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The Virgin and Child in Glory
Maratta, Carlo
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Maratta, Carlo

Camerano, Ancona, Le Marche, 1625 - Rome, 1713

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The Virgin and Child in Glory

Ca. 1680. Oil on canvas.
On display elsewhere

Turned to the left in a three-quarters view, the Virgin is depicted sitting on a throne of clouds resting on a crescent moon whose points face down. In her arms she holds the Christ child, who blesses the viewer with his right hand. The surrounding angels are arranged in a circular arch that also appears in other works by Maratti, such as his Immaculate Conception, after 1670 (Cybo chapel in the Roman church of Santa Maria del Popolo). There, the throne of clouds, golden background and supporting moon also resemble the Museo del Prado`s work.

The very straightforward composition is based on a print from around 1576-79, attributed to Agostino Carracci, which was, in turn, based on another by Domenico Tibaldi. The artist however, makes this very much his own work, imbuing it with a solemn, serene and very significant appearance by varying the Virgin`s gesture. Here she looks down at her son and seems more serious and concentrated than in the earlier works. Moreover, by colouring her tunic red, the scene foreshadows Christ`s Passion.

Carlo Maratti was the most important painter in Roman art circles during the second half of the seventeenth century. His patrons included popes and influential aristocratic families whose commissions have left outstanding examples of his work in numerous Italian cities. He also painted portraits of certain English aristocrats when they passed through Rome. Maratti was praised by the most renowned theorist of his time, Giovanni Pietro Bellori, and after his appointment as director of the Accademia di San Luca in 1664 he fought to defend painters and painting while exercising control over that period`s aesthetic guidelines. He is thus also a fundamental influence on Italian art from the periods immediately following his own.

A master of precision, Maratti is considered heir to the classical tradition of Raphael and the Carracci, which he learnt from his teacher Andrea Sacchi. The influence of other artists, including Guido Reni, Giovanni Lanfranco and Pietro da Cortona, led to Maratti`s unmistakable personal style, characterised by extraordinary virtuosity. His grand compositions, harmonious colours and elegant figures with delicate features, inspired by the statues of Antiquity, are free of the excessive sweetness visible in works by some of his imitators.

Maratti was especially well known for his depictions of the Virgin. This work from the Museo del Prado comes from the Spanish Royal Collection and was purchased from Maratti`s heirs in 1722, during the reign of Philip V. Its presence at the Royal Palace of La Granja de San Ildefonso is documented from 1727, and in 1746 it was in the room where Mass was formerly celebrated. At the end of the eighteenth century, its presence in the third room next to the queen`s quarters is mentioned in various contemporaneous descriptions, including Antonio Ponz`s Viage de España (1787) and Antonio Conca`s Descrizione odeporica della Spagna (1793-97). Following the death of King Charles III, the 1794 inventory of his possessions attributes the painting to a disciple of Maratti, but when it entered the Royal Museum in 1857, it was considered a copy.

The museum`s 1872 catalogue lists it as by Maratti, head of a wide workshop that helped him with his numerous commissions. It has been on deposit to the nearby church of San Jerónimo el Real since 1881 (Albarrán, V.: Italian Masterpieces. From Spain`s Royal Court, Museo del Prado, 2014, p. 118).

Technical data

Inventory number
Maratta, Carlo
The Virgin and Child in Glory
Ca. 1680
Height: 221 cm; Width: 150 cm
Royal Collection (colección Felipe V, Palacio de La Granja de San Ildefonso, Segovia, 1727; col. Felipe V, La Granja, pieza donde se decía misa, 1746, nº 149; La Granja, 1794, nº 149; La Granja, 1814-1818, nº 149; Madrid, Monasterio de San Jerónimo el Real, 1841).

Bibliography +

Pérez Sánchez, Alfonso E., Pintura italiana del S. XVII en España, Universidad Fundación Valdecilla, Madrid, 1965.

Pérez Sánchez, Alfonso E., Pintura italiana del siglo XVII: exposición conmemorativa de, Ministerio de Educación y Ciencia, Dirección Gener, Madrid, 1970, pp. n º 115.

Mena Marqués, Manuela B., La Obra de Carlo Maratta en la Decada de 1650. Separata de Antologia Dei Belle Arti. N. 7-8, Antologia Di Belle Arti, 1979, pp. 179-190.

DeGrazia, Diane (1943-), Prints and Related Drawings by the Carracci Family, National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1979, pp. 294.

Espinós, Adela; Orihuela, Mercedes y Royo Villanova, Mercedes, El ''Prado disperso''. Cuadros depositados en Madrid. I. Iglesia de San Jerónimo el Real, Boletín del Museo del Prado, I, 1980, pp. 53.

Utande, I., Exposicion Commemorativa del Primer Centenario de la Diocesi..., Caja de Ahorros y M.P. de Madrid, Madrid, 1986, pp. 344-345.

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

Aterido Fernández, Ángel; Martínez Cuesta, Juan; Pérez Preciado, José Juan, Colecciones de pinturas de Felipe V e Isabel Farnesio. Inventarios Reales, II, Fundación de Apoyo de la Historia del Arte Hispánico, Madrid, 2004, pp. 429.

Albarrán, V., Carlo Maratti 'The Virgin and Child in Glory' En:, Italian masterpieces from Spain's royal court, Museo del Prado, National Gallery of Victoria Thames & Hudson, 2014, pp. 118.

Other inventories +

Inv. Real Museo, 1857. Núm. 2723.
Copia de Maratta. / 2723. La Virgen, el Niño Dios y una gloria de ángeles. / Alto 7 pies, 10 pulg; ancho 5 pies, 4 pulg.

Catálogo Museo del Prado, 1872-1907. Núm. 296.
296.-La Vírgen con el niño Dios en la gloria. / Alto 2,19. Ancho 1,49.-Lienzo. / Jesus, en el regazo de su santa Madre, está en actitud de bendecir. Al pié del celeste grupo se ve la esfera, iluminada á modo de luna creciente. En la parte superior hay una corona de ángeles, pintada al claro-oscuro.-Figuras de tamaño natural. / Colec. de Felipe V, Pal. de San Ildef.-Colec. de Cárlos III, en el mismo R. sitio. Pieza tercera de azulejos.

Inv. Felipe V, La Granja, 1746. Núm. 149.
Una Pintura origl en Lienzo, de mano de Carlos Marate, que representa à Nuestra Srª sentada en las Nubes con la Luna â los Pies circundada de Angles y el Niño Jesus sentado en su regazo. tiene siete tercias y diez dedos de alto; siete quartas de ancho. Marco dordº con Targetas a las Esquinas ... 1

Inv. Fernando VII, La Granja, 1814-1818. Núm. 149.
{20096} 149 / Ocho pies y medio de alto seis de ancho, Nuestra Señora en un globo de nubes = de un discípulo de Carlos Marata

Inv. Testamentaría Carlos III, La Granja, 1794. Núm. 149.
{2100} 149 / Otra en lienzo de ocho pies y medio de alto por seis pies de ancho marco dorado, con talla en las esquinas representan á una Señora en un globo de nubes en tres mil reales. De un Discipulo de Carlos Marata ... 3000

Inscriptions +

Inscribed in red color. Front, lower left corner

Cross of Burgundy or Cross of Saint Andrew, collection’s mark belonging to Felipe V. Front, lower right corner

Exhibitions +

Italian Masterpieces from Spain's Royal Court. Museo Nacional del Prado
16.05.2014 - 31.08.2014

Location +

Madrid - Iglesia de San Jerónimo El Real (Deposit)

Update date: 11-04-2022 | Registry created on 28-04-2015

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