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Boletín del Museo del Prado

Latest boletín

NUMBER 54 | 2018

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:

Juan Soreda’s Renovation of the Retable of Saints John the Baptist and Catherine in the Museo del Prado and Sigüenza Cathedral

Francisco Javier Ramos Gómez

This article proposes Juan Soreda’s specific intervention in the transformation of the faces of the two titular saints in the Retable of Saints John the Baptist and Catherine. The retable is the central panel of an altarpiece which was originally painted by the Gothic painter Juan de Sevilla (Iohannes Hispalensis) for the de la Cerda family at the beginning of the fifteenth century. It is also suggested that Soreda might have repainted additional faces. Updating or modifying images was a practice which has been little studied in the history of sixteenth-century art and which can provide interesting data on many paintings. The article also reconstructs the turbulent afterlife of the altarpiece, currently divided between the Prado Museum and the Cathedral of Sigüenza.

Raphael’s Visitation altarpiece and the Branconio’s commission. Unpublished documents

Francesco Desideri

The commission of Raphael’s Visitation altarpiece, now in the Prado, has been burdened by historiographic gaps due to the lack of documents pertaining to it. This article is an excerpt from a more extensive research project carried out by the author as part of his undergraduate dissertation on the topic. The article focuses on making public previously unpublished documents, with an aim to establish the historical, social and devotional context of the commission. Through the contextualization of the new sources available, the article defines the true identity of the patron and offers a restricted timeframe for the correct dating of the painting.

Juan Sánchez Cotán’s Still Lifes and Artistic Ingenio in Early Modern Toledo

Carmen Ripollés

This essay brings new light on the creation and early reception of the still lifes of the Toledan painter Juan Sánchez Cotán. It focuses on Cotán’s friendship with and professional relationship to the metalworker Diego de Valdivieso and the manuscript illuminator Juan de Salazar, both of whom are recorded as being among the first owners of his still lifes. An analysis of these artists’ works vis-à-vis Cotán’s still lifes reveals similar technical and conceptual concerns, as well as a shared will to elevate their crafts to demonstrate ingenio. This analysis therefore places Cotán’s still lifes in the context of artistic experimentation, supporting the long-held assumption that his first patrons appreciated these pictures foremost as ingenious novelties.

Alonso Cano’s Miracle of the Well for the Altarpiece of Santa María de la Almudena. Unpublished Documents

Juan María Cruz Yábar

The scarce news known about the Miracle of the Well, painted by Alonso Cano for the upper section of the main altarpiece in the parish church of Santa María de la Almudena in Madrid, now in the Museo del Prado, comes from old treaties. On the basis of recently discovered documentation on the gilding, we establish the date of the canvas (1638) and its price, and discuss the selection of Cano over other proposed candidates like Velázquez, Carducho, and Leonardo, his disagreements with the patron, the gilder Pedro Martín de Ledesma, and the likely intervention of Maíno. We also relate for the first time the subject of the painting with Our Lady of Almudena and the desire of the Monarchs and the Count-Duke of Olivares to establish her patronage over the city of Madrid.

Two Seventeenth-Century Garden Views from the Royal Palace of Aranjuez

Richard L. Kagan y Marianna S. Simpson

Around 1660 the artist Benito Manuel Agüero completed thirty-three paintings for the «Salón» of Philip IV’s palace at Aranjuez. This pictorial program included seven large over window (sobreventana) paintings, of which five have long formed part of the collections in the Museo del Prado. The other two sobreventanas, depicting garden scenes of the Buen Retiro and El Pardo, were separated from the set, apparently in the early 19th century, and are discussed here for the first time.

The Prado disperso. Epilogue

Mercedes Orihuela

Owing to the discontinuation of the regular section of the Boletín del Museo del Prado entitled “El Prado disperso”, first published in 1980, the author briefly surveys the history of the museum’s long-term loans from all the collections. This is followed by a list by Autonomous Regions, provinces and institutions indicating the number of works on loan in each.