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Flowers in a Glass Vase
Arellano, Juan de
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Arellano, Juan de

Santorcaz, Madrid, 1614 - Madrid, 1676

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Flowers in a Glass Vase

1668. Oil on canvas.
Room 018

This artist was a fundamental referent for Spanish still lifes in general and flower paintings in particular. He was that specialty’s consummate master and its leading light at the height of the Siglo de Oro, producing a plethora of works of unquestionable quality in a field already filled with them. He was also the most important artist with this surname, including close relatives and others. His abundant genius and characteristic affinities mark him as a master with a unique personality and a broad and lasting influence on his collaborators and both immediate and distant followers. The canvas presented here dates from his most mature period, just eight years before his death.

This absolutely masterful painting is both beautiful and admirably rendered with a refined and elegant monumentality that reflects his unquestionable perceptual capacity. Its varied and rich combination of colors fills almost the entire canvas in an agile, brilliant composition without fear of excess, despite its hint of horror vacui. Highly decorative and sincerely joyful, it manages to elude coarse overcrowding or tiresome irrelevance. Moreover, its combination of tonal contrast with formal diversity, and of apparent disorder in the arrangement of the flowers with strict symmetry in the overall group, produces a surprising harmoniousness and invites the viewer to contemplate its inextricable interweaving of calculated details with a fascination that borders on rapture.

Each species is easily identified, thanks to the clarity with which Arellano renders not only those in the foreground, but other smaller ones as well. And yet, this ability to endow each with its own personality does not impede their integration as parts of a balanced and expressive whole whose vivacity, vigorous dynamism and striking relevance suggest that the flowers have just been cut. We should add that the masterful use or light and color and the handsome arrangement of these flowers is perfectly complemented by the surprisingly perfect crystal vase and its totally believable water, as well as the manner in which it rests on an irregular stone pedestal with a flat surface. Finally, the neutral but contrasting background is yet another discovery that adds volume to this composition (Text drawn from Luna, J. J. : El bodegón español en el Prado. De Van der Hamen a Goya, Museo Nacional del Prado, 2008, p. 104).

Technical data

Inventory number
Arellano, Juan de
Flowers in a Glass Vase
Height: 83 cm; Width: 62 cm
Christie's, London, 1974; Private Collection, Alicante; Rosendo Naseiro Collection, Madrid; acquired for the Prado Museum, 2006.

Bibliography +

Pérez Sánchez, Alfonso E., Pintura española de bodegones y floreros de 1600 a Goya, Ministerio de Cultura, Madrid, 1983, pp. nº86.

Duvosquel, Jean-Marie; Vandevivere, Ignace (eds.), Splendeurs d'Espagne et les villes belges: 1500-1700, Europalia 85 España. Crédit Communal, Bruselas, 1985, pp. nºD7.

De Greco à Picasso, Ministerio de Cultura, París, 1987, pp. nº75.

Pérez Sánchez, Alfonso E., Pintura Española de Bodegones y Floreros, The National Museum of Western Art, Tokio, 1992.

Agulló y Cobo, Mercedes, Juan de Arellano: (1614-1676), Caja Madrid, Madrid, 1998, pp. nº36.

Cherry, Peter, Arte y naturaleza: el bodegón español en el siglo de oro, Ediciones Doce Calles, Madrid, 1999, pp. lám.CXXVIII.

Aterido Fernández, Ángel, El Bodegon en la España del Siglo de Oro, Edilupa Ediciones: S.L., Madrid, 2002, pp. 93-94.

Flores españolas del Siglo de Oro: la pintura de flores en la España del siglo XVII, Fundación Amigos del Museo del Prado, Madrid, 2002, pp. nº30.

Lo fingido verdadero. Bodegones de la colección Naseiro adquiridos para el Prado, Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid, 2006, pp. 77.

Portús Pérez, Javier, Memoria de Actividades 2006, Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid, 2007, pp. 20-30.

Natures mortes de Sánchez Cotán a Goya a l'entorn de la col...., Museu Nacional d'Art de Cataluny, Barcelona, 2007.

Luna, Juan J., El bodegón español en el Prado: de Van der Hamen a Goya, Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid, 2008, pp. 104/105.

Other inventories +

Inv. Nuevas Adquisiciones (iniciado en 1856). Núm. 2721.

Inscriptions +

Juan de Arellano / 1668
Signed and dated. Front, lower right corner

Scrap of paper. Frame, back, lower bar

Exhibitions +

Rembrandt-Velázquez [España-Holanda]
11.10.2019 - 19.01.2020

El bodegón español en el Prado
24.03.2011 - 26.06.2011

El bodegón español en el Prado
11.03.2010 - 06.06.2010

El bodegón español en el Prado
12.10.2009 - 14.02.2010

El bodegón español en el Prado
25.06.2009 - 20.09.2009

El bodegón español en el Prado
31.03.2009 - 31.05.2009

El bodegón español en el Prado
24.09.2008 - 30.11.2008

Naturalezas muertas. De Sánchez Cotán a Goya. En el entorno de la Colección Naseiro
26.03.2007 - 24.06.2007

Lo fingido verdadero. Bodegones españoles de la colección Naseiro adquiridos para el Prado.<br />
24.10.2006 - 07.01.2007

Location +

Room 018 (On Display)


Displayed objects +

Decorative object and tableware: Jarrón

Update date: 31-05-2022 | Registry created on 28-04-2015

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