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The Death of the Venerable Odón de Novara
Carducho, Vicente
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Carducho, Vicente

Florence (Italy), 1576 - Madrid (Spain), 1638

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The Death of the Venerable Odón de Novara

1632. Oil on canvas

On August 29, 1626, King Philip IV’s painter, Vicente Carducho (ca. 1576-1638), signed a contract for the creation of a cycle of paintings to celebrate the founding of the Carthusian Order by Saint Bruno and its leading members. This colossal undertaking sought to visually narrate numerous episodes from the Carthusians’ history and tradition. It was the most complete commission ever dedicated to this order, a series of fifty-four large canvases and two more of a smaller size with the coats of arms of the king and the order. This project was originally conceived by Father Juan de Baeza (d. 1641), a fundamental figure for the Carthusians’ spirituality and organization who closely controlled compliance with that order’s postulates. Juan de Baeza furnished Carducho with the episodes to be included in the series, many of which were unpublished or barely known and previously unrepresented in Spain. In terms of its narrative content, the group was organized in two parts: the first twenty-seven canvases illustrate the life of the order’s founder, Saint Bruno of Cologne (1035-1101), from the moment he decided to abandon public life and retire to the Grande Chartreuse Valley, north of Grenoble, through this death and first posthumous miracle. The second group glosses meaningful episodes in the order’s history, which took place in the principle European charterhouses between the 11th and 16th centuries. This group reveals the order’s strong founding drive, as well as some of its identity traits, including withdrawal to solitary and very beautiful settings, and a life of humility, mortification and penance, dedicated to study and prayer. The second group closes with a set of heroic scenes that represent episodes of persecution and martyrdom suffered by some Carthusian communities during the 15th and 16th centuries -images that seek to strengthen the monks’ faith while depicting Europe’s religious and territorial conflicts at that time. The series was painted between 1626 and 1632, following a laborious creative process that included the production of numerous drawings and sketches, as well as the necessary participation of some assistants. Like most 16th and 17th-century cloister series, this project was originally conceived by Carducho as a mural group. Over the course of his extensive career, he had already demonstrated his mastery of fresco painting, which was the most characteristic and, a priori, appropriate for this type of narrative cycle -at least in Italy, where every detail of this technique was known. However, the complexity of the project, the location of El Paular, and the order’s rigorous cloistering probably argued against the use of that technique. The large canvases have a semicircular arch at the top to fit the gothic segments of the cloister designed by Juan de Egas between 1484 and 1486.

According to tradition, Odón de Novara died in the Tagliazcozzo charterhouse in 1200 at the age of one hundred. He had spent his final years in that Italian monastery, living a model ascetic life. At the moment of his death, the resurrected Jesus descended to his cell to receive his soul. This is one of the finest works in the series, and it includes a beautiful still life on the right and some magnificent portraits. Kneeling from right to left, we see the painter himself, Lope de Vega, and probably the prior of El Paular, Juan de Baeza (Text drawn from Ruiz, L. in: La recuperación de El Paular, 2013, pp. 185-190).

Technical data

Inventory number
P000639
Author
Carducho, Vicente
Title
The Death of the Venerable Odón de Novara
Date
1632
Technique
Oil
Support
Canvas
Dimension
Height: 337 cm.; Width: 299 cm.
Series
Historia de la Orden de los Cartujos. Cartuja de El Paular, Rascafría, Madrid
Provenance
Rascafría, Madrid, Cartuja de Santa María de El Paular, cloister; Museo de la Trinidad.

Bibliography +

Angulo Íñiguez, D.; Pérez Sánchez, A. E., Historia de la pintura española: escuela madrileña del primer tercio del siglo XVII, Instituto Diego Velázquez, Madrid, 1969, pp. nº150.

Museo Nacional del Prado, Museo del Prado: catálogo de las pinturas, Museo del Prado, Madrid, 1972.

Museo Nacional del Prado, Museo del Prado: catálogo de las pinturas, Museo del Prado, Madrid, 1985, pp. 122.

Brown, Jonathan, Velázquez: pintor y cortesano, Alianza Editorial, Madrid, 1986, pp. 6 / lám. 7.

Museo Nacional del Prado, Museo del Prado: inventario general de pinturas, II. Museo de la Trinidad, Museo del Prado, Espasa Calpe, Madrid, 1991, pp. nº52.

Buendía, José Rogelio, El Prado. Colecciones de Pintura, Lunwerg Editores, Madrid, 1994, pp. 77.

Portús, Javier, La Colección de Pintura Española en el Museo del Prado, Edilupa, Madrid, 2003, pp. 56.

Museo Nacional del Prado, El Museo de la Trinidad en el Prado, Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid, 2004, pp. 125 / 13.

Ruiz Gómez, Leticia, 'La recuperación de la serie cartujana de El Paular' En:, La recuperación de El Paular, Ministerio de Educación, Cultura y Deporte, Madrid, 2013, pp. 186-202.

'Los Carduchos del Museo del Prado de la Cartuja de El Paular. Secuencia ordenada de la serie de V.Carducho para El Paular' En:, La recuperación de El Paular, Ministerio de Educación, Cultura y Deporte, Madrid, 2013, pp. 217-233 [227 f.413].

de Carlos Varona, Mª Cruz, 'Vicente Carducho en El Paular, la elaboración de un imaginario cartujano' En:, La recuperación de El Paular, Ministerio de Educación, Cultura y Deporte, Madrid, 2013, pp. 203-216.

Pascual Chenel, Á. Rodríguez Rebollo, A., Vicente Carducho. Dibujos Catálogo razonado, Biblioteca Nacional de España - Centro de Estudios Europa Hispánica, Madrid, 2015, pp. 337-440 [392-395 f.114].

Other inventories +

Inv. Museo de la Trinidad, Pintura. Núm. 52.
52. Muerte del padre Odon de Guevara (error: Novara) / Rdo alto 3,43; ancho 3,1. / Id.id. con moldura. / Nº 13 C.B.

Catálogo Museo de la Trinidad, 1865. Núm. 52.
52. Muerte del venerable Odon de Novara. / Firmado, Vin. Carduchi, P.R.F.A.-1632 / Tendido sobre un lecho de espinas el Santo Odon de Novara, con la cruz en las manos, entrega su alma al Redentor, que se le aparece rodeado de gloria. Detrás del Santo, y á sus piés, hay arrodillados y de pié algunos sacerdotes que le ayudan á bien morir. / Este notable cuadro es de suma importancia por la particularidad de haberse retratado en él Vicente Carducho, en la figura de uno de los sacerdotes que hay de rodillas á los piés del lecho del veneravle. Era tradición en el convento del Paular, conservada...

Catálogo Museo del Prado, 1872-1907. Núm. 2149ddd.
2149ddd.-Muerte del venerable Odon de Novara. / Alto, 3,42; Ancho, 3,02.-L. [Catálogo de 1903, anexo Trinidad]

Exhibitions +

Museo de la Trinidad
Madrid
19.07.2004 - 03.10.2004

Location +

(Deposit)

Displayed objects +

Bread

Bowl

Pitcher / Vase

Book

Sculpture

Crucifix

Rosary

Update date: 25-07-2019 | Registry created on 28-04-2015

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