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Water
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Water

1675 - 1700. Oil on canvas

This canvas by a late 17th-century painter is part of a group of four works, all at the Museo del Prado (P191, P3196, P3197 and P3198), that express the idea of the Elements through motives drawn from classical mythology. According to R. López Torrijos (1985), Water is embodied here by Ocean’s sister and wife, Thetis, who was queen of the seas. A crown and scepter underline her royal character, and she is accompanied by a dolphin and an enormous conch shell, as well as small seashells and snails that allude to the oceanic realm, and thus, to water. López Torrijos also points out that in 17th -century Spain, Palomino confused Neptune with Ocean, thereby making Thetis Neptune’s wife. This further emphasizes Thetis’s value as an allegory of Water. Painted by the same artist as Earth (P3196) and with the same character, this work is also very close to those of Claudio Coello.

This important series has never received critical attention, yet it is especially interesting as an example of the artistic situation in circles close to the Madrid court during the final years of the 17th century. They reflect much of Carreño’s approach through Claudio Coello and Ruiz de la Iglesia, with clear but already distant echoes of Venetian and Flemish painting, and even knowledge of Luca Giordano, whose works are known to have been at the Madrid court since at least the late sixteen-fifties. These four works cannot be confidently attributed to any known artist and there are even some differences among them. The Air is attributed to Giordano, while the other three are always listed as anonymous, without mention of their school or possible circle.

Pérez Sánchez, Alfonso E., Carreño, Rizi, Herrera y la pintura madrileña de su tiempo, Madrid, Ministerio de Cultura. Banco Herrero, 1986, p.350

Technical data

Related artworks

Air
Oil on canvas, 1675 - 1700
Earth
Oil on canvas, 1675 - 1700
Fire
Oil on canvas, 1675 - 1700
Inventory number
P003197
Author
Anonymous
Title
Water
Date
1675 - 1700
Technique
Oil
Support
Canvas
Dimension
Height: 245 cm.; Width: 105.5 cm.
Series
Serie Alegorías de los Cuatro Elementos
Provenance
Royal Collection (colección Felipe V, Quinta del duque del Arco, El Pardo-Madrid, cuarta pieza sala de invierno, 1745, [no. 66]; Quinta del duque del Arco, pieza cuarta, 1794, no. 84)

Bibliography +

Museo Nacional del Prado, Museo del Prado: catálogo de las pinturas, Museo del Prado, Madrid, 1972.

López Torrijos, Rosa, La mitología en la pintura española del siglo XVII, II, Editorial de la Universidad Complutense, Madrid, 1982, pp. 1059.

Museo Nacional del Prado, Museo del Prado: catálogo de las pinturas, Museo del Prado, Madrid, 1985, pp. 814.

Pérez Sánchez, Alfonso E., Carreño, Rizi, Herrera y la pintura madrileña de su tiempo, Ministerio de Cultura. Banco Herrero, Madrid, 1986, pp. 350.

Magariños, A., Las Raices de Todas las Cosas : Exposicion con Motivo del Di, Ministerio de Obras Publicas, Madrid, 1989, pp. 14.

Museo Nacional del Prado, Museo del Prado: inventario general de pinturas, I, 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, Madrid, 2004, pp. 493.

Other inventories +

Inv. Felipe V, Quinta duque del Arco, 1745. Núm. [66].
Quarta Pieza Sala de Ynvierno [...] [63-66] Quatro quadros de tres varas de largo por varay tercia de ancho de los quatro elementos sus marcos dorados=

Inv. Testamentaría Carlos III, Quinta duque del Arco, 1794. Núm. 84.
Pieza quarta [...] [4778] 84 / Otro [quadro] de tres varas de alto y tercia de ancho: representa el Elemento del agua y vale ... 200

Catálogo Museo del Prado, 1854-1858. Núm. 1164.

Inv. Real Museo, 1857. Núm. 1164.
Anónimo./ 1164. Representación simbólica del agua./ Alto 2 pies, 8 pulg; ancho 3 pies, 8 pulg, 6 lin.

Catálogo Museo del Prado, 1872-1907. Núm. 614.

Catálogo Museo del Prado, 1942-1996. Núm. 3197.

Exhibitions +

Exposición sobre el Medio Ambiente
Madrid
06.06.1989 - 30.06.1989

Location +

(Deposit)

Update date: 06-05-2019 | Registry created on 28-04-2015

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