Art & Art History ETDs

Publication Date



Because all records have been destroyed, a comparative study is necessary in order to date the various building programs which have taken place in the Church of the Divine savior of Vejer de la Frontera. The different styles within the church range from Visigothic to Gothic, and individual discussions of each follow a general historical background of the area. Concomitantly, it is shown that Spanish architecture had a significance and a style of its own much earlier that is normally recognized.

The Visigothic element is confine to a study of four capitals, their column shafts, and their bases found in the Divine Saviour. Comparisons are made with other contemporary capitals found in the environs – in the Hermitage of Saints Justo and Pastor outside of Medina Sidonia, and in the Church of San Ambrosio near Vejer. The concurrent Byzantine influence and tis effect are brought out, along with similarities found between the Divine Saviour and the Byzantine-influenced Visigothic church of San Pedro de la Nave in Zamora.

The problem of whether or not there exist pre-Reconquest remains with the church is dealt with by a general discussion of Muslim architecture in Spain and the Maghreb, and the subsequent analysis of Muslim features in the Vejer church. The conclusion favors post-Reconquest origins.

Mudejar as a style us discussed with emphasis on various regional differences—the main geographical concern being the provinces of Huelva, Seville, Cordoba, and Cadiz in Andalusia. A comparative analysis of their styles with that found in the Divine Saviour indicates local variations as well as similarities (including the possible prototypes for Vejer found primarily in Jerez de la Frontera). A major accent is placed on the mudejar style since it is the dominant one in the church under discussion.

The gothic section follows the significant architectural works of the Gil de Hontanon family. Those details which correspond to features in the Church of the Divine Saviour are brought out in a general discussion of the cathedrals of Seville, Salamanca, Segovia, and Astorga. An extensive rebuilding program undertaken in the village church shows a diffusion of the Gil de Hontanon style from major cathedrals to minor provincial churches.

In summary, probable dates have been conferred on features which relate to churches with extant records, or those which have been previously studied and dated.

Document Type


Degree Name

Art History

Level of Degree


Department Name

UNM Department of Art and Art History

First Committee Member (Chair)

Bainbridge Bunting

Second Committee Member

Howard David Rodee

Third Committee Member