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Christ on the Way to Calvary
Kempeneer, Pieter
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Kempeneer, Pieter

Brussels (Belgium), 1503, 1580

Kempeneer, Pieter See author's file

Christ on the Way to Calvary

Ca. 1547. Oil on oak panel.
Room 052C

Until this donation by Placido Arango in 2015, the Museo del Prado had no paintings by Pieter van Kempeneer, an artist born in Brussels and first documented in Seville in 1537 after a period spent in Italy (Bologna, Venice and Rome). Known as Pedro de Campaña in Spain, Kempeneer remained here until 1563 before returning to his hometown. His oeuvre is characterized by numerous altarpieces and devotional paintings, some of small dimensions, in which he reveals himself as an excellent draftsman with an original narrative sense based on his profound knowledge of Flemish painting, and also of some of the protagonists of early Roman mannerism, such as Perìn del Vaga or Polidoro de Caravaggio. In his most complex compositions, like the present one, Campaña conceived the groups like a frieze in which the figures, many with raised heads and rhetorically gesticulating hands, became expressive formulas that appear repeatedly in his works. Christ on the Way to Calvary was painted around 1547 as part of a private altarpiece at the church of the convent of Santa María de Gracia in Seville. That altar’s central panel -The Descent from the Cross- is now at the Musée Fabre in Montpellier, and another tondo with the subject of The Resurrection is in the Várez Fisa Collection. The subjects of those three works constituted an appropriate iconographic group for a 16th-century funerary chapel and, in fact, the altarpiece was commissioned by Elvira de la Barrera, widow of the jurado of Seville, Luis Fernández, to whom she dedicated it. The two tondos or rounds were listed as unfinished in June 1547, which helps date the overall group. Campaña made few circular works, and indeed, that format is not frequent in Spain. The Calvary that crowns the Altarpiece of the Purification at Seville Cathedral (1555) is also made on a wooden tondo, as are the representations of Saint Peter and Saint Paul at the Altarpiece of Saint Nicholas in Cordoba Cathedral (1556).

Ruiz, L, 'Pedro de Campaña. Cristo camino del Calvario' En:. Donación de Plácido Arango Arias al Museo del Prado, Madrid, Museo Nacional del Prado, 2016, p.22-23 n.2


Technical data

Inventory number
Kempeneer, Pieter
Christ on the Way to Calvary
Ca. 1547
Oak panel
Diameter: 74 cm
Convent of Santa María de Gracia, Seville, around 1547; Collection of José Larrazábal, French vice-consul in Seville, nineteenth century; Unknown private collection, Seville; Collection of Plácido Arango Arias; Bequest of Plácido Arango Arias, 2015.

Bibliography +

Madoz, Pascual, Diccionario Geográfico, Estadístico, Histórico de España y sus posesiones de ultramar, XIV, Madrid, 1849, pp. 374.

Amador de los Ríos, José, Sevilla Pintoresca O Descripción de Sus Más Célebres Monumentos Artísticos. Facs. 1844., El Albir, Barcelona, 1979, pp. 394.

Dacos, Nicole, Pedro de Campaña dopo Siviglia. Arazzi e altri inediti, Bollettino d'arte, 6-8, Roma, 1980, pp. 5-33.

Serrera, Juan Miguel, Pedro de Campaña. Obra dispersa, Archivo español de arte, LXII/245, Madrid, 1989, pp. 3.

Morales, Alfredo J., Velázquez y Sevilla, Junta de Andalucía, Consejería de Cultura, 1999.

Valdivieso, E. en: Vallaure, M. (ed.), Una mirada singular. Pintura española de los siglos XVI al XIX, Museo de Bellas Artes de Asturias, Oviedo, 2006, pp. 2-7, n. 1.

Valdivieso, Enrique, Pedro de Campaña, Fundación Sevillana Endesa, Sevilla, 2008, pp. 83-84.

Museo Nacional del Prado, Plácido Arango Arias. Donación de 25 obras maestras de su colección de arte antiguo al Museo del Prado, Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid, 2015, pp. n. 2.

Museo Nacional del Prado, Memoria de actividades 2015, Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid, 2016, pp. 30-31.

Ruiz, L, 'Pedro de Campaña. Cristo camino del Calvario' En:, Donación de Plácido Arango Arias al Museo del Prado, Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid, 2016, pp. 22-23 n.2.

Other inventories +

Inv. Nuevas Adquisiciones (iniciado en 1856). Núm. 2906.

Exhibitions +

Temporal presentation: The Plácido Arango donation
07.07.2015 - 22.11.2015

Location +

Room 052C (On Display)

Update date: 18-02-2022 | Registry created on 24-08-2015

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