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The Recapture of San Juan in Puerto Rico
Cajés, Eugenio
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Cajés, Eugenio

Madrid, 1574 - Madrid (Spain), 1634

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The Recapture of San Juan in Puerto Rico

1634 - 1635. Oil on canvas.
Not on display

The event depicted here is the defense and recovery of Puerto Rico Bay in September 1625, after it was attacked by a Dutch squadron under the command of Admiral Boudewijn Hendrickszoon. The Dutch entered the bay on September 25 with seventeen ships and a sizeable landing force. Over the following two days, they occupied the space between the city and San Felipe Castle, which was defended by Governor Juan de Haro. The Dutch besieged the castle for 28 days, shelling it from artillery emplacements at El Cañuelo Tower and Calvary Heights. Haro twice refused to surrender, leading the Dutch to set fire to the village, but as Gonzalo de Céspedes y Meneses reported in his Primera parte de la historia de don Felipe III, rey de Españas (First Part of the Story of Philip III, King of Spain, published in 1631), on October 22, a group of soldiers led by Juan de Amézqueta emerged from the Spanish garrison and, at great risk, with water up to their waists, forced the Dutch to return to their ships. This led the Dutch to abandoned the harbor on November third, having lost 400 men and a 500-ton vessel that ran aground with 30 cannons aboard. Letters of payment and Cajés’s own testament indicate that he was commissioned at a cost of 700 Ducats to paint two battle scenes for the Hall of Realms: the present work, and The Expulsion of the Dutch from the Isle of San Martín by the Marquis of Caldereita (missing since the War of Independence, when it was almost certainly looted by Sebastiani or some other French general). According to Cruz y Bahamonde the missing work was signed and dated in 1634, but is seems certain that Cajés, who died that same year on December 15, was unable to complete either one alone, and left at least one unfinished at his death. On March 1, 1635, painter Antonio Puga declared in his testament that he had worked at Cajés’s house, and under his orders, on the paintings for the Hall of Realms. And on April 14 of that same year, Luis Fernández received 800 Reales for having completed the painting that Eugenio Caxés began. As Angulo and Pérez Sánchez have pointed out, it is very likely that Puga painted the landscapes on both canvases, while Fernández completed the foreground of one -possibly this one if, in fact, the other was signed in 1634. The same authors have observed that the present work is painted in a manner different than any other by Cajés’s hand, and they have further suggested that the composition may have been supplied by Carducho. The figures in the foreground are certainly Governor Juan de Haro, and probably Juan de Amézqueta, who commanded the force that emerged from the garrison. Behind them, Spanish troops are shown driving the Dutch back towards the ocean, where various enemy ships are berthed. One of these bears the three-colored flag of the Netherlands and must be the one that ran aground. The hamlet burned by the Dutch appears on land. It has been pointed out that the background bears a surprising resemblance to the actual landscape. This canvas is one of fifty chosen for the Napoleon Museum during the War of Independence. It returned from France on June 10, 1816 and entered the Museo del Prado in 1827.

Museo Nacional del Prado, El Palacio del Rey Planeta, Museo Nacional del Prado, 2005, p.144

Technical data

Inventory number
Cajés, Eugenio
The Recapture of San Juan in Puerto Rico
1634 - 1635
Height: 290 cm; Width: 344 cm
Serie de Batallas, Salón de Reinos, Palacio del Buen Retiro
Royal Collection (Buen Retiro Palace, Madrid, 1701, no. 254; Buen Retiro Palace, 1794, no. 525).

Bibliography +

Ponz, Antonio, Viage de España, I, Joachin Ibarra, Madrid, 1776, pp. 128.

Tormo, Elias, Velázquez. El Salón de Reinos, Boletín de la Sociedad Española de Excursiones, 19, 1911, pp. 212.

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. 254-255.

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

Brown, Jonathan, A Palace For a King. The Buen Retiro and the Court of Philip, Yale University Press, New Haven ; Londres, 1980, pp. 164 / lám. 117.

Brown, Jonathan, Un palacio para un rey: el Buen Retiro y la corte de Felipe, Alianza Editorial Revista Occidente, Madrid, 1981, pp. 174 / lám. 117.

Angulo Íñiguez, Diego, Historia de la pintura española: escuela madrileña del segundo tercio del siglo XVII, Instituto Diego Velázquez, Madrid, 1983, pp. 263.

Museo Nacional del Prado, Catálogo de las pinturas, Museo del Prado, Madrid, 1985, pp. 106.

Barghahn, Barbara Von, Philip IV and the Golden House of the Buen Retiro in the Tradition of Caesar, Garland PublishingInc., Nueva York. Londres, 1986, pp. 227 / lám. 894.

Palomino de Castro y Velasco, Acisclo Antonio, Vidas, Alianza Editorial, Madrid, 1986, pp. 124.

