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Escalante, Juan Antonio de Frías y
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Escalante, Juan Antonio de Frías y

Córdoba, 1633 - Madrid, 1669

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Third quarter of the XVII century. Oil on canvas.
Not on display

Chained to a boulder, Andromeda occupies the left side of the composition, while the right opens onto a seascape from which a monster emerges to threaten the mythological heroine. This episode is from Ovid’s Metamorphoses IV: "Jupiter Ammon had unjustly ordered the innocent Andromeda to pay the penalty for her mother Cassiopeia’s words. As soon as Perseus, great-grandson of Abas, saw her fastened by her arms to the hard rock, he would have thought she was a marble statue, except that a light breeze stirred her hair, and warm tears ran from her eyes. He took fire without knowing it and was stunned, and seized by the vision of the form he saw." After speaking with the young woman and discovering her hardships, Perseus killed the monster, freed the maiden and married her. This story was the subject of innumerable paintings during both the Renaissance and Baroque eras, although Perseus’s battle with the monster and his freeing of Andromeda were the most frequently depicted moments.

The present canvas is directly drawn from a print by Agostino Carracci (Diana de Grazia Bohlin, Prints and Related Drawings by the Carracci family, Washington, 1979, p. 294), except that the painter has chosen to chastely clothe the figure, which appears nude in the engraving.

The Museo del Prado’s catalogs have always referred to this work as "Luca Giordano, imitation of the Venetian school", and even Andreina Griseri reproduces it as such, considering it a tribute to Titian, nervous and sketchy like a Schiavone. She also points out the landscape’s decidedly seventeenth-century character, with its rich and very personal colors. Ferrari-Scavizzi recognized the error of attributing it to Giordano and excluded it from his catalog without proposing any other attribution. Finally, R. Buendía pointed out its correct and indisputable attribution.

The strongly Venetian quality of its technique and colors reflects the artist’s fascination with that city’s great masters, which had already been noticed by Palomino, and the use of prints by other artists is also frequent in his work, although it had previously been recognized only in his use of Flemish compositions associated with Rubens.

Carreño, Rizi, Herrera y la pintura madrileña de su tiempo, Madrid, Ministerio de Cultura: Banco Herrero, 1986, p.309

Technical data

Inventory number
Escalante, Juan Antonio de Frías y
Third quarter of the XVII century
Height: 78 cm; Width: 64 cm
Royal Collection (Felipe V, Quinta del duque del Arco, El Pardo, Madrid, tercera pieza de invierno, 1745, [nº 54]; Quinta del duque del Arco, pieza tercera, 1794, nº 51)

Bibliography +

Ferrari, Oreste, Luca Giordano, II, Edizione Scientifiche Italiani, 1966, pp. 299.

Buendía, José Rogelio, Recordatorio de Escalante en los 300 años de su muerte., Goya: Revista de Arte, 99, 1970, pp. 147.

Buendía, José Rogelio, Sobre Escalante., ARCHIVO ESPAÑOL DE ARTE / ARCHIVO ESPAÑOL DE ARTE Y ARQUEOLOGIA, 43, 1970, pp. 36-37.

Onieva, Antonio J., La Mitologia en el Museo del Prado, Offo, Madrid, 1972, pp. 13.

Salas, Xavier de, Museo del Prado. Catálogo de las pinturas, Museo del Prado, Madrid, 1972.

López Torrijos, Rosa, La mitología en la pintura española del siglo XVII, II, Editorial de la Universidad Complutense, Madrid, 1982, pp. 554.

Museo Nacional del Prado, Catálogo de las pinturas, Museo del Prado, Madrid, 1985, pp. 253.

López Torrijos, Rosa, La mitología en la pintura española del Siglo de Oro, Cátedra, Madrid, 1985, pp. 240.

Pérez Sánchez, Alfonso E., Une vision nouvelle de la peinture espagnole du siècle d'Or, Revue de l'Art, 70, 1985, pp. 58/lám. 10.

Carreño, Rizi, Herrera y la pintura madrileña de su tiempo, Ministerio de Cultura: Banco Herrero, Madrid, 1986, pp. 309.

Museo Nacional del Prado, Museo del Prado: inventario general de pinturas (I) La Colección Real, Museo del Prado, Espasa Calpe, Madrid, 1990, pp. nº1116.

Buendía, José Rogelio, El Prado. Colecciones de Pintura, Lunwerg Editores, Barcelona, 1994, pp. 135.

Aterido Fernández, Ángel; Martínez Cuesta, Juan; Pérez Preciado, José Juan, Colecciones de pinturas de Felipe V e Isabel Farnesio. Inventarios Reales, II, Fundación de Apoyo de la Historia del Arte Hispánico, Madrid, 2004, pp. 293.

Other inventories +

Inv. Felipe V, Quinta duque del Arco, 1745. Núm. [54].
Tercera Pieza de Ynvierno [...] [54] Una Andromeda de vara de alto por tres quartas de ancho, su marco dorado y blanco=

Inv. Real Museo, 1857. Núm. 1116.
Lucas Jordan (imitando la Escuela Veneciana) / 1116. Andromeda espuesta al dragon. / Alto 2 pies, 9 pulg, 6 lin; ancho 2 pies, 3 pulg, 6 lin.

Catálogo Museo del Prado, 1854-1858. Núm. 1116.

Catálogo Museo del Prado, 1972. Núm. 195.

Catálogo Museo del Prado, 1910. Núm. 195.

Catálogo Museo del Prado, 1872-1907. Núm. 221.

Inv. Testamentaría Carlos III, Quinta duque del Arco, 1794. Núm. 51.
Pieza tercera [...] 51 vara de alto tres quartas de ancho Andromeda atada al peñasco su autor Parmesanino = 700

Inscriptions +

Front, lower right corner

Inscribed in yellow. Front, lower right corner

Inscribed in orange. Front, lower left corner

Exhibitions +

Arte y mito. Los dioses del Prado
15.10.2020 - 14.03.2021

Update date: 09-04-2022 | Registry created on 02-12-2015

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