Colnaghi Foundation Journal 04 - Page 122



120
Pedro Orrente and the Nine Worthies
Pedro Orrente and the Nine Worthies
121
Fig. 5 / Pedro Orrente, Joshua,
oil on canvas, 138 x 104 cm,
Valencia, Real Colegio de Corpus
Christi.
Fig. 6 / Pedro Orrente and
workshop, Joshua, oil on canvas,
150 x 110 cm, parish church of
Chelva (Valencia).
The trio of Jewish heroes that follows the pagans is led
by the prophet Joshua, Moses’s successor. Born in Egypt
during the period of the Jews’ enslavement, Joshua
became the leader of his people and conquered the
Promised Land, distributing it among the Twelve Tribes
of Israel. As a leader he fought the enemies of Israel
in numerous military undertakings that are recounted
in the Book of Joshua. Orrente shows the conqueror of
Canaan as a warrior dressed in armour, with a helmet
and shield, corresponding to the famous passage when
he stills the motion of the sun:
Then spake Joshua to the Lord in the day
when the Lord delivered up the Amorites
before the children of Israel, and he said in
the sight of Israel, Sun, stand thou still upon
Gibeon; and thou, Moon, in the valley of
Ajalon. / And the sun stood still, and the
moon stayed, until the people had avenged
themselves upon their enemies. Is not this
written in the book of Jasher? So the sun stood
still in the midst of heaven, and hastened not
to go down about a whole day. / And there
was no day like that before it or after it, that
the Lord hearkened unto the voice of a man:
for the Lord fought for Israel.16
Orrente’s Joshua, now in the Real Colegio de Corpus
Christi in Valencia (fig. 5),17 received through the
Ferrer Estellés Bequest, bears the inscription: EN
FORTIS IOSVE, MERITO QVEM CELEBRAT
ORBIS IVSI TENIM RAPIDOS SISTER SOLIS
EQVUOS. The same phrase also appears on a replica,
possibly by Orrente and his studio, in the parish
church in Chelva (Valencia) (fig. 6).18

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