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Landscape with Carmelites
Both, Jan
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Both, Jan

Utrecht, 1618 - Utrecht, 1652

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Landscape with Carmelites

1634 - 1639. Oil on canvas.
Not on display

This painting entered the Museum as an original work by Jan Both, attribution that has been maintained in the catalogues until the present day. In 1973 Valdivieso identifies it as the picture listed in the 1701 inventory of the Palace of the Buen Retiro and retains the ascription to Jan Both, which is supported by Luna (1984) and Capitelli (2005). Burke (1976) refers to it without an attribution.

Barghahn (1986) ascribes it to Herman van Swanevelt, as does Steland (forthcoming), albeit with reservations. The scene represents two Carmelite friars in the forest, one seated and reading in the left foreground, and the other in the midground behind a hillock. Barghahn (1986) identifies the monk as Saint Albert of Sicily, provincial of the Carmelite Order on the island from 1296, who saved Messina from the famine caused by a siege in 1301. The poor condition of the earth pigments prevents much of the picture surface from being properly assessed, particularly the foreground, the original components of which can be gleaned from the print included in the collection of lithographs of the pictures of King Ferdinand VII, Colección litográfica de los cuadros del rey de España el señor don Fernando Séptimo, and from a copy located in a private collection.

Despite the evident resemblance of the compositional structure and diverse features depicted to Van Swanevelt`s landscapes with hermits, various compositional and stylistic elements support the attribution to Both: the introduction of a diagonal line that breaks the classicist structure of verticals and horizontals; the handling of the leaves and vegetation; the attention to the details of the relief of the terrain; the subtle colour gradation of the landscape in the distance; and, above all, the golden light that unifies the whole.

The circular building in the mid-ground, a recreation of the temple of Marcus Curtius (Rome), is found in a drawing signed by Both, St Theodore at the Foot of the Palatine, which Burke (1976, no. D-19) holds to be inspired on a work by Charles Cornelisz. de Hooch (ca. 1600/6-1638), Landscape with Christ on the Way to Emmaus (Amsterdam, Rikjsmuseum, inv. A2218), but which Steland (1988) believes to be drawn from the life in Rome.

In addition, the X-ray image shows that the trees, clouds and background mountains are executed in the same manner as in two of Jan Both`s vertical landscapes, Baptism of the Eunuch of Queen Candace (P2060) and Taking the Cattle out (P2061). As in the latter, certain elements were even added to the group of trees on the lefthand side during the execution process, such as the branch projecting rightward from the tree in the front, the two trees behind it and the small tree in the mid-ground.

The figure of the seated friar is superimposed over the landscape. It belongs to the type that populates the hermit scenes engraved by Jan`s brother, Andries (1612/13-1642), in Rome in the 1630s (Bartsch, vol. III, pp. 22-24). According to accounts by the painter and treatise writer Joachim von Sandrart, the brothers collaborated regularly during their sojourn in Rome (Posada Kubissa, T.: Pintura holandesa en el Museo Nacional del Prado. Catálogo razonado. 2009, p. 330).


Technical data

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Inventory number
Both, Jan
Landscape with Carmelites
1634 - 1639
Height: 153 cm; Width: 222 cm
Royal Collection (Palacio del Buen Retiro, Madrid, 1701, [nº 162]; Buen Retiro, 1794, nº 1150).

Bibliography +

Valdivieso, Enrique, Pintura Holandesa del siglo XVII en españa, Universidad, Valladolid, 1973, pp. 233.

Inventarios reales: testamentaria del Rey Carlos II : 1701-1, Museo del PradoPatronato Nacional de Museos, Madrid, 1975, pp. 290/ nº162.

Burke, J.D., Jan Both:Paintings,Drawings and Prints.Tesis Doctoral, Garland Publishing: Inc., Nueva York, 1976, pp. 83.

Claudio de Lorena y el ideal clásico de paisaje en el siglo, Ministerio de Cultura, Dirección General de Bellas, Madrid, 1984, pp. 62, nº4.

Barghahn, Barbara Von, Philip IV and the Golden House of the Buen Retiro in the Tradition of Caesar, Garland PublishingInc., Nueva York, 1986, pp. 195,203.

Museo Nacional del Prado, Museo del Prado: inventario general de pinturas, I, Museo del Prado, Espasa Calpe, 1990, pp. nº1470.

Vega, Jesusa, Museo del Prado: catálogo de estampas, Museo del Prado, Madrid, 1992, pp. 245.

Capitelli, Giovanna, Los paisajes para el Palacio del Buen Retiro, En: El Palacio del Rey Planeta. Felipe IV y el Buen Retiro, Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid, 2005, pp. 254.

Posada Kubissa, Teresa, Pintura holandesa en el Museo Nacional del Prado. Catálogo razonado, Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid, 2009, pp. 219-221.

Steland, Anne Charlotte, Herman van Swanevelt (um 1603-1655): Gemälde und Zeichnungen, Michael Imhof, Petersberg, 2010, pp. 205.

Other inventories +

Inv. Testamentaría Carlos II, Buen Retiro, 1701-1703. Núm. [162].
[162] Un Pais de dos Uaras y media de largo y siette quartas de altto Con Vnas Montañas y dos Santtos Carmelitas en primero y Segundo termino Con marco tallado y dorado de el Ytaliano tasado en Settentta doblones ... 4.800

Inv. Testamentaría Carlos III, Buen Retiro, 1794. Núm. 1150.
{3513} 1150 / Otra [pintura] de Claudio Lorenès, un Pais, con dos Hermitaños Carmelitas, de dos varas menos quatro dedos de alto, y dos varas y tres quartas de ancho ... 4.000

Catálogo Museo del Prado, 1872-1907. Núm. 1187.
1187.-(1470-N.)-País con ermitaños. Uno de ellos está leyendo al pié de unos árboles.-C.L. / Alto 1,53; ancho 2,22.-L.

Inv. Real Museo, 1857. Núm. 1470.
J. Both. / 1470. Pais con ermitaños. (C.L.) / Alto 5 pies, 6 pulg; ancho 7 pies, 11 pulg, 6 lin.

Inv. Carlos III, Palacio Nuevo, 1772. Núm. 162.
Otro con vn santo carmelita sentado igual a los antecedentes y del dho lorenes =Retiro=.

Museo Real de Pinturas a la muerte de Fernando VII, 1834. Núm. f.414v.
Ochenta. Pais de los Hermitaños: V la coleccin Litografica de cuadros de S.M. nºXXX donde el Sor Cean hace el ecsamen de este cuadro.

Inscriptions +

962 / 180 (3 veces)
Inscribed. Frame, back

Pais con Rio y dos Hermita-/ños en lienzo no...
Handwritten label in black ink. Frame, back, right side bar

Rl.M.o [Real Museo]/ no 337
Scrap of paper. Stretcher, upper bar

Pais con Rio y dos Hermi- / lienzo no. 337
Handwritten label in black ink. Stretcher bar

M.N.PRADO / 02058
On metallic tablet. Stretcher

Nº 2058
Scrap of paper. Stretcher

Inscribed. Stretcher

Inscribed in orange. Front, lower left corner

P. P. O
Inscribed with chalk. Back, central area

Exhibitions +

El palacio del Rey Planeta. Felipe IV y el Buen Retiro
06.07.2005 - 30.10.2005

Update date: 28-06-2022 | Registry created on 28-04-2015

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