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Saint John the Baptist
Maíno, Fray Juan Bautista
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Maíno, Fray Juan Bautista

Pastrana, Guadalajara, 1581 - Madrid, 1649

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Saint John the Baptist

Before 1613. Oil Room 007A

Saint John the Baptist in a landscape could be described as an already-known work within Maíno’s oeuvre. Two other versions of this composition have been published, both of which are characterised by the use of an evening light that bathes the gentle hill strategically located in the background that is so characteristic of this artist’s work, as is the inclusion of plants and shrubs, rushing torrents of water and trees with slender trunks and transparent foliage. The first of the previously-known examples was published by Enriqueta Harris in 1935 when it was in an unidentified Madrid collection, though its present whereabouts is now unknown. More recently, in 1992 Pérez Sánchez published a second version that is in Malaga Cathedral. Again painted on copper and of slightly smaller size, it is undoubtedly a summary copy of the previous one.

A comparison between this rendering from a Madrid private collection and the one published by Harris suggests that the one here is a second version with small variations. In this panel Maíno slightly modifies the illumination of the sky to create the feeling of a nocturnal scene. He alters the placement of the halo, which is less visible to the viewer, and adds a very subtle touch of light to the outline of Saint John’s head. Moreover, the folds of the saint’s drapery lying on the ground are more broken, less emphatic. In addition, in this copper Maíno develops the right side of the composition to a greater degree, which allows him to include the depiction of the reed cross with the scroll heralding Christ as the Saviour (Ecce Agnus Dei). The cross is presented lying at an angle and propped against a small cluster of stones, projecting the shadow of its longest arm along the ground. This distinctive and characteristic manner of breaking up the parallel pictorial planes is also found in Maíno’s Saint John the Baptist in Basel.

Ruíz Gómez, Leticia, Juan Bautista Maíno, 1581-1649, Madrid, Museo Nacional del Prado, 2009, p.78-82

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Technical data

Inventory number
P008277
Author
Maíno, Fray Juan Bautista
Title
Saint John the Baptist
Date
Before 1613
Technique
Oil
Dimension
Height: 19.3 cm.; Width: 14.4 cm.
Provenance
Acquired by the State for the Museo del Prado, 2017

Bibliography +

Harris, E, Aportaciones para el estudio de Juan Bautista Maíno, Revista española de Arte., 8, 1934-1935, pp. 336-337.

Pérez Sánchez, A.E, 'Sobre Juan Bautista Maíno, pintor dominico', Archivo español de arte, LXX, 278, 1997, pp. 120-122.

Ruíz Gómez, Leticia, Juan Bautista Maíno, 1581-1649, Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid, 2009, pp. 78-82.

Ruiz Gómez, L, Juan Bautista Maíno: 1581-1649, Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid, 2009, pp. 78-82.

Other inventories +

Inv. Nuevas Adquisiciones (iniciado en 1856). Núm. 2959.

There are no temporary exhibitions related to this work

Location +

Room 007A (On Display)

Expuesto
Update date: 26-11-2019 | Registry created on 17-03-2018

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