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The Visitation / Saint Jerome in Penitence
Correa de Vivar, Juan
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Correa de Vivar, Juan

Mascaraque (Toledo, Spain), 1510 - Toledo (Spain), 1566

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The Visitation / Saint Jerome in Penitence

1533 - 1535. Oil on panel.
Not on display

This panel depicts the meeting between Mary and her cousin Saint Elizabeth, both of them pregnant, the former with Christ and the latter with Saint John the Baptist. Saint Elizabeth is kneeling while in the background by the door of the house Zacharias acknowledges Mary’s arrival. It is part of the altarpiece or seasonal altar of the Guisando Nativity (P00683P00690). This is a structure frequently found in numerous Spanish monastic cloisters. It comes precisely from the Hieronymite monastery of Guisando (Ávila), which was cited by Ponz in 1773. In the cloister, the altarpiece was set into a wall, forming a sort of box. On the one hand, the doors of the altarpiece depict The Visitation with Saint Jerome in Penitence on its exterior side. On the other hand, they also depict The Presentation of Jesus in the Temple, which was sawn off and dismembered from the door, with The Agony in the Garden on the other side. The ensemble was completed with four prophets (David, Isaiah, Jeremiah and Habakkuk). They are located on the sides of the altarpiece, acting as the minor sides of the altarpiece´s parallelepiped. Most likely, and following the formula of this type of altarpiece, a sculptural or pictorial image would round off the piece. It may be a God the Father. With the ecclesiastical confiscation, the panels of the altarpiece were dismantled and dispersed. In addition, its painter, Juan Correa de Vivar, and the provenance of the ensemble, were forgotten. It was thought to be from the monastery of Santa María de Valdeiglesias (Pelayos de la Presa, Madrid), where Correa worked between 1545 and 1550. Based on Ponz’s description, the reconstruction of the Altarpiece of the Nativity has been proposed by the researcher Isabel Mateo. She dates it to between 1533–35 given its stylistic proximity to Juan de Borgoña’s painting. The latter is a key figure in the emergence of Renaissance forms in Castile via Toledo. The combined use of the new Italian Quattrocento styles and Borgoña’s Nordic heritage made it fit right into an area with a traditional Gothic substratum, now covered by the suggestive Tuscan contributions of the aforementioned Borgoña. The Guisando Nativity still shows all the postulates learned from the Nordic master, who was still present on the Toledo scene (Borgoña died in 1536). On these dates, Correa maintained a marked sense of drawing, linked to the local use of colour. These were, at that time, somewhat harsh, which he progressively softened and brightened. He developed an elementary, notably geometrical compositional sense, using classical architectures. Despite this, he did not fully understand the one-point perspective used. This Nativity, after seeing other earlier commissions, for example, Griñon, Mora or Guadalupe, demonstrates the maturing process in the artist’s early works. It was when he established his correct artistic work from the imprint of Juan de Borgoña, without letting other contributions be clearly perceived yet.

Museo Nacional del Prado, Catálogo de las pinturas, Madrid, Museo del Prado, 1985, p.164


Technical data

Related artworks

Prophet David
Oil on panel, 1533 - 1535
Correa de Vivar, Juan
Prophet Isaiah
Oil on panel, 1533 - 1535
Correa de Vivar, Juan
Prophet Jeremiah
Oil on panel, 1533 - 1535
Correa de Vivar, Juan
Prophet Habakkuk
Oil on panel, 1533 - 1535
Correa de Vivar, Juan
The Nativity
Oil on panel, 1533 - 1535
Correa de Vivar, Juan
Inventory number
Correa de Vivar, Juan
The Visitation / Saint Jerome in Penitence
1533 - 1535
Height: 218 cm; Width: 77 cm
Retablo de la Natividad, monasterio jerónimo de Guisando (Ávila)
Jerónimos Monastery, Guisando (Ávila); Museo de la Trinidad, 1875.

Bibliography +

Cruzada Villaamil, Gregorio, Catálogo provisional, historial y razonado del Museo Nacional de Pinturas, Madrid, 1865, pp. 202.

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

Mateo Gomez, Isabel, Juan Correa de Vivar. El Retablo de la Natividad de Guisando, Boletín del Museo del Prado, III, 1982, pp. 165-168.

Mateo Gómez, Isabel, Juan Correa de Vivar, C.S.I.C., Instituto Diego Velázquez, Madrid, 1983, pp. 26.

Museo Nacional del Prado, Catálogo de las pinturas, Museo del Prado, Madrid, 1985, pp. 164.

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

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

Mateo, Isabel, 'Juan Correa de Vivar. Retablo de la Natividad' En:, Juan Correa de Vivar, c. 1510-1566 : maestro del Renacimiento español., Sociedad Don Quijote de Conmemoraciones culturales de Castilla la Mancha, Toledo, 2010, pp. 94-101 n.4.

Bruquetas Galán, Rocío, 'Pintar para la Eternidad. Talleres toledanos a la llegada de El Greco' En:, El Greco arte y oficio, Fundación El Greco 2014, 2014, pp. 98-121 [109,111].

Marías, Fernando, Detalles e indicios en Juan Correa de Vivar : apertura de hipótesis, datos e incertidumbres, BSAA Boletín del Seminario de Estudios de Arte y Arqueología., LXXXIII, 2107, pp. 125-152 [137].

Other inventories +

Catálogo Museo del Prado, 1872-1907. Núm. 2154T.
[Catálogo de 1876]

Catálogo Museo de la Trinidad, 1865. Núm. 843.
CUADROS ANÓNIMOS DE LAS PRIMITIVAS ESCUELAS ESPAÑOLAS [...] 843.-La Visitación. / Tabla pintada por ambos lados.-Al 2,09.-An. 0,77.-Fig. m. n. / Epoca: primer tercio del siglo XVI. / Cara interior.-Santa Ana arrodillándose y abrazando á su hija, quien la recibe en sus brazos; por una puerta se ve en el fondo á S. Joaquin. Fondo, paisaje. / Cara exterior.- S. Jeronimo de rodillas en oracion, con una piedra en la mano derecha, delante de una cruz, teniendo á sus piés el leon y el capelo de Cardenal. Fondo, paisaje.

Inv. Museo de la Trinidad, Pintura. Núm. 843.
843. / Tabla. La visitacion de la Virgen á Sta Isabel, en segundo término, se ve una figª á la puerta de una casa. Cuerpo entº y figª menor qe el natural / Autor / Rectifdo alto 2,18 ancho 0,77 / Sin embarrotar ni rar con moldura dorada lisa y colgdo en / nº 79 / S.E.

Inscriptions +

T. 843
Scrap of paper. Front, lower right corner

Exhibitions +

Quinto centenario del nacimiento del pintor Juan Correa de Vivar
16.12.2010 - 13.03.2011

Displayed objects +


Update date: 17-06-2022 | Registry created on 28-04-2015

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