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Saint James the Pilgrim
Flandes, Juan de
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Flandes, Juan de

Netherlands, 1447 - Palencia (Spain), 1514

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Saint James the Pilgrim

1496 - 1497. Oil on panel.
Room 051A

Saint James the Elder is depicted as a pilgrim, with his customary crozier or staff, although here it lacks the customary calabash for water. He wears a cape and a hat with the scallop shell that symbolizes the pilgrimage to Compostela, just as the Greek cross and palm did for pilgrims to Jerusalem and the double key and Speedwell for those headed to Rome. While the origin of the scallop shell remains unclear, a late tradition holds that a horseman who fell into the sea was saved by the apostle, who covered his body with shells. The pilgrimage to Compostela is so important that its attributes appear in the other two iconographic representations of Saint James the Elder—as apostle and as a knight—and that explains the presence here of the book, which symbolizes the doctrine of the Gospel.

Born and trained in Flanders, Juan de Flandes is known only through the works he made in Castile after arriving in 1496 to become a painter at the court of Isabella the Catholic. He held that post until her death, and decided to remain there afterwards. The loss of his annual salary forced him to enter the general art market, where clients demanded a type of painting quite different from his work for the queen, sometimes for altarpieces consisting of numerous panels.


Technical data

Inventory number
Flandes, Juan de
Saint James the Pilgrim
1496 - 1497
Height: 49 cm; Width: 37 cm
Acquired by the State, as a nonrecourse debt (Afinsa Bienes Tangibles, S. A.) for the Prado Museum, 1998

Bibliography +

El ''Prado disperso''. Nuevos depósitos. Madrid, Teatro Real, Boletín del Museo del Prado, XVII,35, 1999, pp. 170.

Erasmo en España: la recepción del Humanismo en el primer re, Sociedad Estatal para la Acción Cultural Exterior, Madrid, 2002.

Pute, Jeho, Europa : Santiago : The Roads That Shaped and Its Pilgrimage, Saecex, [S.L.], 2004, pp. n 78 p44.

Os capítulos da Irmandade peregrinación y conflicto social e..., Xestión do Plan Xacobeo, La Coruña, 2006.

Weniger, Matthias, Sittow, Morros, Juan de Flandes : drei Maler aus dem Norden..., Verlag Ludwig, 2011, pp. 230-232.

Maurer, G., Goya: lo bello y lo recóndito. En: La belleza encerrada: de Fra Angelico a Fortuny, Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid, 2013, pp. 94.

Mena, M. Albarrán, V, La belleza encerrada: de Fra Angelico a Fortuny, folleto, Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid, 2013, pp. 10 n.17.

Mena Marqués, M.; Albarrán, V., Azúa, F. de, La belleza cautiva. Pequeños tesoros del Museo del Prado, Museo del Prado - Obra Social ''La Caixa'', Barcelona, 2014, pp. 64.

Prado captive beauty: treasures from the Prado Museum, Mitsubishi Ichigokan Museum, 2015, pp. n.6.

Other inventories +

Inv. Nuevas Adquisiciones (iniciado en 1856). Núm. 2387.

Exhibitions +

Captive Beauty. Treasures from The Prado Museum
10.10.2015 - 31.01.2016

Captive Beauty. Small Treasures at the Prado Museum
16.07.2014 - 05.01.2015

Captive Beauty. Fra Angelico to Fortuny
21.05.2013 - 10.11.2013

Los capítulos de la Hermandad. Peregrinación y conflicto social en la Galicia del siglo XV
28.07.2006 - 28.10.2006

Caminos que hicieron Europa: Santiago y su peregrinación
20.12.2004 - 20.02.2005

Caminos que hicieron Europa: Santiago y su peregrinación
15.09.2004 - 28.11.2004

Erasmo en España. La recepción del Humanismo en el primer Renacimiento
04.10.2002 - 06.01.2003

Memoria del futuro. Actuaciones sobre el patrimonio
17.12.1999 - 20.02.2000

Location +

Room 051A (On Display)


Displayed objects +


Staff, Pilgrim's

Update date: 15-03-2022 | Registry created on 28-04-2015

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