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González, Bartolomé

Valladolid (Spain), 1564 - Madrid (Spain), 1627

This Spanish painter was a disciple of Patricio Cajés in Valladolid, and of Juan Pantoja de la Cruz, whom he succeeded to the post of royal painter along with Rodrigo de Villandrando, Pedro Antonio Vidal, Santiago Morán and Andrés López. After the court moved from his native Valladolid to Madrid, he became the king's painter, filling the post left by Fabricio Castello's death in 1617. His testament, which dates from 8 October 1617 and was witnessed by archer-painter Felipe Diericksen, names Pedro de Salazar as executive. His second marriage, to Ana de Nava, produced two daughters and he named them as his heirs. He was buried on November 1, 1627 at the church of San Ginés in Madrid. His post as king's painter was subsequently occupied by Antonio de Lanchares. His production was practically limited to numerous royal portraits intended for exchange with other European courts. His style is rather more rigid and dry than that of his teacher, whose models he reproduced in a stereotyped manner. Some of those portraits were intended to replace originals lost from the El Pardo palace's portrait gallery as a result of the fire of 1604. The Museo del Prado has a broad selection of Bartolomé González's works, most of which are portraits of members of King Philip III's family. Outstanding among these is a gallery of portraits of the imperial Austrian family. A report presented to Philip III listing the works he made between 1608 and 1617 indicates that Queen Margaret had a collection of miniature portraits of all her siblings, the archdukes of Austria. Those miniatures were the basis for a series of full-sized copies -probably the works now at the Museo del Prado- commissioned from Bartolomé González. The inventory of his workshop following his death shows that he was active as a copyist of works from the Royal Collection, where he was able to copy works by Titian, Raphael and Caravaggio, as well as others by his contemporaries, including Ribera, Pedro Orrente, Blas de Prado and Bartolomé Carducho. We should note that he made many such copies without varying the formats of the originals, and this has sometimes led them to be confused with those originals. The same report reveals his dedication to other genres, including landscapes and still lifes, although the lack of any known surviving paintings of that sort makes it impossible to discover the details of that facet of his work. Outstanding among his religious paintings is the "Saint John the Baptist" (Szépmûvészeti Múzeum, Budapest) that he signed in 1621, which has a powerfully Caravaggesque appearance (Sánchez del Peral, J. R. in Enciclopedia, Madrid, 2006, vol, IV, pp. 1177-1178).

Artworks (9)

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