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Arellano, Juan de

Santorcaz, Madrid, 1614 - Madrid, 1676

Arellano was born near the capital of the kingdom during the reign of Philip III, though there is no specific information about his early life. He is first documented in Madrid as a disciple of Juan de Solís, by whom only a few landscapes of not very high quality survive. According to Palomino, in his mature years he devoted himself to flower pictures -and with great success- owing to his failure as a painter of figures. He received frequent commissions from churches, monasteries and convents, nobility and private clients and the success and demand for his work soon led him to set up a shop-cum-studio outside the steps of San Felipe el Real. For this purpose he had a large group of disciples and assistants who carried on painting in the manner of the master and disseminating his models, even after his death. His own son José was a continuer and imitator of his oeuvre, though his execution is drier and sketchier and his colours duller. Numerous paintings of his survive, many of them signed and some dated, allowing his stylistic development to be analysed. His known works date from 1646 and from then to the mid 1650s denote the influence of Flemish painters, sometimes reminiscences of the traditional manner of execution of Brueghel himself, but especially of Daniel Seghers, whose more modern works were popular with Spanish collectors. It is to him that Arellano owes his elegant, firm and painstaking draughtsmanship and the arrangement of the flowers in groups, which are sometimes placed on Mannerist cartouches. He soon became influenced by the works of the Roman painter Mario Nuzzi, from whom he probably copied a few paintings, replacing precision with free and rapid brushstrokes that modelled forms, and calmness with an extraordinary dynamism in the arrangement of the flowers, which sway as if blown by the wind, and with the use of extraordinarily rich colours. Even so he never completely abandoned Flemish painting, returning to it in late works, perhaps to show his virtuosity or possibly to satisfy the whims of certain clients. He always uses primary colours, his favourites being deep red, bright blue, soft yellow and a very pure white, all perfectly matched to achieve great decorative value. With these as the basis of his palette, he produced, almost always in pairs or series, garlands -frequently collaborating with other painters who executed the inner scenes, in this respect also following Flemish tradition- decorated flower vases on plinths with fruits and birds, flowers that have fallen or are reflected in a mirror, in the manner of Nuzzi, and wicker baskets, his most characteristic creation, of the type depicted by some Flemish painters, though in his works they are transformed into images of Baroque opulence in which the flowers struggle to free themselves from the confines of the container (Luna, J. J.: From Titian to Goya. Great Masters of the Museo del Prado, National Art Museum of China-Shanghai Museum, 2007, pp. 383-384).

Artworks (12)

Vase of Flowers
Oil on canvas, XVII century
Arellano, Juan de
Vase of Flowers
Oil on canvas, XVII century
Arellano, Juan de
Vase of Flowers
Oil on canvas, 1650 - 1700
Arellano, Juan de
Vase of Flowers
Oil on canvas, 1650 - 1700
Arellano, Juan de
Garland of Flowers with a Landscape
Oil on canvas, 1652
Arellano, Juan de
Garland of Flowers with a Landscape
Oil on canvas, 1652
Arellano, Juan de
Still Life with Fruit
Oil on canvas, Ca. 1660
Arellano, Juan de
Vase of Flowers
Oil on canvas, 1660 - 1676
Arellano, Juan de
Vase of Flowers
Oil on canvas, 1660 - 1676
Arellano, Juan de

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