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Vase of Flowers
Arellano, Juan de
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Arellano, Juan de

Santorcaz, Madrid, 1614 - Madrid, 1676

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Vase of Flowers

1650 - 1700. Oil on canvas.
Not on display

In each of these paintings (P596, P597), the central motif around which the entire composition is organised is a glass flower vase, the base of which rests on a stone surface. The flask-shaped vessel contains water. The specific varieties of flowers vary in the two works, but the similarities in the paintings' dimensions and in the strategies adopted in the depiction of their subjects -together with the fact that both paintings have the same provenance, as far as is known- suggest that they were conceived as a pair. Pendant still-life paintings, particularly ones depicting floral arrangements, were very common in seventeenth-century Spain. Their pairing permitted a play of symmetries to extend beyond the frame of each painting to the wall on which they were hung or, in the case of larger compositions, to an entire room.That both of these paintings were in the Spanish Royal Collections is not surprising, since palace halls were filled with images of flower arrangements and other still lifes, although during the seventeenth century such paintings often came from abroad, particularly from Flanders and Italy.These and other flower paintings by Juan de Arellano reveal a diversity of sources and influences. The painter's specialty in depicting flowers with a high degree of lively naturalism is connected to the works of the Italian Mario Nuzzi (1603-73). Typologically, Arellano's works are also related to those of Jan Brueghel the Elder (1568-1625), some of which were in the Royal Collections. Although these were the most important influences on Arellano, his paintings are also linked to local traditions. For example, the placement of the compositional elements on a stone surface was prevalent in still-life paintings from Madrid in the 1630s and onwards, although the use of this visual motif was by no means unique to that city. Representations of glass flower vases were also not uncommon there, and can be found in several works by Juan van der Hamen y León, a painter native to Madrid.One of the two paintings is signed, but both lack a date. They are probably from the 1660s, a period when Arellano found the style he was most comfortable with. The agility and naturalness with which he represents the flowers, his confident juxtaposition of the apparent irregularity of the floral arrangement and the overall symmetry of the composition, his subtle execution of glass and water, and the sense of movement in the stems and blooms, are all qualities associated with Arellano at his mature best, and they permit us to establish a chronological relationship between these two paintings and Flowers in a glass vase (P7921), dated to 1668 (Portús, J.: Portrait of Spain. Masterpieces from the Prado, Queensland Art Gallery-Art Exhibitions Australia, 2012, p. 168).

Technical data

Related artworks

Vase of Flowers
Oil on canvas, 1650 - 1700
Arellano, Juan de
Inventory number
Arellano, Juan de
Vase of Flowers
1650 - 1700
Height: 60 cm; Width: 45 cm
Royal Collection (Testamentaría de Nicolás de Vargas, 16-10-1807; Casa del Labrador, Aranjuez, 1808, nº 349; Palacio de Aranjuez, Madrid, quinta pieza del cuarto del príncipe, 1818, nº 349).

Bibliography +

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

Camón Aznar, José, Pintura Española de los Siglos XVI al XIX, Direccion General de Bellas Artes, Madrid, 1973.

Pérez Sánchez, Alfonso E., Pintura española de bodegones y floreros de 1600 a Goya, Ministerio de Cultura, Madrid, 1983, pp. 122.

Museo Nacional del Prado, Catálogo de las pinturas, Museo del Prado, Madrid, 1985, pp. 21.

Pérez Sánchez, Alfonso E., La nature morte espagnole du XVII sièecle a Goya, Office du Livre; Vilo, Friburgo, 1987, pp. 138/ lám.136.

Museo Nacional del Prado, Museo del Prado: inventario general de pinturas (I) La Colección Real, Museo del Prado, Espasa Calpe, Madrid, 1990, pp. nº1979.

Ayala Mallory, Nina, Del Greco a Murillo: la pintura española del Siglo de Oro, 1, Alianza, Madrid, 1991, pp. 244/ lám.218.

Museo Nacional del Prado, La belleza de lo real: floreros y bodegones españoles en el, Museo del Prado, Madrid, 1995, pp. 95.

Juan de Arellano, (1614-1676): últimos floreros, Museo de Bellas Artes = Bilboko Arte Eder Museoa, Bilbao, 1997.

Pérez Sánchez, A.E., Juan de Arellano (1614-1676), Caja Madrid, 1998.

Urriagli Serrano, Diana, Las colecciones de pinturas de Carlos IV en España, Fundación Universitaria Española, Madrid, 2012, pp. 139, nº 7.

Portrait of Spain. Masterpieces from The Prado, Queensland Art Gallery, 2012, pp. 168-169, nº47.

La apariencia de lo real. Cincuenta años de arte realista en España (1960-2010), Museo Carmen Thyssen Málaga,, Málaga, 2017, pp. 94-95 n.23.

Other inventories +

Inv. Real Museo, 1857. Núm. 1979.
Arellano / 1979. Florero. / Alto 2 pies, 2 pulg; ancho 1 pie, 6 pulg.

Inv. Fernando VII, Aranjuez, 1814-1818. Núm. 349.
QUARTO DEL PRINCIPE [...] Quinta Pieza [...] {21046} 349 / 2 cuartas ancho 3 alto jarron con flores = Juan de Arellano

Catálogo Museo del Prado, 1872-1907. Núm. 636.

Catálogo Museo del Prado, 1910. Núm. 597.

Inv. Carlos IV, Real Casa del Labrador, Aranjuez, 1808. Núm. 349.
349 Dos, dos pies de alto, por media vara y un dedo de ancho, Jarras con Flores = Juan Arellano 500.

Catálogo Museo del Prado, 1942-1996. Núm. 597.

Inscriptions +

Juan de Arellano
Signed. Front, lower central area

Inscribed in white. Front, lower right corner

Inscribed in orange. Front, lower left corner

Exhibitions +

La apariencia de lo real
06.04.2017 - 10.09.2017

Portrait of Spain. Masterpieces from the Prado
16.12.2012 - 31.03.2013

Portrait of Spain. Masterpieces from the Prado
Houston TX
15.12.2012 - 31.03.2013

Portrait of Spain. Masterpieces from the Prado
22.07.2012 - 04.11.2012

Portrait of Spain. Masterpieces from the Prado
Brisbane, Australia
21.07.2012 - 04.11.2012

Juan de Arellano
01.04.1998 - 01.06.1998

Update date: 31-05-2022 | Registry created on 28-04-2015

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