Colnaghi Foundation Journal 02 - Page 182



182
PEDRO ORRENTE / The Spanish Bassano
PEDRO ORRENTE / The Spanish Bassano
183
Although Martínez focuses on Leandro Bassano as a
portraitist, he was, by the time of Orrente’s arrival,
also one of the most famous artists in Venice, having
been knighted by the doge around 1595. As a result he
received several private and public commissions, among
them a Last Judgement painted on copper and now in
Birmingham, Alabama (fig. 4).14 Generally dated 15961605, this work includes a portrait of Doge Marino
Grimani, who may have been the patron; Orrente
might have been in Bassano’s studio at time of this
important commission, and his devotional images on
copper may have been inspired by it.
Fig. 4 / Leandro Bassano,
Last Judgement, ca. 15961605, oil on copper, 69.9
x 49.5 cm, Birmingham,
AL, Birmingham Museum
of Art.
Fig. 5 / Pedro Orrente,
Saint Sebastian, ca. 1616,
oil on canvas, 306 x 219
cm, Valencia Cathedral.
By 22 September 1607 Orrente is documented
back in Spain.15 Martínez cites his success at court
in Madrid where he was celebrated for depicting
subjects from “the Old and New Testament, including
in them landscapes with the figures so well combined
that few equalled him in this genre.”16 After a few
years in Madrid, he must have returned to his native
Murcia, where he is documented in 1612, the year
of his father’s death. Around this time he executed
a Blessing of Jacob (Contini Bonacossi Collection).17
Shortly after this, in 1614, he painted a Saint
Sebastian, now in Valencia Cathedral (fig. 5).18 And
in 1617, by then in Toledo, he was commissioned
by Cardinal Sandoval to paint a Miracle of Saint
Leocadia for the city’s cathedral (fig. 6). For several
years thereafter, Orrente continued to move between
Murcia and Toledo, and documents associate him
with fellow artists including Alejandro de Loarte,
Eugenio Cajés, and El Greco’s son, Jorge Manuel
Theotocópuli. Recent archival research has illustrated
that Orrente was in Valencia by 1632, and that he
largely remained there until his death in 1645.19 In
Valencia, he produced numerous altarpieces and
paintings of biblical series, influencing a younger
generation of artists including Juan Ribalta, Vicente
Castelló, Jerónimo Jacinto de Espinosa, Mateo Gilarte,
Pablo Pontons, Esteve March, and Cristóbal García
Salmerón.

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