The Flight into Egypt

In Spain, far from Rome and from the infl uence of Tintoretto (still evident in his Flight into Egypt and Annunciation), El Greco became a new painter. He was also a quixotic sculptor, fascinated by the striking naturalism of Spanish polychrome wood sculpture, as his Epithemeus and Pandora reveal. Portraits by Anthonis Mor, El Greco, Sánchez Coello, Orrente and Velázquez, which evolve from minutely detailed, Renaissance observation to a characteristically Baroque psychological introspection, coexist with the real presence of visitors in an interaction that unites past and present. Making small-scale copies of large altarpieces by celebrated artists for domestic use was an important function of 16th-century painting. Correggio’s delicate Virgin and Child with Saint John is accompanied by two fi ne copies of his works: The Descent from the Cross and The Martyrdom of Saint Placidus, Flavia, Eutychius and Victorinus. Other reduced versions of larger pictures include The Descent from the Cross by Allori, on copper, a favoured support in the late 16th century as its smooth, shiny surface was suitable for this type of detailed, meticulous painting. Pietro da Cortona perfectly condenses Baroque grandeur in his small Nativity in which the oil pigment combines with the shiny vitreous surface to evoke a divine realm. The dark mood of the Spanish artists, here focused on Christ’s suff ering, is juxtaposed with the soft er spirit of the Italians, all consistently bold in their approach to colour and absolute masters of proportion and perspective. This section concludes with the tender, domestic mood of the Roman painter Carlo Maratti.

Ministerio de Cultura. Gobierno de España; abre en ventana nueva
España es cultura Spain is culture
Portal de la transparencia. Gobierno de España
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