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Boletín del Museo del Prado

Latest boletín

NUMBER 53 | 2017

The Museo del Prado publishes a new issue of the Boletín del Museo del Prado. This is an important publication that serves to present to the academic community and the general public the outcome of new research on works in its collections and on related topics in the field of Art History, as well as on the history of the Museum.

This number contains the following articles:

The Palm Tree: An unknown iconographic element of the Romanesque Paintings of Maderuelo

Antonio de Ávila Juárez

Among the iconographic elements represented in the Romanesque paintings of the hermitage church of Vera Cruz de Maderuelo (Segovia), is a palm tree. This palm tree, located between the scenes of the Creation of Adam and the Original Sin, tends, however, to go unnoticed. In this paper we try to analyze its role in these paintings and their possible meanings.

Jan van Eyck, Alonso de Cartagena and the Fountain of Grace

Jesús R. Folgado García and Manuel Parada López de Corselas

This paper helps to clarify the meaning and chronology of The Fountain of Grace through the study of the controversies surrounding the Eucharist, the Hussite heresy and the conversion of the Jews addressed in the councils of Basel and Ferrara-Florence. Additionally, data are provided to outline the circumstances of the commission of the painting from the workshop of Jan van Eyck, to its reception in Castile, until arrival at its final destination in the monastery of Santa María del Parral in Segovia. The author upholds that the key personality that united all these factors was Alonso de Cartagena and his network in politics, intellectuality, patronage and international trade during the second third of the 15th century.

Between God, the Church and the Synagogue: Angel musicians in the Fountain of Grace from the workshop of Jan van Eyck

Grzegorz Kubies

The aim of this article is a multilayered interpretation of the musical elements of the painting The Fountain of Grace, originally located in the Monastery of Santa María del Parral in Segovia. Art-historical and musicological analysis carried out in the article allow us to conclude that the painter used drawings from the workshop of Jan van Eyck and also reached for miniatures with musical motifs from the Très Riches Heures du Duc de Berry (fol. 26r, fol. 60v) by the Limbourg brothers. The main interpretive context of the motif of the angel musician is determined by the Eucharistic aspects of the painting. Music performed by wingless musicians is interpreted as an attempt to demonstrate the magnitude and splendour of the Church.

A New Painting by Pieter de Kempeneer: El Prado’s Musician Angels

Antonio Romero Dorado

This paper brings to light a set of six paintings depicting angel musicians preserved in the Museo del Prado. Through stylistic analysis these paintings are here attributed to Pieter Kempeneer, a Flemish painter settled in Seville between 1537 and 1562. In 1916 these works entered the museum as part of the legacy of Pablo Bosch y Barrau. Since then they have been catalogued as anonymous paintings made by a Spanish mannerist of the 16th century, possibly Andalusian.

El Greco as a Sculptor: A Technical Study of Attributed Works

Sonia Tortajada

This paper presents the latest data and technical information regarding the only four sculptures by El Greco whose authorship is generally accepted: the relief of the Imposition of the Chasuble to Saint Ildephonsus (1587) from the Cathedral of Toledo, the Hospital Tavera’s Resurrected Christ (1598) from the Casa Ducal Medinaceli Foundation, and Epimetheus and Pandora figurines (1600-1610), belonging to the Prado Museum collection. It is with the intention of making this new information accessible to all those scholars interested in these exceptional works that this article is published.

Camillo and Giulio Cesare Procaccini at the Service of Spanish Governors in Milan: Some episodes of patronage and collecting

Odette D’Albo

Camillo (1561-1629) and Giulio Cesare Procaccini (1574-1625) were two of the most important painters in Milan at the beginning of the 17th century, when Lombardy was under Spanish control. The article explores the relationships of these artists with three governors –Pedro de Toledo Osorio, V Marquis of Villafranca del Bierzo (1557-1627), Gómez Suárez de Figueroa y Córdoba, Duke of Feria (1587-1634) and Gonzalo Fernández de Cordoba (1585-1635)– sent by the Spanish crown to rule the Milanesado for fifteen years, from 1615 to 1629. These noblemen were refined patrons and collectors of both the Procaccini brothers. Two paintings, Camillo’s Presentation of Jesus at the Temple and Giulio Cesare’s The Agony in the Garden, both commissioned by the Marquis of Villafranca, are now part of the collections of the Museo del Prado.

The Conception of the Meleager and Atalanta Paintings by Jordaens

Brecht Vanoppen

This article focuses on the conception of Jacob Jordaens’s paintings of Meleager and Atalanta. It offers a status questionis of the discussion of the pictures in the literature so far, analyses their compositions, and reviews their suggested dates, to put forward new hypotheses regarding their conception and Jordaens’s studio practices.

The Two-Stage Elaboration of Meleager and Atalanta by Jacob Jordaens at the Prado: Technical considerations

Alejandro Vergara, Laura Alba, María Dolores Gayo and Maite Jover

Based on appearance alone, scholars have long noticed that Jordaens’s painting Meleager and Atalanta at the Prado is painted in two different styles, one corresponding to each half. The present article presents the findings of a technical study of the painting undertaken at the Prado. The study of the weave and thread count of the two canvases that make up the support of the painting, the study of the painting with infrared reflectography and X-radiography, and the analysis of some of the pigments used in the painting reveal important differences in the materials used in the two halves of the painting.

New Documents on Josefa Bayeu and the Color Grinder, Pedro Gómez, and the Milieu of Goya in 1801

Gudrun Maurer

An unpublished testament of Josefa Bayeu written in 1801, which is kept in the Historical Archive of Protocols of Madrid and transcribed here, shows that in this year the wife of Francisco de Goya was on the verge of death. It also provides knowledge about the family and professional environment of the artist during that time through the executors and witnesses named in the document. Especially the presence of the painter Agustín Esteve at the moment of writing the will, a close collaborator of Goya since 1790, and Pedro Gómez, the artist’s color grinder since 1780, on whom another document is also published here, could confirm that Goya had his workshop in his own home.

The Collection of French Masters Drawings Owned by Isidoro Brun (1819-1898) now Preserved in the Museo Nacional del Prado

Oriane Lavit

Our study of the French drawings collection in the Museo Nacional del Prado has permitted the enrichment of historical knowledge about Isidoro Brun (1819-1898), painter and restorer, founder of the huge collection of drawings in the Prado. We have taken an active interest in his training, both as restorer and artist, his official recognition and his long-living ties with well-known and outstanding collectors of his time such as Valentín Carderera. Furthermore, Brun was active in many art auctions held in Paris in the seventies of the 19th century where he bought, thanks to middlemen, many French drawings. Our research has also paved the way to new discoveries and attributions. This article highlights this collection of French drawings, reproducing some of them for the first time.

The Altarpiece of Archbishop Sancho de Rojas: Its Acquisition, Reconstruction and Exhibition in the Museo del Prado (1928-30)

Sonia Jiménez

This paper presents the purchase process of the Altarpiece of Archbishop Sancho de Rojas by the Museo del Prado in 1928 and its later museographic installation. This article includes unpublished images of the condition of the altarpiece in the town of San Román de Hornija before its acquisition, dates and information about the arrival at the Museum and the restoration budgets presented. To conclude, the paper analyzes the scope of the restoration done by the workshop of Hijos de José Cano after its installation in the galleries of the Museo del Prado.

El Prado Disperso

Obras depositadas en la embajada de España en Buenos Aires