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Cárdenas Maldonado, Gabriel de

Cuéllar, Segovia (Spain), doc. 1588, doc. 1604

This Spanish painter belonged to a family of local painters, including his father, Julián Maldonado, with whom he must have studied. He was married to María de la Cruz but there is no record of offspring. His work reflects the characteristics of painting from the School of Valladolid, which influenced the area of Segovia during that period. There is no evidence that he worked outside the diocese of Segovia. According to Angulo, certain aspects of his works -including the one at the Museo del Prado- could be related to the Toledo school of that time, particularly work by still-life painter Blas de Prado. Also manifest in his work is a knowledge of contemporary trends in Roman painting, including Raphael's models and forms that recall the works of Giuseppe Cesari, known as Cavaliere d'Arpino. This may have been the result of possible contact with the artists at El Escorial, as Collar de Cáceres suggested. The central panel of the triptych at the Museo del Prado is inspired, with some variations, by Raphael's "Holy Family with Young Saint John" or "The Virgin of the Rose" (ca. 1528, Prado). Cárdenas places the figures in a landscaped background that does not exist in Raphael's work, presenting them full length and adding a basket of flowers and fruit. Their faces do not follow the original model by Raphael, and the technique is harsher than that Italian master's (Sánchez del Peral, J.R. en: Enciclopedia, 2006, vol. II, p. 628).

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