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Garland of Flowers with a Landscape
Arellano, Juan de
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Arellano, Juan de

Santorcaz, Madrid, 1614 - Madrid, 1676

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Garland of Flowers with a Landscape

1652. Oil on canvas.
Room 018

Flower painting experienced its greatest development in the Netherlands -there were both Flemish and Dutch schools- and in the different regions of Italy. Both Northern and Mediterranean artists produced works that became known throughout Europe -especially in Spain, where they had a decisive influence on local artists. The present painting and its pendant (P2507) magnificently exemplify the dependence on Flemish models and the high quality achieved in this sort of work. Their author, Juan de Arellano, was 17th-century Spain’s most brilliant and reputed flower painter. These works correspond to a very popular and widespread style that uses floral motives to draw the viewer into what was customarily a religious scene. Here, however, we are presented with landscapes framed by sinuous cartouches with rich and complex stone moldings, all of which clearly denote the artist’s debt to the contrived, magnificent and stunning art of the Flemish school.

Both of these works date from the beginning of Arellano’s mature period, when he was thirty-eight years old. As such, they already contain the excellent qualities that, along with his skill at crafting agreeable creations, insured his lasting fame. His elegant and firm lines constitute excellent images of all elements. As was his custom at that time, he used primary colors in both canvases, especially intense reds and blues, as well as soft yellow and a very pure white that he combined with other tonalities to produce extraordinary decorative results. The cartouches, a group of moldings that serve to frame the landscapes, are drawn from Northern mannerism, while the beautiful panoramas they contain are thought, hypothetically, to be the work of a different painter, more expert at this sort of work. The top of a pillar or pilaster appears in the foreground. Finely molded with decorative classical motifs, it bears a group of complex architectural forms topped, in turn, by two scallop shells and other equally well delineated elements. In each work, an irregularly shaped opening among these elements offers a glimpse of the vague details of a remote but pleasing landscape with luminous horizons. The lighting helps create a sense of depth, with a vanishing point that draws the viewer’s glance. And, of course, there are flowers everywhere: luminous and colorful garlands as well as branches and buds that have fallen from above and are distributed with calculated carelessness. Following Flemish practice before Rubens, both compositions are divided into three successive planes, each with its own predominant color: ocher, green and blue, successively.

The upper part of the cartouches is hidden by flowers and leaves artfully arranged according to their shape and size. These include roses, carnations, wallflowers, jasmines, lilies, anemones, mallow, English dogwood, pansies, daffodils, hyacinths, tulips, daisies and irises whose iridescent colors are brought out by the directed light that also shines on the intensely green leaves. The abundant insects and butterflies that flutter and land on the flowers are rendered with a precision that recalls the work of miniaturists, emphasizing the previously mentioned technique determined by Flemish painting’s fondness for exactitude. In terms of composition and execution, both canvases are clearly influenced by Jesuit artist Daniel Seghers (1590-1661), a specialist in flower paintings whose works are frequent in Spanish collections and must have been familiar to Arellano. We should add that the presence of insects and the most minute details of each plant, including skilled and believable drawings of thorns and stems, recall this genre’s inventor, Jan Brueghel de Velours (1568-1625), many of whose works were in Madrid. Other elements point to that court’s growing appreciation of Italian models, perhaps due to the arrival of paintings by Mario Nuzzi (1603-1673) at the Buen Retiro Palace (Text from Luna, J. J.: El bodegón español en el Prado. De Van der Hamen a Goya, Museo Nacional del Prado, 2008, pp. 100-102).

Technical data

Related artworks

Inventory number
Arellano, Juan de
Garland of Flowers with a Landscape
Height: 58 cm; Width: 73 cm
Colección León Adolfo Laffitte
Legacy of Xavier Laffitte y Charlesteguy, 1930

Bibliography +

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

Velázquez y la pintura española de su tiempo : cuadros del M, Museo Nacional, Tokio, 1980, pp. nº21.

Pérez Sánchez, Alfonso E., Pintura española de bodegones y floreros de 1600 a Goya, Ministerio de Cultura, Madrid, 1983, pp. 119, nº84.

Museo Nacional del Prado, Catálogo de las pinturas, Museo del Prado, Madrid, 1985, pp. 21.

Pintura Mexicana y Española de los Siglos XVI al XVIII, Lunwerg Editores, Barcelona, 1991.

Jordan, William B., El bodegón español de Velázquez a Goya, Ediciones el Viso, Madrid, 1995, pp. nº49.

Museo Nacional del Prado, La belleza de lo real: floreros y bodegones españoles en el, Museo del Prado, Madrid, 1995, pp. 90-93; 89, 91.

Museo Nacional del Prado, Museo del Prado: inventario general de pinturas, III, Museo del Prado, Espasa Calpe, Madrid, 1996, pp. nº1540.

Museo Nacional del Prado, Los cinco sentidos y el arte, Museo del Prado, Madrid, 1997.

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

De Tiziano a Goya. Obras maestras del Museo del Prado., Tokio - Osaka, 2006.

Luna, Juan J., El bodegón español en el Prado: de Van der Hamen a Goya, Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid, 2008, pp. 100-103.

Other inventories +

Inv. Nuevas Adquisiciones (iniciado en 1856). Núm. 1540.
Autor: Arellano / 1540. Asunto: Florero y Paisaje. / Lienzo: 73x58 cm / Nº de Catálogo: 2508/ Legado por D. Xavier Laffitte en 1930...

Inscriptions +

Juan de Arellano, 1652
Signed and dated. Front, lower left corner

Inscribed in blue. Front, lower left corner

Exhibitions +

El bodegón español en el Prado. Alcoi
24.03.2011 - 26.06.2011

El bodegón español en el Prado
12.03.2010 - 09.05.2010

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

De Tiziano a Goya. Obras maestras del Museo del Prado
14.07.2006 - 15.10.2006

De Tiziano a Goya. Obras maestras del Museo del Prado
24.03.2006 - 02.07.2006

Spanish still life. Painting from Sánchez Cotán to Goya
22.02.1995 - 21.05.1995

Pintura mejicana y pintura española de los Siglos XVI al XVIII
México D.F.
20.07.1991 - 31.08.1991

Velázquez y la pintura española de su tiempo
12.01.1981 - 09.03.1981

Velázquez y la pintura española de su tiempo
28.10.1980 - 31.12.1980

Location +

Room 018 (On Display)

Update date: 22-07-2022 | Registry created on 28-04-2015

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