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Collantes, Francisco

Madrid (Spain), ca. 1599 - Madrid (Spain), 1656

A total lack of documentary references means this artist's biography has had to be reconstructed on the basis of period references to him. He worked in Madrid, and Palomino considered him a "native" of that city. Later, Ceán Bermúdez identified him as a disciple of Vicente Carducho, although this is not visible in his works. He was singular in his dedication to landscapes, an inclination far less common in Spain than in Italy or Flanders. But, while this specialization often limited artists to that genre, such was not the case with Collantes, and we know that several private collections in Madrid had still lifes by his hand. Nor was he adverse to painting figures, for example the "Saint Onophrius" at the Museo del Prado, which was listed with an attribution to Ribera in the inventory of Elizabeth de Farnesio's chattles at the La Granja Palace in 1746. That attribution reflects Collantes's affinity for the naturalism that characterizes Ribera's early period, as well as his knowledge of Neapolitan currents. That painting clearly reveals the meticulous study of materials that distinguish Collantes's work, both in the saint's body and in the objects around him, all set in one of his characteristic landscapes. His success was greatest with landscapes, which were in demand with numerous private collectors, as well as for the decoration of the Buen Retiro Palace, where a group of his works were appraised in 1634. Those decorations included both his landscapes with martyrdoms of saints and pure landscapes, and his surviving works are largely from the Buen Retiro group. His greatest prestige and productivity probably coincide with those years, between 1630 and 1640. The Museo del Prado has eight of his works, mostly landscapes, and they all reveal his knowledge of Roman painting from the early decades of the 17th century, as well as a familiarity with northern models. His "Burning of Troy", also from the Buen Retiro, shows his skill at representing architectural perspectives. His large canvas, "Ezequiel's Vision: The Resurrection of the Flesh", also from the Buen Retiro Palace, deserves separate mention. His contemporaries praised this singular work -Palomino called it "a thing of wonder"- in which Collantes effectively combines landscape and the reproduction of classic ruins with a precise anatomical study of the rich variety of figures therein. This work's lasting success is eloquently expressed by its inclusion among the fifty paintings taken to the Musée Napoléon in 1811. After it was returned in 1816, it was placed in the Royal Academy of San Fernando until its transfer to the Museo del Prado in 1827. It has been pointed out that Collantes must be the "Cleantes" mentioned by Roger de Piles, which would make him one of the few Spanish painters of his century to be known in Europe at that time. At least one of his works was in Louis XIV's collection (García López, D. in: Enciclopedia, Madrid, 2006, vol. III, pp. 819-820).

Artworks (10)

Landscape with Shepherds
Oil on copperplate, 1600 - 1650
Collantes, Francisco
Paisaje
Oil on canvas, First half of the XVII century
Collantes, Francisco
Paisaje frondoso
Oil on canvas, First half of the XVII century
Collantes, Francisco
El incendio de Troya
Oil on canvas, XVII century
Collantes, Francisco
Paisaje
Oil on canvas, XVII century
Collantes, Francisco
Paisaje con la crucifixión de San Pedro
Oil on canvas, First half of the XVII century
Collantes, Francisco
Paisaje con un castillo
Oil on canvas, XVII century
Collantes, Francisco
Winter Landscape with the Adoration of the Shepherds
Oil on canvas, 1630 - 1650
Collantes, Francisco
Visión de Ezequiel: la resurrección de la carne
Oil on canvas, 1630
Collantes, Francisco

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