In the historical centre of Corella
, near the Plaza de la Merced at the end of Calle Cañete, surrounded by mansion houses and other buildings of interest such as the Church of San Miguel and the Palace of Corella, you will find the Museum of Sacred Art
. It occupies the former Convent of the Incarnation which was ordered to be built in the 17th century by the illustrious Corella resident Pedro de Baigorri, where the Tourist Office now stands.
At the end of the 17th century, a group of cloistered Benedictine nuns arrived at the convent, which continued to be inhabited for three centuries. In 1970 José Luis Arrese and his wife Maria Teresa Saéz de Heredia bought the abbey and transferred part of their art collection there to transform it into the museum we know today. It houses a prolific collection of artistic works
including canvases, sculptures and objects covering a broad chronological period.
The building's brick façade is in typical convent style with three lanes and a central attic. The sides flow out into large wings reminiscent of the plans disseminated by the architect and commentator Lorenzo de San Nicolás.
The journey through the museum takes in 11 rooms, with the oldest pieces on display in the main one. Here you can admire a processional cross from the 14th century, a carving of the seated Virgin of Santa Quiteria, a Gothic sculpture of San Emeterio and San Celedonio amongst other reliquaries, as well as the 'Articulated Christ'
or Christ of the Descent. This is an extremely lifelike work with joints that allow the head to drop and the arms to be raised up 1.60 high.
In another of the rooms you will find a very unusual piece known as the 'mirror contraption' which enables you to see two paintings at the same time through the mirror effect.
At the back of this room are some Baroque canvases of the mystic nuptials of San Gertrudis and San Plácido, which were found in the primitive choir under the convent. These are the works of Madrid painter Claudio Coello, in colourful Venetian tones, with gilding surrounding the atmosphere.
In the upper room is a 16th century funerary terno that takes its name from the iconography represented on it. Ternos were the vestments used in ancient times by bishops.
One of the most outstanding works in this room is the Christ bound to a column, an anatomical study with naturalist features and a dramatic facial expression. This sculpture is associated with the Juan Biniés circle from the beginning of the 17th century and used to belong to the Parish of Rosario.
In the next room you can see a bust of 'Ecce Homo' attributed to Pedro González, which has great similarities with that of the Recumbent Christ of St. Francis of Tarazona and the monstrance of Malta, a 17th century Baroque monstrance of gilded bronze with coral inlays created by Italian workshops.
After a tour of the sacred gems of the museum, be sure to visit the Baroque church
of the convent.