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The Baptism of Queen candace´s Eunuch
Both, Jan
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Both, Jan

Utrecht, 1618 - Utrecht, 1652

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The Baptism of Queen candace´s Eunuch

1639 - 1641. Oil on canvas. Room 076

This painting entered the museum as a work by Claude Lorrain, but in 1843, it appeared in the catalog as an original by Jan Both, an attribution that has been maintained in posterior catalogs and is accepted without argument by specialists.

Drawn from Acts (VIII: 26-38), the subject is the conversion and baptism of Queen Candace of Ethiopia by the Apostle Philip the Eunuch, who did so while returning from his pilgrimage to Jerusalem. The composition is complex. The group of figures seems to be drawn from an engraving by Johannes Gillisz. van Vliet (1600/1610-1668) after an original by Rembrandt, now lost. The space is articulated in horizontal planes cut by two diagonals of light from the background to the left. One runs between the mass of rock that closes the composition on that side and the small hill against which the eunuch’s procession is silhouetted. The other, which is barely a sunbeam, enters behind the trees at the right and tenuously lights the scene of the baptism. The overall composition and the treatment of light reappear in a more evolved state in later landscapes by Both, including his Southern Landscape with Walkers, from the former Gagarine collection (Saint Petersburg).

The detailed pictorial treatment of the leaves and the diverse elements rendered with loose brushstrokes and very little paint are characteristic of Jan Both. The figures are very expressive and very well constructed. The x-ray image shows that they were added after the landscape was complete and their authorship has been the subject of considerable debate. Waddingham (1964) and Burke (1976) consider them the work of Andries Both, while Barghahn (1986) maintains the attribution to Jan Miel that appears in the Museo del Prado’s catalogs since 1843. The x-ray image, however, shows no difference between their pictorial technique and that of all the other elements in this work.

The formidable campaign of arts acquisitions carried out by the Count-Duke of Olivares in the 1640s to decorate the vast spaces at Madrid’s Buen Retiro Palace included a very notable number of landscapes. Of these works -almost two hundred in all- we cannot determine how many were purchased in Flanders or Spain, nor which ones came from private collections or other Royal Seats, but thanks to the works at the Museo del Prado and documents found to date, we can establish with certainty that the Buen Retiro Palace was furnished with numerous landscapes painted for the occasion by artists active in Rome.

A series of at least twenty-five landscapes with anchorites and a dozen Italianate landscapes -large format works by different artists- were commissioned. Of the pieces that have survived, most are at the Museo del Prado. Commissioned in Rome between 1633 and 1641, these landscape paintings from the Buen Retiro constituted an early anthology of this new painting from nature characterized by a new awareness of the effects of light and the atmosphere of the Roman countryside that would eventually spread through most of Europe, representing one of many aspects of classicism (Text drawn from Posada Kubissa, T.: Pintura holandesa en el Museo Nacional del Prado. Catálogo razonado, 2009, pp. 230-232; Capitelli, G. in Úbeda de los Cobos, A.: El Palacio del Rey Planeta. Felipe IV y el Buen Retiro, Museo Nacional del Prado, 2005, p. 241).

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Technical data

Related artworks

Taking the Cattle out
Oil on canvas, 1639 - 1641
Inventory number
P002060
Author
Both, Jan
Title
The Baptism of Queen candace´s Eunuch
Date
1639 - 1641
Technique
Oil
Support
Canvas
Dimension
Height: 212 cm.; Width: 155 cm.
Series
Paisajes para el Palacio del Buen Retiro
Provenance
Royal Collection (Buen Retiro Palace, Madrid, 1701, [no. 184]; New Royal Palace, Madrid, "estudio de Andrés de la Calleja", 1772, no. 164; Buen Retiro Palace, 1794, no. 424; Royal Palace, Madrid, "secretaría de Estado", 1814-1818, no. 424).

Bibliography +

Puyvelde, Leo van, Catalogue de L'Exposition Esquisses de Rubens, Edititons de la Connaissance, Bruselas, 1937, pp. 106.

Waddingham, Malcom R., Herman van Swanevelt in Rome, Paragone, 121, 1960, pp. 37-50 [44].

Waddingham, Malcom R., Andries and Jan Both in France and Italy, Paragone : mensile de arte figurativa, 1964, pp. 13-43.

Waddingham, Malcom R., Andries and Jan Both in France and Italy, Paragone, 171, 1964, pp. 13-43 [28-33,37 il.35b].

