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Jesus conversing with Saint John the Evangelist
Cano, Alonso
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Cano, Alonso

Granada, 1601 - Granada, 1667

Cano, Alonso See author's file

Jesus conversing with Saint John the Evangelist

1660 - 1665. Grey-brown wash, Pencil on yellow laid paper.
Not on display

The drawing depicts two standing figures conversing: to the left, Saint John, beardless, holding a chalice in his right hand and turning his head towards the figure on the right, who is probably Jesus. The relatively young, bearded figure does not display any other attributes. However, he also extends his hand, in this case the right, over the chalice. The joining of the hands around the chalice suggests that the bearded figure probably epitomises Jesus Christ. Regarding the chalice, it possibly alludes to the fact that Saint John the Baptist was prepared to drink from the cup of suffering as a witness to the Lord. Nevertheless, there is insufficient evidence to define this iconography accurately. An additional possible interpretation can be found in the theological work performed by one of the chaplains of Granada Cathedral, Lorenzo van der Hamen y León, ‘Al hijo segundo de María Santísima, al solo en sus regalos y favores, a San Juan Evangelista’ a panegyrical eulogy in which detailed comparisons between Christ and Saint John the Evangelist have been developed.

The technique employed is akin to that of Cano’s drawings of Saint John the Evangelist in Patmos (D61), as well as various ink and watercolour drawings in the series of Dominican themes for the convent of Santa Cruz of Granada. Although there is no apparent relationship between this drawing and those of the series of Dominican themes, the technique of applying opaque watercolour to create dramatic chiaroscuros, the style and the atmosphere are so alike that a close date can be assigned to both.

On the other hand, the format of this drawing is in exact proportion to the canvas The Vision of Saint John the Evangelist (The Wallace Collection, London). It appears reasonable to deduce that, at least, one of Cano’s drawings of Saint John the Evangelist could be related to the paintings executed for the altarpiece of Saint Paula.

Veliz, Zahira, Alonso Cano (1601-1667): dibujos, Santander, Fundación Marcelino Botín, 2009, p.264-267; nº 39


Technical data

Inventory number
Cano, Alonso
Jesus conversing with Saint John the Evangelist
1660 - 1665
Grey-brown wash; Pencil
Yellow laid paper
Height: 160 mm; Width: 85 mm
Royal Collection

Bibliography +

Sánchez Cantón, F.J., Dibujos Españoles. Vol. IV. Alonso Cano, Hauser y Menet, Madrid, 1930, pp. 299.

Martinez Chumillas, Manuel, Alonso Cano: estudio monográfico de la obra del insigne que fue de la catedral de Granada, Carlos Jaime, Madrid, 1949, pp. 157.

Wethey, Harold, Alonso Cano's drawings, The Art bulletin, 34, 1952, pp. 234.

Gómez-Moreno, María Elena, Exposicion Alonso Cano. Catálogo, Ministerio de Educación Nacional, Granada, 1954, pp. nº 75.

Orozco Díaz, Emilio, Alonso Cano y su escuela en el III centenario de su muerte, Caja de Ahorros, Granada, 1963, pp. nº 192.

Pérez Sánchez, Alfonso E., Catálogo de Dibujos. Vol.I. Dibujos españoles siglos XV-XVII, Madrid, 1972, pp. 59-60.

Véliz, Zahira, Alonso Cano's Drawings and Related Works, Courtald Institute-London Univ., Londres, 1998, pp. nº 36.

Alonso Cano dibujos, Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid, 2001, pp. 149, nº 37.

Veliz, Zahira, Alonso Cano (1601-1667): dibujos, Fundación Marcelino Botín, Santander, 2009, pp. 264-267; nº 39.

Other inventories +

Inv. Real Museo, 1857. Núm. 6.
Figura como "Jesús y San Juan"

Inv. Dibujos, Fondo Antiguo. Núm. 58.

Update date: 21-05-2022 | Registry created on 28-04-2015

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