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The Goddess Juno
Cano, Alonso
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Cano, Alonso

Granada, 1601 - Granada, 1667

Cano, Alonso See author's file

The Goddess Juno

1638 - 1651. Oil on canvas.
Room 017A

Juno occupied a central place in the Greco-Latin pantheon, as she was the wife of Jupiter and protector of marriage. Cano alludes to her status through the golden sceptre and diadem and depicts her alongside a peacock, her identifying attribute. Her bare breast reminds us that she was a figure often associated with motherhood.

The work was published in 1999 by A.E. Pérez Sánchez, and his attribution to Alonso Cano has been generally accepted. The attribution to Cano is based on documentary evidence and on comparison with other paintings by him: Juno’s face corresponds to a typology that appears in works such as The Vision of Saint Anthony of Padua in the Munich gallery. Both the barely suggested landscape and the careful study of the folds with their shadows and the expert combination of cold and warm tones are in keeping with the parameters of paintings by Alonso Cano. Likewise, the extraordinary formal correctness and the way in which the figure invades the pictorial surface remind us that the artist was one of the best Spanish composers and draughtsmen of his time.

Requena (2005-6) has identified the work with a painting cited in August 1657 as ‘Pallas’ in the inventory of the assets of Margarita Cajés, daughter of the painter Eugenio. There it is attributed to Cano and its measurements are said to be half a vara wide and a vara and a sesma high, which coincides with those of this canvas. In 1665 it reappeared (in this case as ‘a goddess’ and with similar measurements) in the auction of Margarita’s widower, where it was bought by the painter Juan Antonio de Frías y Escalante. He is said to have been inspired by this work for his Saint Joseph with Child in the Museo de Bellas Artes de Asturias.

Its subject matter, stylistic characteristics and the fact that it is mentioned in a Madrid inventory of 1657 suggest that it is a work linked to Alonso Cano’s sojourns in Madrid, especially the period between 1638 and 1652.

Portús, Javier, 'Alonso Cano. Juno' En: Memoria de actividades 2021 Museo Nacional del Prado., Ministerio de Cultura y Deporte,, 2021, p.21-22


Technical data

Inventory number
Cano, Alonso
The Goddess Juno
1638 - 1651
Height: 105.3 cm; Width: 45.5 cm
Acquired by direct sale from the budget of the Museo del Prado, 2021

Bibliography +

Pérez Sánchez, A. E., La pintura de Alonso Cano, En: Figuras e imágenes del barroco: estudios sobre el barroco español y sobre la obra de Alonso Cano, Fundación Argentaria, 1999, pp. 223-224.

Alonso Cano: la modernidad del siglo de oro español, Fundación Santander Central Hispano Consejería de, Madrid, 2002, pp. 153.

Navarrete Prieto, B., Juno [ficha de catálogo], En: Alonso Cano. La modernidad del siglo de oro español, Fundación Santander Central Hispano; Consejería de Cultura de la Junta de Andalucía, Madrid; Sevilla, 2002, pp. 152-153.

Rodríguez G. de Ceballos, A., La religiosidad en el arte de Alonso Cano. En: Alonso Cano, 1601-1667. Arte e iconografía, Arzobispado de Granada, Granada, 2002.

Requena, J.L, Nuevas aportaciones a la Juno de Alonso Cano, Espacio, tiempo y forma, 18-19, 2005-2006, pp. 77-83.

Portús, Javier, 'Alonso Cano. Juno' En: Memoria de actividades 2021 Museo Nacional del Prado., Ministerio de Cultura y Deporte,, 2021, pp. 21-22.

Other inventories +

Inv. Nuevas Adquisiciones (iniciado en 1856). Núm. 3031.

Inscriptions +

Colección J. Schwartz no. 973
Inscribed. Back

Location +

Room 017A (On Display)

Update date: 31-12-2022 | Registry created on 12-06-2021

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