|Title||A Carmelite Friar|
|Collection||Bowes Museum, Barnard Castle|
|Artist|| Attributed to Flemish School
Previously attributed to Zurbarán, Francisco de (Spanish painter, 1598-1664)
|Description||A young friar is portrayed wearing a Carmelite habit. He holds a book, and his left hand rests on a skull next to a crucifix. The Carmelite Order achieved great prominence in the Spanish Netherlands during the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries, and the Archduchess Isabella came under the Carmelites' influence. The low cape and the sandals worn by the unknown friar identify him as a member of the Reformed or Discalced Carmelites, which became a separate order in 1593. Reformed Carmelites advocated contemplative prayer and the return to the original asceticism of the Order.|
|Current Accession Number||B.M.27|
|Inscription||front ll 'AET SUE 24 Ano 1639'|
|Measurements||201.3 x 120.6 cm cm (estimate)|
|Material||oil on canvas|
|Acquisition Details||Bequeathed by the founders John and Joséphine Bowes 1885.|
|Publications||Soria, M., 'Notes on the Spanish Paintings in the Bowes Museum', The Connoisseur, no. 148, 1961, pp. 31-33.|
The painting was attributed to Francisco Zurbarán until 1961, when Martín Soria suggested that 'it might conceivably belong to the school of Madrid, since one perceives, for instance, in the sensitive head, possible relationships to the art of Juan Carreño de Miranda'. Soria, however, finally ascribed the portrait to the Flemish school and added that the unknown painter worked 'under the influence of Rubens'.
The painter of the Bowes Museum portrait was also influenced by the type of portraiture created by Sofonisba Anguissola, who worked for the Spanish and Flemish courts, as well as for the Italian nobility.
|Rights Owner||The Bowes Museum, Barnard Castle, Co. Durham|
|Author||Dr Mercedes Cerón; Dr Howard Coutts|