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Herod’s Feast (sketch)
Carreño de Miranda, Juan
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Carreño de Miranda, Juan

Avilés, Asturias (Spain), 1614 - Madrid (Spain), 1685

Carreño de Miranda, Juan See author's file

Herod’s Feast (sketch)

XVII century. Oil on canvas.
On display elsewhere

Herod and Herodias appear at the right of the composition. Sitting at a table painted in foreshortened perspective, they look on—the king with a stupefied expression—as Salome presents them with the payment for her dance: John the Baptist’s head on a platter(Mark, 6 21-29). The skillfully lit architectural background clearly recalls Venice. The other figures in the scene are standing, which contributes to its sense of verticality. In the foreground, lit from behind, are a male figure and a young black page, both with their backs to the viewer; and a dog who sits waiting for food. They, too, recall Venetian painting, especially the work of Veronese, who often included such anecdotal figures in his paintings. This small canvas painted with a light, rapid technique was acquired for the Museo del Prado in 1967, but nothing is known of its previous provenience. It has traditionally been considered a sketch for the large altar painting on the same subject that Carreño made for the Church of San Juan in Madrid. This temple was later demolished, and there is no documentation of the paintings after 1800, although it was much admired in its time and copied on numerous occasions.

Documents indicate that a version by Alonso del Arco was part of the main altarpiece dedicated to Saint John the Baptist, at the church of San Juan del Mercado, in Atienza (Guadalajara). Another copy signed by that same artist appeared on the art market in Madrid in 1968. In it, the buildings had been modified, and the saint’s head had been converted into a basket of fruit, possibly at some later date. The Biblioteca Nacional also has an anonymous drawing in ink and white-chalk wash of the same composition.


Technical data

Inventory number
Carreño de Miranda, Juan
Herod’s Feast (sketch)
XVII century
Height: 80 cm; Width: 59 cm
Acquired from Consuelo Sáenz de la Calzada, Madrid for the Museo del Prado, 1965.

Bibliography +

Museo Nacional del Prado, Principales adquisiciones de los últimos diez años: 1958-1968, Museo del Prado, Madrid, 1969.

Galindo San Miguel, Natividad, Alonso del Arco, Archivo español de arte y arqueología, 45, 1972, pp. 347-385.

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

Camón Aznar, José, Pintura Española de los Siglos XVI al XIX, Direccion General de Bellas Artes, Madrid, 1973, pp. nº7.

Madrid hasta 1875: testimonios de su historia, Ayuntamiento, Delegación de Cultura, Madrid, 1979, pp. nº322.

Espinós, Adela; Orihuela, Mercedes y Royo Villanova, Mercedes, ''El Prado disperso''. Cuadros depositados en Madrid. VIII. Museo del Ejército, Boletín del Museo del Prado, III, 1982, pp. 135.

Pérez Sánchez, Alfonso E., Juan Carreño de Miranda: 1614-1685, Ministerio de Cultura, Avilés, 1985, pp. 203 / lám. 108.

Pérez Sánchez, Alfonso E., Carreño, Rizi, Herrera y la pintura madrileña de su tiempo, Ministerio de Cultura. Banco Herrero, Madrid, 1986, pp. 236, nº58.

Museo Nacional del Prado, Museo del Prado: inventario general de pinturas, III, Museo del Prado, Espasa Calpe, Madrid, 1996, pp. nº1876.

Pintores del Reinado de Carlos II, Museo del Prado, Madrid, 1996, pp. 38, nº5.

López Vizcaíno, Pilar, Juan Carreño de Miranda: vida y obra, Ángel Mario Carreño, Oviedo, 2007, pp. 222.

Other inventories +

Inv. Nuevas Adquisiciones (iniciado en 1856). Núm. 1876.
Autor, Juan Carreño / 1876. Asunto, 'Festin de Herodes' / Lienzo, 80 x 59 cms. Numero del catálogo 3088 / Adquirido por ptas, 175.000 a Dª Consuelo Sáenz de la Calzada, de Madrid, en 5 de julio de 1965.

Inscriptions +

Inscribed with ballpoint. Frame, back, upper bar

M.N.PRADO / 003088
On metallic tablet. Stretcher

Museo Municipal de Madrid / 211136
Scrap of paper. Stretcher

Nº 3088
Scrap of paper. Stretcher

Scrap of paper. Frame, back, upper bar

TEMA / Autor: Carreño de Miranda / Título: El festín de Herodes /
Scrap of paper. Stretcher

Urbano / Exposición: Pintores del reinado de Carlos II
Scrap of paper. Frame, back, upper bar

Exhibitions +

Pintores del reinado de Carlos II
11.04.1997 - 11.05.1997

Pintores del reinado de Carlos II
28.02.1997 - 06.04.1997

Pintores del reinado de Carlos II
24.01.1997 - 23.02.1997

Pintores del reinado de Carlos II
20.12.1996 - 19.01.1997

Pintores del reinado de Carlos II
15.11.1996 - 15.12.1996

Pintores del reinado de Carlos II
11.10.1996 - 10.11.1996

Pintores del reinado de Carlos II
06.09.1996 - 06.10.1996

Pintores del reinado de Carlos II
17.05.1996 - 16.06.1996

Pintores del reinado de Carlos II
12.04.1996 - 12.05.1996

Pintores del reinado de Carlos II
29.02.1996 - 31.03.1996

Location +

Madrid - Museo de Historia de Madrid (Deposit)

Displayed objects +



Update date: 27-04-2022 | Registry created on 28-04-2015

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