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Landscape with Saint Rosalia of Palermo
Swanevelt, Herman van
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Swanevelt, Herman van

Woerden (Netherlands), 1603 - Paris (France), 1655

See author's file

Landscape with Saint Rosalia of Palermo

1634 - 1639. Oil on canvas.
Not on display

The painting entered the Museum as an original by Jan Both, and it is recorded as such in subsequent inventories and catalogues until the edition of 1976. Further, up until 1972 it is described in the Museum publications as the companion piece to Landscape with Carthusian (Saint Bruno)? (P02064) and Landscape with Saint Benedict of Nursia (P02065). In 1959 Blunt identifies it as the landscape described in the Buen Retiro inventory and maintains the attribution to Jan Both, as does Roethlisberger (1961). Waddingham (1960) ascribes it to Van Swanevelt, while Burke (1976) refers to it as an anonymous work. Valdivieso (1973), Luna (1984) and Barghahn (1986) back the attribution to Van Swanevelt, which is officially adopted by the Museum in the last general inventory (1990) and is currently supported by Galera Mendoza (2001), Capitelli (2005) and Steland (forthcoming).

The compositional structure of this picture differs from that of the two previous landscapes. Here the space does not open out towards the background in the centre but on the right side. In addition, the horizontality that characterises Van Swanevelt`s Roman landscapes is broken by the diagonal line of the rocks in the foreground before which the saint kneels. Steland sees a connection between the composition of the present work and that of Landscape with Balaam and the Angel (private collection) signed and dated by the painter ROMA 1633, and also Juno attacking Callisto transformed into a Bear, one of the overwindow pictures executed by Van Swanevelt around 1635 for the Galleria Barberini (Rome, Galleria Nazionale d`Arte Antica, Palazzo Barberini).

The breakdown of the earth pigments prevents the work from being properly assessed and it is therefore not possible to reach a definite conclusion about its authorship. The saint is shown kneeling before some rocks by a river, engraving her name in the book held by an angel. The river area is all but missing, as is the rocky outcrop covered in vegetation and with cascades. Even so, the handling of the rocks and the leaves seems characteristic of Van Swanevelt. Furthermore, the X-ray image reveals that the clouds and background mountains are constructed in a very similar way to those in the previous two landscapes. It should be pointed out that the motif of rocky formations with waterfalls is found in various drawings attributed to Van Swanevelt, as in, for example, View of a Cascade, inscribed Herman d`italie.

Here too the authorship of the figures has been greatly debated. The X-ray image shows that they are superimposed. Moreover, they are not of the same type as Van Swanevelt`s figures. Steland believes they may have been executed by Michelangelo Cerquozzi (1602-1660) and relates them to those in Garden Party with Roman Artists (Kassel, Gemäldegallerie Alte Meister, inv. gk 554). Nicola Spinosa, on the other hand, has stated that they may be the work of Salvator Rosa (1615-1673), who had recently arrived in Rome (Text drawn from Posada Kubissa, T.: Pintura holandesa en el Museo Nacional del Prado. Catálogo razonado, 2009, p. 329).


Technical data

Inventory number
Swanevelt, Herman van
Landscape with Saint Rosalia of Palermo
1634 - 1639
Height: 158 cm; Width: 234 cm
Paisajes para el Palacio del Buen Retiro
Royal Collection (Buen Retiro Palace, Madrid, 1701, [no. 200]; New Royal Palace, Madrid, "estudio de Andrés de la Calleja", 1772, no. 200; Buen Retiro, 1794, no. 1151).

Bibliography +

Blunt, Anthony, Poussin Studies VIII - A series of Anchorite subjects commissioned by Philip IV from Poussin, Claude and others, The Burlington magazine, 1959, pp. 389-390.

Waddingham, Malcom R., Herman van Swanevelt in Rome, Paragone : mensile de arte figurativa, 1960, pp. 37-50.

Roethlisberger, Marcel G., Claude Lorrain. The Paintings., I, Yale University Press, New Haven, 1961, pp. 156-157.

Waddingham, Malcom R., Andries and Jan Both in France and Italy, Paragone, 171, 1964, pp. 13-43 [28-33].

Valdivieso, Enrique, Pintura Holandesa del siglo XVII en españa, Universidad, Valladolid, 1973, pp. 337,375,377.

Inventarios reales: testamentaria del Rey Carlos II : 1701-1, II, Museo del PradoPatronato Nacional de Museos, Madrid, 1975, pp. 293/ nº200.

