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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

The goddess Juno is shown standing, wearing a coronet and holding a golden sceptre in her left hand. The peacock to her left is the attribute that habitually identifies her. Juno (Hera for the Greeks) was one of the principal deities in the Greco-Roman pantheon as the wife of Jupiter and the protector of marriage. Cano refers to her status through the sceptre and golden diadem while the accompanying peacock is Juno’s identifying attribute. The goddess’s bare breast reminds us that she was frequently associated with motherhood.

The painting was first published in 1997. Its attribution to Alonso Cano, which has been widely accepted, is based on a comparison with other works by the artist that include similar physical types, facial typologies and chromatic combinations. The work has subsequently been associated with a “Pallas” referred to in 1657 in the inventory of the possessions of the painter Eugenio Cajés’s daughter, from whose widower it was purchased in 1665 by Juan Antonio de Frías y Escalante. A follower of Cano, Escalante was inspired by the painting for his Saint Joseph and the Christ Child (Museo de Bellas Artes de Asturias).

The subject and its treatment make this an exceptional work in the context of Spanish art of its time and thus an important addition to this area of the Museum’s collection. Both the mythological theme and the display of parts of the female body, which were generally concealed, are unusual in Spanish painting of the period. While it is known from inventories that Alonso Cano produced mythological works, this is the only known, surviving painting by him in this genre. The drawing D6320 of a reclining female nude offers another outstanding example of the degree to which Cano was aware of the great tradition of mythological representations, which he interpreted in his own particular manner.


Technical data

Inventory number
Cano, Alonso
The Goddess Juno
1638 - 1651
Height: 105.3 cm; Width: 45.5 cm
Acquired by the Prado Museum in 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.

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

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: 27-11-2021 | Registry created on 12-06-2021

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