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Saint Lawrence / Saint Hilary
Correa de Vivar, Juan
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Correa de Vivar, Juan

Mascaraque (Toledo, Spain), 1510 - Toledo (Spain), 1566

See author's file

Saint Lawrence / Saint Hilary

1559. Oil on panel.
Room 052C

The Museo del Prado’s collections include an important group of paintings by Juan de Correa de Vivar, an artist based in Toledo who must have been born at the beginning of the 16th century in the town of Mascaraque and died in the Imperial City in 1566. In total, these are nearly forty works from the former Museo Nacional de la Trinidad. Like many other 16th-century Spanish religious painters, Correa de Vivar stood out for his meticulously painted works for altarpieces, structures of various types whose narrative and stylistic contents were adapted to the overall perception of the group.

Here, the saint is depicted full-length with a grill in his right hand that alludes to his martyrdom. His dalmatic identifies him as a deacon of the Church, one of whose missions was to carry the Gospels. These appear in his left hand. Standing next to a tree and framed by architecture painted in the form of an arch, he appears in front of a landscape. This work is paired with Saint Stephen (P01301) as the two were lateral doors to an altarpiece whose central panel depicted The Annunciation (P02828).

This altar was commissioned by the community of the Order of Saint Jerome for the monastery at Guisando in Avila, where it was already documented in 1559. At the time, Correa de Vivar was deeply involved in mannerism, with a very carefully crafted production that draws on Italian prints. That explains the similarity of his figures, architectural elements and compositional notes to the work of Raphael. The three separate panels now considered part of that altarpiece -The Annunciation, Saint Stephen/The Imposition of the Chasuble on saint Ildephonse and Saint Laurence/Saint Hilary- arrived at the Museo de la Trinidad with no reference to their author or provenance. The Annunciation was ignored at the Museo del Prado until 1945, when Sánchez Cantón ascribed it, with some doubt, to correa. He also thought it might be by Comones. Somewhat later, Post, Ángulo and Camón Aznar definitively reaffirmed the attribution to Correa de Vivar. In 1982, The Annunciation and the two panels with the holy deacons (Saint Stephen and Saint Laurence) were exhibited together, forming a triptych of the sort that Correa had made for the monastery at Guisando. Later, the three works were hung together as part of the Museo del Prado’s permanent exhibition. X-rays and infra-red reflectography of the three panels show small rectifications to properly fit the three elements into the compositions. The x-ray of the central panel, The Annunciation, has revealed the painter’s peculiar manner of scoring the panels once their corresponding boards -five in all- were joined. He thus generated a rhomboidal grid of cuts. The other interesting aspect is his careful drawing, which is very visible in the reflectography of the holy deacons. Correa initially drew them on the panels in very light brushstrokes, delineating the contours over what was probably an initial pencil drawing. Afterwards, he specified the main volumes by applying very diluted pigments in a sort of wash over which he again established the profiles of the initial contours in darker colors. On a more superficial layer, he loaded the brush with more pigment to make some of the decorative motives. We cannot be certain that Joan Correa de Vivar faithfully met his deadlines for this altarpiece, nor do we know how much he was eventually paid for what is certainly one of his finest artworks and a very notable piece from the Spanish Renaissance. It does seem necessary, however, to recover the formal typology of this group, which was forever dismantled at the time of the Disentailment.

Ruiz Gómez, Leticia, El Retablo de la Anunciación de Juan Correa de Vivar. Boletín del Museo del Prado, 2004, p.6-21


Technical data

Inventory number
Correa de Vivar, Juan
Saint Lawrence / Saint Hilary
Height: 181 cm; Width: 78 cm
Tríptico de estación, claustro monasterio jerónimo de Guisando (Ávila)
Jerónimos Monastery, Guisando (Ávila); Museo de la Trinidad, 1875.

Bibliography +

Cruzada Villaamil, Gregorio, Catálogo provisional, historial y razonado del Museo Nacional de Pinturas, Madrid, 1865, pp. 261.

Gómez-Menor, José, Correa de Vivar, ARCHIVO ESPAÑOL DE ARTE / ARCHIVO ESPAÑOL DE ARTE Y ARQUEOLOGIA, 39, 1966, pp. 297.

El Toledo de Domyco Theotocopuly: El Greco, Ministerio de Cultura, Dirección General de Bellas, Madrid, 1982, pp. 122.

Espinós, A.; Orihuela, M. y Royo Villanova, M. [et al.], El ''Prado disperso''. Cuadros depositados en Toledo y Ávila. Toledo. Museo de Santa Cruz, Boletín del Museo del Prado, V, 1984, pp. 67.

Noticias del Prado. Levantamiento definitivo de depósitos. Albacete. Museo, Boletín del Museo del Prado, 9, 1988, pp. 181.

Museo Nacional del Prado, Museo del Prado: inventario general de pinturas (II). Museo de la Trinidad, Museo del Prado, Espasa Calpe, Madrid, 1991, pp. nº841.

Ruiz Gómez, Leticia, El Retablo de la Anunciación de Juan Correa de Vivar, Boletín del Museo del Prado, XXII, 2004, pp. 6-21.

Other inventories +

Catálogo Museo del Prado, 1872-1907. Núm. 2185a.
2185a.-San Lorenzo, con sus peculiares atributos. Portezuela de oratorio: tiene en el reverso á San Antonio de Padua.- Compañero del siguiente.-Imitacion de la manera florentina. / Procede de Guisando, de donde lo trajo en Mayo de 1836 la comision incautadora de la Real Academia de San Fernando. / Alto 1,81; ancho 0,78.-T.

Catálogo Museo de la Trinidad, 1865. Núm. 841.
ESCUELAS ITALIANA. / LUCAS CANGIASI (LUQUETO). [...] 841. S. Lorenzo. / Tabla, pintada por ambos lados.-Al.1,825.-An.0,80.-Fig. t. n. / ¿Cangiasi?/ S. Lorenzo de diácono, con un libro en la mano derecha y sosteniendo unas parrillas con la izquierda; en la dalmática se ve un escudo con las cinco llagas de S. Francisco. Fondo, paisaje. Puerta de un relicario, lado interior. // 841. S. Antonio de Padua, con báculo y rosario. / Fondo, paisaje. Puerta del mismo relicario: lado exterior. Compañero del núm. 932.

Inv. Museo de la Trinidad, Pintura. Núm. 841.
Nº 841 / Tabla. Sn Lorenzo diacono, con las parrillas en la mano dra y un libro en la izqda cuerpo entº y de tamaño natural / autor / Rectifdo alto 1,82 ancho 0,78 1/2 // Sin embarrotar en buen estado con molduras lisa dorada y colgdo en // nº 191 // G.P.

Location +

Room 052C (On Display)


Displayed objects +


Palm leaf: La Palma simboliza el triunfo sobre la muerte y es atributo que comparten todos los mártires.


Update date: 17-03-2022 | Registry created on 28-04-2015

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