Salas, Xavier de, Museo del Prado. Catálogo de las pinturas, Museo del Prado, Madrid, 1972.

Valdivieso, Enrique, Pintura Holandesa del siglo XVII en españa, Universidad, Valladolid, 1973, pp. 224.

Inventarios reales: testamentaria del Rey Carlos II : 1701-1, Museo del PradoPatronato Nacional de Museos, Madrid, 1975, pp. 292/ nº184.

Burke, James D., Jan Both : Paintings, Drawings and Prints. Tesis Doctoral, Garland Publishing, Nueva York, 1976, pp. 84,85,87,89,222.

Claudio de Lorena y el ideal clásico de paisaje en el siglo, Ministerio de Cultura, Dirección General de Bellas, Madrid, 1984, pp. 66.

Museo Nacional del Prado, Museo del Prado. Catálogo de las pinturas, Museo del Prado, Madrid, 1985, pp. 74.

Barghahn, Barbara Von, Philip IV and the Golden House of the Buen Retiro in the Tradition of Caesar, Garland PublishingInc., Nueva York, 1986, pp. 198,202.

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

Brown, Jonathan, Un palacio para el rey: el Buen Retiro y la corte de Felipe de Felipe IV, Taurus, Madrid, 2003, pp. 133.

Vergara, Alejandro, Jan Both. Bautizo del eunuco de la reina Candace, En: El Palacio del Rey Planeta: Felipe IV y el Buen Retiro, Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid, 2005, pp. 262-263 nº 53.

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. 262-266.

Posada Kubissa, Teresa, Pintura holandesa en el Museo Nacional del Prado. Catálogo razonado, Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid, 2009, pp. 230-231.

Roma naturaleza e ideal: paisajes 1600-1650, Museo Nacional del Prado, 2011, pp. 43, 204-5.

Other inventories +

Inv. Testamentaría Carlos II, Buen Retiro, 1701-1703. Núm. [184].
[184] Un Pais del Yttaliano de dos Uaras y media de altto y Siette quarttas de ancho de la misma mano con el Baptismo del enuco etiope Con marco tallado y dorado tasado en settentta doblones ... 4.200.

Inv. Carlos III, Palacio Nuevo, 1772. Núm. 164.
Estudio de don Andres de la Calleja Pintor de Cámara de su magd. [...] {13333} 164 / =Retiro= Otro pais como al amanecer con varias figuras del mismo autor [Claudio Lorenes] y tamaño [dos varas y media de alto y dos escasas de ancho].

Inv. Testamentaría Carlos III, Buen Retiro, 1794. Núm. 424.
{2787} 424 . Otra [pintura] de Claudio Lorenès. Un pais y barias figuras: de dos varas y media de alto, y vara y tres quartas de ancho, marco biejo ... 3.000

Inv. Fernando VII, Palacio Nuevo, 1814-1818. Núm. 424.
Secretaría de Estado [...] {22231-22233} 664-424-1059 / dos varas y media alto vara de ancho cascadas con pescadores junto a vna montaña = montañas con caminantes que parecen moros = pais con arboledas y figuras la vna sentada = Benito Manuel

Museo Real de Pinturas a la muerte de Fernando VII, 1834. Núm. fol.432.
Cuatro cientos veinte y cuatro. Pais con Pasageros y un hermoso fondo Claudio Lorena I.º 15.180

Inv. Real Museo, 1857. Núm. 1767.
J. Both / 1767. Pois montuoso iluminado por el sol poniente. / En el aparece Santiago, a la orilla de un arroyo, bautizando al eunuco de la reina Candace, y sobre un ribazo inmediato lo estan contemplando varias gentes con camellos. / Las figuras son de J. Miel. / Alto 7 piesS, 7 pulg; ancho 5 pies, 6 pulg, 6 lin

Catálogo Museo del Prado, 1872-1907. Núm. 1189.
1189.-(1767-R.)-Pais montuoso con gente mirando el bautismo del eunuco de la reina Candace.-Efecto de sol poniente.-Figuras de J.Miel./ Alto 2,12; ancho 1,55.

Exhibitions +

Rome: Nature and the Ideal. Landscapes 1600-1650
05.07.2011 - 25.09.2011

Nature et idéal. Le paysage à Rome 1600-1650 - Landscape
París
08.03.2011 - 06.06.2011

Dutch Painters at the Prado
Madrid
03.12.2009 - 11.04.2010

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

Location +

Room 076 (On Display)

Expuesto

Displayed objects +

Carriages

Update date: 16-10-2020 | Registry created on 28-04-2015

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