Hortensio Félix Paravicino

Portrait of Hortensio Félix Paravicino by El Greco circa 1609.

Hortensio Félix Paravicino y Arteaga (12 October 1580 – 12 December 1633) was a Spanish preacher and poet from the noble house of Pallavicini.


He was born in Madrid and was educated at the Jesuit college in Ocaña, and on April 18, 1600 joined the Trinitarian Order. A sermon pronounced before Philip III at Salamanca in 1605 brought Paravicino into notice; he rose to high posts in his order, was entrusted with important foreign missions, became royal preacher in 1616, and on the death of Philip III in 1621 delivered a famous funeral oration which was the subject of acute controversy.

His Oraciones evangélicas (1638-1641) show that he was not without a vein of genuine eloquence, but he often degenerates into vapid declamation, and indulges in far-fetched tropes and metaphors. His Obras posthumas, divinas y humanas (1641) include his devout and secular poems, as well as a play entitled Gridonia; his verse, like his prose, exaggerates the characteristic defects of Gongorism, but was highly regarded in his lifetime. He was a great connoisseur of painting, but argued for the destruction of all paintings of nudes: "the finest paintings are the greatest threat: burn the best of them". However these views were too extreme for even 17th century Spain, where the King and leading courtiers kept galleries of such works in relatively private rooms, and his piece on the subject was not published in the pamphlet for which it was written.[1]

In film

Fernando Fernández de Córdoba played Paravicino in the 1947 historic drama Lady in Ermine.[2]


  1. ^ Javier Portús, p.63, in: Carr, Dawson W. Velázquez. Ed. Dawson W. Carr; also Xavier Bray, Javier Portús and others. National Gallery London, 2006.ISBN 1-85709-303-8
  2. ^ de Mingo Lorente, Adolfo. "La procesión del Corpus Christi de Toledo en el cine" [The Procession of Corpus Christi of Toledo in film] (PDF) (in Spanish). Toledo: Ayuntamiento de Toledo. p. 2. Retrieved 13 July 2021. A excepción de este -quien, como Samuel, se ha formado en Italia- y del padre fray Hortensio Félix Paravicino (Fernando Fernández de Córdoba), el resto de la sociedad toledana parece dar la espalda al orfebre. [But for this -who, like Samuel, learned in Italy- and Father Friar Hortensio Félix Paravicino (Fernando Fernández de Córdoba), the rest of Toledan society seems to give a cold shoulder to the silversmith.]

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