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Cronenburch, Adriaen van
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Cronenburch, Adriaen van

Schagen (Netherlands), 1520 - Bergum (Netherlands), 1604

See author's file

1567. Oil on panel.
Not on display

These four portraits of women, two double ones and two single ones (P02073, P02075 and P02076) presented standing and down to kneelevel, use the same architectural setting. The series is given visual unity by the use of a central niche and two more, barely visible ones at the sides, separated by masonry pillars and decorated with small lions’ heads in the centre.This use of shared elements is probably due to the fact that they were originally intended for the same gallery of portraits.With this end in mind, Cronenburch arranged the four older women with their bodies slightly turned, two towards the left and two towards the right. In three of the portraits a green curtain of differing shapes and widths in the background gives the compositions greater richness and monumentality. In two cases this curtain partly or completely covers the central niche, while in the third (P-2073) it obscures the pilaster and the start of the niche on the right.The table with a green cloth to be seen in two of the portraits imitates royal portraits by Anthonis Mor, but Cronenburch adopted a much more austere tone with more rigid figures. In the double portrait (P-2075) the words ‘NASCENDO MORIMVR’ inscribed across the two pilasters beneath the impost, as well as the skull and the flowers held by the young girl, suggest the vanitas theme and refer to the transient and ephemeral nature of worldly things.The pink held by the young girl in the other double portrait also refers to death. In 1636 these four portraits were inventoried for the first time as ‘Flemish women’ in the Alcázar in Madrid in the ‘Pieza oscura junto a la Galería del Mediodía’ [dark room next to the Mediodía Gallery], along with another by the same artist (now lost). From that date on they formed part of the royal collection before entering the Museo del Prado in 1847. Although it has not been possible to identify these female sitters, who were undoubtedly members of the same family or related by marriage, they must be members of the Frisian rural aristocracy for whom Van Cronenburch worked.They may have lived in Bergum or nearby, given that the artist is documented there from 1565. ( Silva Maroto, P.: El retrato del Renacimiento, Museo Nacional del Prado, 2008, p. 478).

Technical data

Inventory number
Cronenburch, Adriaen van
Height: 104 cm; Width: 78 cm

Bibliography +

Madrazo, Pedro de, Catálogo de los cuadros del Museo del Prado de Madrid, Madrid, 1873, pp. nº1308.

Bibliograrhie, Gazette des beaux-arts, 11, 1934, pp. 254-255.

Marlier, Georges, Un portraitiste frison du XVI siècle. Anna ou Adriaan van Cronenburch, OUD HOLLAND., 1934, pp. 1-10.

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

El niño en el Museo del Prado, Ministerio de Cultura, Dirección General de Bellas Artes, Madrid, 1983, pp. nº21.

Museo Nacional del Prado, Catálogo de las pinturas, Museo del Prado, Madrid, 1985, pp. 178.

Museo Nacional del Prado, Museo del Prado. Inventario general de pinturas (I) La Colección Real, Museo del Prado, Espasa Calpe, Madrid, 1990, pp. nº955.

Museo Nacional del Prado, Museo del Prado: catálogo de las pinturas, Ministerio de Educación y Cultura, Madrid, 1996, pp. 90.

El retrato del Renacimiento, Museo Nacional del Prado, 2008, pp. 244-245.

Herrero García, Miguel, Estudios sobre indumentaria española en la época de los Austrias, Centro de Estudios Europa Hispánica, 2014, pp. 221 f.55.

Santos Bueso, Enrique, Oftalmología en el Museo del Prado, Gertograf, 2015, pp. 48.

Other inventories +

Catálogo Museo del Prado, 1873-1907. Núm. 1308.
1308.-(955-I.)-Retratos de una señora neerlandesa y una niña, abrazadas. La señora está de frente, y la niña, á su izquierda, casi de perfil, con una flor amarilla en la mano.-Más de medio cuerpo, tamaño natural. Col. de Felipe IV, R. Alc. y Pal. de Madrid. Formaba serie con el anterior y con los números 1309 y 1310. Alto 1,04; ancho 0,78.-T.

Inv. Testamentaría Carlos III, Buen Retiro, 1794. Núm. 628.
Otra [pintura], Escuela del Quinientos, con dos mugeres, de vara y quarta de alto y vara de ancho en tabla, marco negro...300

Inv. Real Museo, 1857. Núm. 955.
Escuela holandesa / (del mismo autor que el num 953) / 955. Retratos. / Vense juntas una muger y una joven- / cita vestidas de negro. La joven tiene una / flor amarilla en la mano izquierda. Fon- / do cortinage verde entre dos pilastras. (medias / figuras) (tabla.) / Alto 3 pies, 8 pulg, 6 lin; ancho 2 pies, 9 pulg, 6 lin.

Catálogo Museo del Prado, 1854-1858. Núm. 955.

Inscriptions +

[Numeración ilegible]
Inscribed in white. Front, lower left corner

Inscribed in orange. Front, lower left corner

MUSEO DEL PRADO / Núm. 2074 / Entrada 5 agosto[...] / Trabajo Restauración[...] / Cronenburch / a cargo de Vicente jo[...] / Salida 15 agosto[...]
Inscribed in golden colour. Stretcher, left side bar

M.N.PRADO / 02074
On metallic tablet. Stretcher, right side bar

Nº 2074
Scrap of paper. Back

Inscribed with chalk. Back, central area

Inscribed with chalk. Stretcher, upper bar

Exhibitions +

The Renaissance Portrait
03.06.2008 - 07.09.2008

Update date: 09-04-2022 | Registry created on 28-04-2015

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