating the union of the crowns that led to the formation of the Kingdom of Spain.

In 1923, a correspondent for The Times, who calls the college a "picturesque Spanish oasis in the centre of old Bologna", reports of the visit of the King and Queen of Spain to the college. King Alfonso participated in the unveiling of a tablet recording the visit of the royal couple and another one noting the name of two famous former students of the College, Ignatius of Loyola and Miguel Cervantes.[1]

Art and architecture

It consists of a building in two floors with arcades surrounding a courtyard. The exterior has later been partly remodelled in renaissance style.[3] The architecture of the Collegio is peculiarly Italian in the use of the loggia, but shares a characteristic of medieval college buildings in England and France, in being arranged around a central rectangular court.[4] Bas reliefs of the coat of arms of Spain are located above the two main entryways.

The portico once had frescoes by Annibale Carracci, but a travellers guide published in 1857 reported them having "almost disappeared". The guidebook goes on to describe two frescoes by Bartolommeo Bagnacavallo:

In the upper loggia is the fine fresco by Bagnacavallo, representing the Virgin and Child, St. Elizabeth, St. John, and St. Joseph, with an angel above scattering flowers, and the Cardinal founder kneeling in veneration. But the great fresco of Bagnacavallo, representing Charles V crowned in S. Petronio by Clement VII, although much injured, is by far the most interesting work, because it is a contemporary record. From this circumstance we may regard the picture as a series of authentic portraits, in the precise costume of the period.

The book also mentions artwork in the chapel: "some frescoes by C. Procaccini and a Sta. Marguerite by G. Francia."[5]

The frescoes by Camillo Procaccini in the apse the S. Clemente chapel were painted in 1582 but destroyed in 1914.[6] The S. Clemente also features an altarpiece by Marco Zoppo from the mid-15th century.[7]

References

  • "The Spanish College at Bologna. Historic Memories", The Times, Monday, November 26, 1923; p. 13; Issue 43508; col D (authored by "our own correspondent").
  • A Handbook for Travellers in Central Italy, published by John Murray (Firm), 1857. (Full book available on Google Books)
  • A History of the University in Europe: Volume 1, Universities in the Middle Ages, ed. edited by Hilde de Ridder-Symoens, Walter Rüegg. Cambridge University Press, 2003 (available on Google Books)
  • Gieysztor, Alexander: "Management and resources", in A History of the University in Europe: Volume 1, pp. 108–143.
  • Kiene, Michael: "College", in Grove Art Online, Oxford University Press, retrieved October 2, 2006.
  • Neilson, Nancy Ward: "Procaccini, Camillo", in Grove Art Online, Oxford University Press, retrieved October 2, 2006.
  • de Ridder-Symoens, Hilde: "Mobility", in A History of the University in Europe: Volume 1, pp. 280–306.
  • Tolley, Thomas: "Zoppo, Marco", in Grove Art Online, Oxford University Press, retrieved October 2, 2006.

External links

Footnotes

  1. ^ a b "The Spanish College At Bologna. Historic Memories", The Times, Monday, Nov 26, 1923; pg. 13; Issue 43508; col D
  2. ^ A. Gieysztor, "Management and resources", p. 119; H. de Ridder-Symoens, "Mobility", p. 297.
  3. ^ This is clear from the images but needs a reference for details.
  4. ^ Michael Kiene, "College", in Grove Art Online, Oxford University Press, retrieved October 2, 2006, http://www.groveart.com/
  5. ^ A Handbook for Travellers in Central Italy, published by John Murray (Firm), 1857, p. 61
  6. ^ Nancy Ward Neilson, "Camillo Procaccini", in Grove Art Online, Oxford University Press, retrieved October 2, 2006, http://www.groveart.com/
  7. ^ Thomas Tolley, "Zoppo, Marco", in Grove Art Online, Oxford University Press, retrieved October 2, 2006, http://www.groveart.com/

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