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The Immaculate Conception
Rizi, Francisco
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Rizi, Francisco

Madrid, 1614 - San Lorenzo de El Escorial, 1685

See author's file

The Immaculate Conception

XVII century. Oil on canvas.
On display elsewhere

An extremely broad development certainly makes this one of the most ambitious and complex depictions of the Immaculate Conception ever painted in Madrid, as well as one of the finest by this painter. In an iconographic sense, it closely follows the traditional model for this subject, presenting the Virgin as the Woman of the Apocalypse (chap. XII, 1).Upright and walking on the lunar globe, crowned with twelve stars and dressed in a white tunic and blue robes, she is accompanied by a truly uncommon number of compositionally significant child angels bearing the attributes of the Litany: lilies, a palm leaf, roses, irises and olive and laurel branches. Others bear the sealed ark and the mirror.

The gates of Heaven (Porta Coeli) and Jacob’s Ladder (Scala Dei) appear at the sides of the composition, along with the morning star and a rainbow. While the virgin is quite solid in her proportions, her silhouette takes on an uncommon sense of movement, thanks to a complicated, curlicue treatment of her clothing that transforms its edges and folds into twisted curls. Her wavy hair also suggests that she is moving against the wind like a Christian Nike. The angels are arranged in an arch, accompanying the presence of the rainbow, while the skillful sinking of the background on the sides to accentuate this sense of triumphal imposition make this a singular composition. It is probably from quite late in Rizi’s career—after 1674, when he painted his versions of the Assumption of Mary Magdalene and not far from 1680, when he painted the Immaculate Conception for las Gaitanas in Toledo. This latter work has the most complex iconography and the largest size of all his depictions of this subject, and it is clearly related to the present painting, especially in its treatment of the children. The refined coloring, somewhat veiled by aging varnishes, and the masterful and vibrant use of the brush exemplify this master’s finest capacities. While it was originally and correctly classified as a painting by Francisco Rizi; in the early 20th century, Beruete and P. Quintero considered it the work of Valdés Leal, involuntarily emphasizing the similarity of technique and spirit that clearly links those two masters (Text from Pérez Sánchez, A. E.: Carreño, Rizi, Herrera y la pintura madrileña de su tiempo. 1650-1700, Ministerio de Cultura, 1986, p. 261).

Technical data

Inventory number
Rizi, Francisco
The Immaculate Conception
XVII century
Height: 211 cm; Width: 376 cm
Museo de la Trinidad

Bibliography +

Cruzada Villaamil, Gregorio, Catálogo provisional, historial y razonado del Museo Nacional de Pinturas, Madrid, 1865, pp. 94.

Tormo, Elías, Retales, virutas, cizallas..., Boletín de la Sociedad Española de Excursiones, 1916, pp. 243-244.

Angulo, Diego, Cuadros religiosos posteriores a 1670 y sin fechar, Archivo español de arte y arqueología, 1962, pp. 108.

Peman y Pemartin, Cesar, Catálogo del Museo Provincial de Bellas Artes de Cádiz : (pi..., Ministerio de Educación Nacional, Madrid, 1964, pp. 104-105.

Carreño, Rizi, Herrera y la pintura madrileña de su tiempo, Ministerio de Cultura: Banco Herrero, Madrid, 1986, pp. 261.

Gutiérrez Alonso, Luis Carlos, Semiología del lenguaje floral en la pintura barroca madrileña (comentarios a una exposición), Boletín del Museo del Prado, 7, 1986, pp. 93-99.

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

Orihuela, Mercedes y Cenalmor, Elena, El ''Prado disperso''. Obras depositadas en Cádiz y su provincia y en Huelva. San Fernando. Cuartel General de la Zona Marítima del Estrecho, Boletín del Museo del Prado, XXII, 2004, pp. 102.

Álvarez Lopera, José, El museo de la Trinidad: historia, obras y documentos, Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid, 2009, pp. 110.

Hoffman-Samland, Jens, 'Francisco Rizi. Nube de ángeles junto a una media luna' En:, Dibujos españoles en la Kunsthalle de Hamburgo, Museo Nacional del Prado Meadows Museum, Southern Methodist Univ. Hamburger Kunsthalle, Madrid, 2014, pp. 235.

Navarrete, Benito, Carreño de Miranda en el Museo de Bellas Artes de Asturias, Museo de Bellas Artes de Asturias, 2015, pp. 16-17 f.2.

de Mingo Lorente, Adolfo, Otro centenario de artistas en 2014. Obra toledana de Francisco Ruiz (1614-1685) y de Juan Carreño de Miranda (1614-1685), Archivo secreto, n.6, 2015, pp. 231-247 [234].

Gayo, Mª Dolores; Jover de Celis, Maite, La preparación de los lienzos en la corte de Madrid: de Felipe IV a Felipe V, Boletín del Museo del Prado, XXXVIII, 2022, pp. 113-132 [129].

Other inventories +

Catálogo Museo de la Trinidad, 1865. Núm. 238.
ESCUELA MADRILEÑA [...] D. FRANCISCO RIZI [...] 238. La Purísima Concepcion. / Lienzo. - Al. 2,115. - An. 3,78. - Fig. t. n. / La Purísima Concepcion sobre el globo del mundo, de pié, y rodeada de ángeles y de atributos que simbolizan la Letanía.

Inv. Museo de la Trinidad, Pintura. Núm. 238.
238. / La Purísima concepción acompañada de ángeles con atributos del mismo misterio fs de cuerpo entero y tamº nat.l / Autor Rizi (sin firmar). / Rdo alto 2,11; ancho 3,76 1/2 / / nº 68 / S.B.

Exhibitions +

Pintura de Reinos. Identidades compartidas en el mundo hispánico
México D.F.
02.03.2011 - 31.08.2011

Pintura de Reinos. Identidades compartidas en el mundo hispánico
25.10.2010 - 30.01.2011

Location +

Cádiz - Museo de Cádiz (Deposit)

Displayed objects +

Mirror, table: Espejo vítreo convexo montado en un marco con pie, tipo custodia, dorado.

Update date: 15-12-2022 | Registry created on 28-04-2015

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