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Pantoja de la Cruz, Juan

Valladolid (Spain), ca. 1553 - Madrid (Spain), 1608

A painter of religious works, still lifes and some frescoes, Juan Pantoja de la Cruz began his career as a portraitist during the reign of Philip II after collaborating with Alonso Sánchez Coello in the final years of the latter's career. He had previously learned his trade in other European courts, where the influence of Antonis Mor was considerable. His finest works are unmistakeable for their sophistication and geometrical abstraction, with a theatrical sense of lighting that envelops the figures in powerfully contrasted light and shadows. He began painting for the court in the mid 1580s, although he was not appointed chamber painter until 1596. After Philip III took the throne Pantoja became the most representative portrait painter of his time, with a special dedication to Queen Margaret's most personal commissions: many likenesses of children and portraits "a lo divino," in which he placed the faces of royal family members on bible figures or Catholic saints. The abundant call for his work led him to found a large workshop that trained a considerable number of painters to continue the rigid formulas of portraiture dating back to the mid 16th century. Pantoja's portraits of figures outside the court are more incisive and psychologically intense, with a freer and more vigorous rendering of the sort visible in his “Portrait of Friar Hernando de Rojas” (Duke of Valencia Collection) (Ruiz, L. in: “Del Greco a Goya. Obras maestras del Museo del Prado”, Museo de Arte de Ponce, 2012, p. 91).

Artworks (18)

The Infanta Catalina Micaela
Oil on canvas, Ca. 1585
Pantoja de la Cruz, Juan (Attributed to)
Joanna of Austria, sister of King Philip II of Spain, Princess of Portugal
Oil on canvas, Early Finales del siglo XVI - XVII century
Pantoja de la Cruz, Juan
Retrato de dama, probablemente Dª Catalina de la Cerda
Oil on canvas, Ca. 1602
Pantoja de la Cruz, Juan (Attributed to)
The Infanta Isabel Clara Eugenia
Oil on canvas, 1598 - 1599
Pantoja de la Cruz, Juan
Queen Elisabeth of Valois, third wife of Philip II
Oil on canvas, Ca. 1605
Pantoja de la Cruz, Juan (After Anguissola, Sofonisba)
San Nicolás de Tolentino
Oil on canvas, 1601
Pantoja de la Cruz, Juan
Portrait of a Knight of the Order of Santiago
Oil on canvas, 1601
Pantoja de la Cruz, Juan
Philip III
Oil on canvas, Early XVII century
Pantoja de la Cruz, Juan
Saint Augustine
Oil on canvas, 1601
Pantoja de la Cruz, Juan

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