Colnaghi Foundation Journal 01 - Page 62

POMPEO LEONI / Portrait of a Knight of the Order of Alcántara or Calatrava Identified
POMPEO LEONI / Portrait of a Knight of the Order of Alcántara or Calatrava Identified
Fig. 7 / Vicente Carderera
lithographic print, drawing
by Carderera and engraved
by Luis Carlos Legrand, D.
Luis Quijada, lithograph
of J. F. Martínez, Madrid,
Biblioteca Nacional de
Fig. 8 / Manuel San Gil y
Villanueva, Luis Méndez de
Quijada (copy), 1877, oil
on canvas, Madrid, Museo
Nacional del Prado.
Fig. 5 / Cristóbal Ruíz de
Andino, cenotaph figure
D. Luis Quijada, 1672,
polychromed wood,
Villagarcía de Campos
(Valladolid), collegiate
church of San Luis.
Fig. 6 / Cristóbal Ruíz de
Andino, cenotaph figure
D. Magdalena de Ulloa,
1672, polychromed wood,
Villagarcía de Campos
(Valladolid), collegiate
church of San Luis.
Other images of the Quijadas are to be found in the
collegiate church of San Luis, where their funerary
monuments are placed on either side of the chancel. Both
are kneeling in prayer on large cushions, in contemporary
dress. Luis Quijada wears armour under the habit and
mantle of the Order of Calatrava, his helmet at his feet,
his gloves on a prie-dieu. These figures were made in 1672
by Cristóbal Ruíz de Andino, a sculptor from Valladolid,
in polychromed wood imitating alabaster, but bear no
resemblance to the figures in the portraits (figs. 5 & 6).8
Many years later, Valentín de Carderera (1816-1880)
included an engraving of Luis Quijada in his
Iconografía española (fig. 7). In his commentary on the
print Carderera summarises Quijada’s biography and
describes him as follows:
His sombre, austere countenance shows
courage combined with the prudence,
discretion and steadiness of spirit necessary
to one charged with the education of the
intrepid youth and victor of Lepanto.
He grasps the baton of command, head
covered with a velvet cap at a slight angle,
as Camoens portrayed the great Vasco da
Gama. His long doublet and the top of his
breeches are of white cashmere decorated
with ruches of the same stuff. The Calatrava
Cross on a double gold chain round his neck
proclaims his rank as Knight Commander.9
The Junta de Iconografía Nacional (Board of National
Iconography) commissioned a portrait of Luis Quijada
from Manuel San Gil y Villanueva (Borja, near
Saragossa, active last third of the nineteenth century)
for the Gallery of Eminent Spaniards in the Museo
Iconográfico. This portrait, now in the Museo del Prado
(fig. 8),10 took as its model the painting in the collection of
the Count and Countess of Santa Coloma in 1877.11
It is known that the two portraits used as models, first
for the engraving and then for the Manuel de San Gil
copy, were very similar if not identical. In the Prado
painting, Quijada is set against a dark background, the
topcoat is unadorned, the glove is brown (not green)
and the Calatrava cross does not hang from a double
gold chain but from a red ribbon. The expression, too,
is more distant. The print is in black and white but
Carderera’s detailed description gives us an idea of the
tones in the original painting. Carderera makes the
valuable point that, if there were two copies of a halflength portrait of Luis Quijada, the original must have
been done by an eminent artist.
This artist may have been Titian, as Carderera suggests,
at a time when Luis de Quijada was with Charles V
(1548 -1555), but it could also have been another great
painter from the Emperor’s circle. Age and dress style
point to this period. The full-length portraits fit better,
however, with the portrait painters in the court of
Philip II in the 1560s, when Quijada was Field-Marshal
and around forty-five years of age. It should be noted
that Luis Quijada’s pose is the same as the pose in Don
Juan of Austria, Alonso Sánchez Coello’s portrait now in
the convent of the Descalzas Reales in Madrid. Dated
around 1567 when Don Juan was about twenty, this
was commissioned by Juana of Austria for her portrait
gallery in the convent. However, any of the court
painters of the time could have done the portraits of
the Quijada couple, copied by the anonymous artist a
hundred years later for the collegiate church. Among
them were Joris van Staeten, known in Spain as Jorge
de la Rua, who painted the prince, Don Carlos (ca.
1565) and Juan of Austria (ca. 1567) – both of whom
were close to Luis Quijada – or Sofonisba Anguissola,
Seisenegger or Sánchez Coello himself.12
Whatever the case, it is certain that Pompeo Leoni
used a painted representation to sculpt the bust
of Luis Quijada, as was his usual practice. He had
already used paintings by Titian for his portraits
of Charles V and his wife, the Empress Isabel. He
would use a portrait painted by Sofonisba Anguissola
(in his possession as shown by an inventory)13 for his
image of Prince Don Carlos in the cenotaph group
at El Escorial. We know that Pompeo Leoni was a
keen collector who owned significant paintings and
drawings by the best artists of the time.14


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