Inventory number
P02445
Author
El Greco
Title
Julián Romero and his Patron Saint
Chronology
1594-1604
Technique
Oil
Support
Canvas
Dimensions
207 cm x 127 cm
School
Spanish
Theme
Portrait
On display
No
Provenance
Colección del marqués de Lugros, Alcalá la Real (Jaén), hasta 1890; colección Leopoldo Eguilaz, Granada; legado Luis de Errazu, 1926.

An inscription under the column, which is actually later than the painting itself, identifies the figure portrayed as Julián Romero “Doer of Deeds”, an outstanding soldier in the Flemish and Italian campaigns during the reign of Felipe II. He died in Cremona in 1578. He wears white robes with the cross of Santiago, indicating his membership in that military order, which he had joined in 1558. Kneeling with hands clasped in prayer, he directs his gaze upward as if to petition his patron saint, Saint Julian. The latter wears sixteenth-century military armor and blue robes with lily flowers, leading him to be confused with Saint Louis of France at times.

The size and composition of this work make it exceptional among El Greco's portraits, and it has been dated much later than Romero's death, which would make it a posthumous portrait. These circumstances, along with certain errors in the inscription and the painting's style, raise serious doubts as to who actually painted it, and who it portrays.

 
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