Inventory number
Flandes, Juan de
1509 - 1518
Wooden Panel
123 cm x 169 cm
Religion. New Testament
On display
Retablo mayor de la Catedral de San Antolín, Palencia, 1509/19-1944; vendida a Manuel Arburúa por el cabildo de la catedral, 1944; familia Arburúa, Madrid, 1944-2005; adquirida por el Grupo Ferrovial, S. A., entregada como dación en pago de deuda tributaria y adscrita por la Dirección General de Bellas Artes y Bienes Culturales al Museo Nacional del Prado, 2005.

Documentation shows this work to be by Juan de Flandes, who is known only for the paintings he made in Castile beginning in 1496, when he entered the service of Isabel la Católica. When the Queen died in 1504, he continued to work in Salamanca and Palencia, adapting his style to the demands of his new clientele. Sometimes these were large works, such as the main altarpiece at Palencia Cathedral, of which the present panel is a part of the attic’s central row.

Juan de Flandes conceived the space of this Crucifixion with a low viewpoint, recalling compositions by Mantegna. His placement of the figures and mastery of straight lines give the overall work a sense of monumentality, recalling Italian painting. In order to focus attention on the figure of Christ on the Cross, which is at the center of the composition with a background of landscape, Flandes conceived a semicircle of figures around Him. This Flemish painter’s originality in representing such an iconographic subject is reinforced by his technical mastery, which is evident in his manner of reproducing the qualities of objects such as the precious stones and coral scattered around the ground.


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