Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Juan Carreno de Miranda

Portrait of the young Carlos II of Spain
oil on canvas
201 x 141 cm
Harrach Collection, Schloss Rohrau, Austria

The son of Felipe IV (1605-1665) and Mariana of Austria (1634-1696), Carlos II (1661-1700) was the last King of the Hapsburg Dynasty in Spain. The scene is set at the Hall of Mirrors at Madrid's former Alcazar Palace and shows consoles held by bronze lions now at Madrid's Royal Palace and in the Prado Museum.

Juan Carreno de Miranda (1614-1685) was a Spanish painter of the Baroque period. Born in Aviles in Asturias, his family moved to Madrid in 1623, and he trained in Madrid during the late 1620s as an apprentice to Pedro de Las Cuevas and Bartolome Roman.
He came to the notice of Velazquez for his work in the cloister of Dona Maria de Aragon and in the church of El Rosario. His early work was derived from a combination of Italian and Flemish influences, notably the works of Rubens, van Dyck, and Titian.

In 1658 he was hired as an assistant on a royal commission to paint frescoes in the Alcazar of Madrid. In 1671, upon the death of Sebastian de Herrera, he was appointed court painter to the queen (pintor de camara) and began to paint primarily portraits. He refused to be knighted in the order of Santiago, saying Painting needs no honors, it can give them to the whole world.

Most of his work are portraits of the royal family and court, though there are some altarpieces, early works commissioned mainly by the church.