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Arias Fernández, Antonio

Madrid, ca. 1614 - Madrid, 1684

This precocious artist studied with Pedro de las Cuevas and, according to Palomino, he was only fourteen when he received his first commission: a retable for the Shod Carmelites in Toledo (lost). In 1639, he was one of a group of artists contracted to paint four canvases to decorate the Golden Hall at the Royal Alcázar in Madrid. Of that group, only one, Charles V and Philip II, has survived. In 1645, he opened a studio in Madrid, and from then on, he received numerous commissions, mostly for religious works, including devotional paintings and series of canvases for convents. Outstanding among the former are Christ Recovering his Clothing (1645, convent of Las Carboneras, Madrid); Caesar's Coin (1646, donated by the Duke and Duchess of Monteleón to the Benedictine monastery of Montserrat in Madrid); Saint Anthony of Padua (1650, Plasencia Collection , Bilbao); Virgin and Child (ca. 1655), and Pietà (1658, convent of las Carvajalas, León); as well as numerous representations of subjects based on the Virgin Mary, the Gospel or saints. Among this artist's series, we could mention the eleven canvases from Christ's Passion for the cloister at the convent of San Felipe el Real, of which the Museo del Prado has Christ Bearing the Cross meets Veronica and Christ Washing Peter's Feet—both signed and dated 1657—and two Apostolates with the Savior. Judging by his library, Arias Fernández was a cultivated individual, which distinguishes him from the prototypical artist of his time. According to Palomino, he died in poverty at the court's General Hospital (Burguera Arienza, B., Enciclopedia del Museo Nacional del Prado, 2006, vol. II, p. 412).

Artworks (6)

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