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Title San Juan de Avila (1499 - 1569)
Collection Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery
Artist Subleyras, Pierre (French painter, draftsman, and printmaker, 1699-1749)
Date 1746
Description This is an idealised portrait of the Blessed John of Avila (1500-1596), sometimes called the Apostle of Andalusia, the confessor of Saint Theresa. He is shown
preaching from the pulpit, holding the crucifix, an unforgettable figure with his glance engaged in a prophetic vision. His left hand, so admirably real, punctuates the sentences of his speech Arnaud, p. 63)
The inscription can be translated as
Venerable Master Juan de Avila, the Apostle of Andalusia, [who] died in Montilla on the 10th day of the year 1569
Subleyras painted this portrait in Rome, commissioned by Cardinal Albani in 1745, using a known likeness of the preacher.
Current Accession Number 1959P43
Former Accession Number P.43'59
Inscription front (on pulpit) "VENER [...]MAG . IOANNES DE AVILA/ VANDA [...] LICIAE . APOST OBIIT MON =/TILLAE DIE X MAII AN. MIDLXIX"
Subject portrait; religion (St John of Avila)
Measurements 136.0 x 98.5 cm cm (estimate)
Material oil on canvas
Acquisition Details Purchased from P. & D. Colnaghi Co. Ltd with the aid of the National Art-Collections Fund and the V & A Purchase Grant Fund 1959.
Provenance Commissioned by Cardinal Albani, Soriano del Cimino, 1746; Prince Ludovico Chigi until 1959; F. Lli L. & R. Piconi, dealers, Rome.
Principal Exhibitions Heritage de France, Montreal & Toronto, 1961, cat. no. 73; France in the Eighteenth Century, Royal Academy, London, 1968, cat. no. 653; The Age of Louis XV, Toledo, U.S.A., 1975, cat. no. 96; Subleyras, Musée de Luxembourg, Paris, 1987, cat. no. 112; Art Treasures of England: Regional Collections, Royal Academy, 1998, cat. no. 322.
Publications Arnaud, O., Les Peintures Français du XVIII Siècle, vol. 2, 1930, p. 146; Dimier, L., Les Peintres Français du XVIII Siecle, 1930, p. 63, 84; Boyer, F., Les Artistes Français, 1936, p. 213; Garlic, K., 'A Trend in Taste', Apollo, 1964, p. 457; Wakefield, D., French Eighteenth Century Painting, 1984, pp. 97-8; Catalogue of Paintings in Birmingham City Museum and Art Gallery, 1960; Foreign Paintings in Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, A Summary Catalogue, 1983, no. 140.
Notes A replica of this work (formerly in the Comte de Saint-Bon collection, Rome and, in 1914, in the Cremer collection, Dortmund) was last sold under a Spanish attribution in Berlin, 29 May 1929. H. Voss reattributed it to Subleyras.

Labels on back: 1. Royal Academy exhibiton sticker; 2. 'F.LLI L. & R. PICONI/IMBALLATORI DI OGGETTI D'ARTE/ROMA - VIA MARIO DE'FIORI, [...] ROMA'; 3. Heritage de France exhibiton sticker; 4. Colnaghi sticker with provenance details in pen: ' Cardinal Albani and Prince Chigi/Engraved by P. Campana [...]'.

Rights Owner Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery
Author Dr Patricia Smyth
 

 

 

 

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