The Plaza Mayor and the Shaping of Baroque Madrid

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Jesús Escobar's examination of the transformation of Madrid (from a secondary market town to the capital of the worldwide Spanish Hapsburg empire) focuses on the planning and building of Madrid's principal public monument, the Plaza Mayor. It is based on the analysis of archival documents and architectural drawings, as well as the surviving fabric of the city itself. Escobar demonstrates how the development of the city square and its surroundings reflects the bureaucratic nature of the government that chose Madrid in 1561 to serve as the capital of Spain.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This book makes an important contribution to the study of Spanish architectural history, it fills a need for a book in English on the topic, and will likely remain an authoritative reference on the Plaza Mayor and the growth of Madrid as a ceremonial and political capital for years to come."
- Eleanor Tufts Award Committee, Historians of Spanish Art

"Escobar's book should be consulted by all interested in baroque Madrid, as he provides valuable insights into the many social and political factors impacting its development."
- Renaissance Quarterly, Richard G. Mann, San Francisco State University

"Jesús Escobar's study of the Plaza Mayor in Madrid is a welcome addition to the scholarship on important architectural and urban developments in early modern Spain."
- Sixteenth Century Journal, Andrew Hopkins, Villa I Tatti, Florence

"...beautifully wrought and multi-faceted..."
- Seventeenth Century News

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521815079
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 11/27/2003
  • Pages: 376
  • Product dimensions: 6.97 (w) x 9.96 (h) x 0.87 (d)

Meet the Author

Jesús Escobar is Associate Professor in the Department of Art History at Northwestern University and a specialist in the art, architecture, and urbanism of early modern Spain, Italy, and the Spanish world. His book The Plaza Mayor and the Shaping of Baroque Madrid won the Eleanor Tufts Award from the American Society for Hispanic Art Historical Studies and has been revised in a Spanish-language edition (Editorial Nerea, 2008). He is currently at work on a book project that examines architectural and urban interventions in seventeenth-century Madrid from a local and transatlantic perspective.

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Table of Contents

1. Madrid, town and court; 2. Architecture and bureaucracy; 3. Sixteenth-century initiatives; 4. The panadería and its impact; 5. Seventeenth-century reforms; 6. The plaza mayor as political symbol.

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