Fernández Miranda y Lozana, Fernando, Inventarios Reales Carlos III 1789-1790, I, Patrimonio Nacional, Madrid, 1988, pp. 296, nº2888(525).

Museo Nacional del Prado, Museo del Prado: inventario general de pinturas (I) La Colección Real, Museo del Prado, Espasa Calpe, Madrid, 1990, pp. nº274.

Caturla, Maria Luisa, Francisco de Zurbarán, Wildenstein Institute, París, 1994, pp. 113.

Museo Nacional del Prado, El Greco y la pintura española del Renacimiento: guía, Museo del Prado, Aldeasa, Madrid, 2001, pp. 206.

Elliot J.H., Historia y mito en el Salón de Reinos. En Historias inmortales, Barcelona, 2003, pp. 211-228.

Portús Pérez, Javier, La colección de pintura española en el Museo del Prado, Edilupa, Madrid, 2003, pp. 98.

Museo Nacional del Prado, El Palacio del Rey Planeta, Museo Nacional del Prado, 2005, pp. 144.

Luna, J. J., Guerra y pintura en las colecciones del Museo del Prado. S. XVI a Goya, Arte en tiempos de guerra Jornadas de Arte (14º.2008.Madrid), 2009.

Gayo, Mª Dolores; Jover de Celis, Maite, Evolución de las preparaciones en la pintura sobre lienzo de los siglos XVII y XVIII en España., Boletín del Museo del Prado, XXVIII, 2010, pp. 39-59.

Marías, Fernando, Pinturas de historia, imágenes políticas. Repensando el Salón de Reinos. Discurso leído en la recepción de la Real Academia de la Historia 24 de junio 2012, 2012, pp. 17-20,68.

Bake-ituna / Tratado de Paz /Traité de Paix / Peace Treaty, Fundación Donostia/San Sebastián, San Sebastián, 2016, pp. III d, 114.

Rabel, Carmen Rita., La isla de Puerto Rico se la lleva el holandés: Discurso de, Instituto de Cultura Puertorriqueño,, 2016.

Other inventories +

Inv. Real Museo, 1857. Núm. 274.
Castello (Felis) / 274. Ataque entre españoles y holandeses. / El general español D. Baltasar Alfaro, ejecutando un desembarco de tropas, se apodera de un castillo que ocupaban los holandeses. Vése en primer termino al general español dando ordenes a uno de sus capitanes, y a la izquierda los holandeses derrotados. Fondo: hermoso país, en cuya lontananza se sostiene el choque y se divisan varias casas ardiendo, con el castillo sobre el cual ondea la bandera española. (C.L.) / Alto 10 pies, 5 pulg; ancho 12 pies, 4 pulg. 6 lin.

Catálogo Museo del Prado, 1854-1858. Núm. 274.

Catálogo Museo del Prado, 1872-1907. Núm. 694.

Catálogo Museo del Prado, 1910. Núm. 653.

Inv. Testamentaría Carlos II, Buen Retiro, 1701-1703. Núm. [254].
[254] Ottra [pintura] del mismo tamaño [cuatro varas de largo y tres y media de alto] marco [dorado] y auttor feliz Casttelo de don Balthasar faro quando los españoles se arrojaron a el Albis tasada en Çientto y Ueintte doblones ... 7200

Catálogo Museo del Prado, 1942-1996. Núm. 653.

Inv. Testamentaría Carlos III, Buen Retiro, 1794. Núm. 525.
Otra [pintura] de Feliz Castelo, del mismo tamaño [quatro varas de largo, y tres y media de alto] y marco [dorado] que las anteriores, con Dn. Baltasar de Faro, quando los Españoles se arrojaron al Aris...6000

Inscriptions +

Inscribed in white. Front, lower left corner

Inscribed in red color. Front, lower left corner

Dos caras dibujadas firmadas por "Ceres"
Inscribed. Stretcher

M.N.PRADO / M00645
Scrap of paper. Frame, back, lower bar

Ilegible _______G
Inscribed. Frame, back, upper bar

Wood nameplate. Frame, front, lower bar

M.N.PRADO 00653
On metallic tablet. Stretcher

Nº 653
Inscribed. Frame, back, right side bar

Nº 653 (2 veces)
Inscribed. Stretcher

Nº 653 (3 veces)
Scrap of paper. Stretcher

Simbolo similara al número "pi" con superíndice junto al número 42
Inscribed in red color. Back, right side

Inscribed. Stretcher

Inscribed. Frame, back, upper bar

Exhibitions +

Tratado de Paz
San Sebastián
17.06.2016 - 02.10.2016

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

Displayed objects +







Lances / Spears


Ship, Sailing / Sailboat

Update date: 09-04-2022 | Registry created on 28-04-2015

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