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

Espinós, Adela; Orihuela, Mercedes y Royo Villanova, Mercedes, ''El Prado disperso''. Cuadros depositados en Madrid. VII. Museo de América, Boletín del Museo del Prado, III, 1982, pp. 48.

Claudio de Lorena y el ideal clásico de paisaje en el siglo, Ministerio de Cultura, Dirección General de Bellas, Madrid, 1984, pp. 19.

Barghahn, Barbara Von, Philip IV and the Golden House of the Buen Retiro in the Tradition of Caesar, Garland PublishingInc., Nueva York, 1986, pp. 199/ lám.804.

Museo Nacional del Prado, Museo del Prado: inventario general de pinturas (I) La Colección Real, Museo del Prado, Espasa Calpe, Madrid, 1990.

Galera, Esther, Herman van Swanevelt y la pintura de paisaje en la Colección Real española, Goya: Revista de Arte, 280, 2001, pp. 26.

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/ lám.81.

Steland, Anne Charlotte., Herman van swanevelt (um 1603-1655). Gemälde und Zeicnungen, Petersberg, 2009.

Posada Kubissa, Teresa, Pintura holandesa en el Museo Nacional del Prado. Catálogo razonado, Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid, 2009, pp. 215-217.

Steland, Anne Charlotte, Herman van Swanevelt (um 1603-1655): Gemälde und Zeichnungen, Michael Imhof, Petersberg, 2010, pp. 170-172.

Langdon, Helen, Salvator Rosa, Paul Holberton Publishing, 2010.

Other inventories +

Inv. Testamentaría Carlos II, Buen Retiro, 1701-1703. Núm. [200].
[200] Ottro Pais del mismo tamaño que el anttezedente [dos varas y media de largo y siete cuartas de alto] de mano de el Italiano con Santta Rosolea grauando Su nombre tassado en settentta Doblones ... 4.200

Inv. Testamentaría Carlos III, Buen Retiro, 1794. Núm. 1151.
{3514} 1151. Otra [pintura] de Claudio Lorenès, un Pais, con Stª. Rosalia, igual en todo à la anterior [Un pais con carmelitas dos varas menos quatro dedos de alto dos varas y tres quartas de ancho ... 4.000] ... 4.000

Catálogo Museo del Prado, 1872-1907. Núm. 1192.
1192.-(1782-R.)-País con luz de madrugada.-De una montaña cubierta de vegetación se precipita al valle una cascada, que forma en él un espumoso remanso. Se ve á Santa Rosalía de Palermo acompañada de un ángle esculpiendo su voto en una piedra.-Figuras de A.Both. / Alto 1,18; ancho 2,34.-L.

Inv. Real Museo, 1857. Núm. 1782.
J. Both / 1782. Pais fragoso y poblado de arboles, con presa. / En el esta santa rosalia de palermo acompañada de un angel, esculpiendo en una piedra su voto de consagrarse a la vida de cenobita. / Figuras de andres both. / Alto 5 pies, 8 pulg; ancho 8 pies, 4 pulg, 6 lin.

Inv. Carlos III, Palacio Nuevo, 1772. Núm. 200.
Estudio de don Andres de la Calleja Pintor de Cámara de su magd. {13336} 200 / = Retiro= Otro [pais] de Santa Rosalea con vn angel grabando vn rotulo sobre vna piedra de tres varas menos quarta de ancho y dos escasas de caida original del mismo autor [Claudio lorenes].

Museo Real de Pinturas a la muerte de Fernando VII, 1834. Núm. fol.430.
Mil ciento cincuenta y uno. Pais. Santa Rosalia y el Angel. Id.[Both]-6.000

Inscriptions +

R.M. [Sello del Real Museo]
Printmaking. Back, Upper area

13 cuadros (sala 30) en los 2 grupos
Inscribed with chalk. Stretcher

Inscribed. Stretcher

M.N.PRADO / 02063
On metallic tablet. Stretcher

Nº 1618 2 / 2063 / J Both / 1652 / con un angel / nº 3
Inscribed. Frame, back, upper bar

nº 2063 (2 veces)
Scrap of paper. Stretcher

Nº Mton Una santa anacoreta con un Angel
Handwritten label. Stretcher

Inscribed in orange. Front, lower left corner

Update date: 24-11-2022 | Registry created on 28-04-2015

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