Alonso Cano

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Alonso Cano
Design for the Decoration of a Franciscan Chapel Showing St. Diego of Alcala, St. Francis of Assisi, and St. Anthony of Padua
Pen and brown ink and watercolor on laid paper.
46 5/16 x 24 3/4 inches (1,176 x 629 mm)
Purchased as the gift of Mrs. Charles Wrightsman.

Watermark: none visible through lining.
This monumental design is undoubtedly Cano's masterpiece on paper. Composed of seventeen joined sheets, it served as a plan for the altarpiece of the Chapel of San Diego in the Convent of Santa María de Jesús in the saint's home town, Alcalá de Henares. Philip IV became patron of the chapel in 1657, and his coats of arms appear at the lower left and right of the drawing. The highly finished execution indicates that this was a presentation drawing, offering the king different options to consider, including a proposed painting of St. Francis at lower left and a proposed sculpture of St. Anthony of Padua at lower right. --Exhibition Label, from "Visions and Nightmares: Four Centuries of Spanish Drawings"

P. & D. Colnaghi & Co., Ltd., London.
Associated names: 

Wrightsman, Jayne, donor.
Herrera Barnuevo, Sebastian de, Formerly attributed to.


Pérez Sánchez, Alfonso E. Historia del dibujo en España de la Edad Media. Madrid, 1986, p. 244.
Ryskamp, Charles, ed. Twenty-First Report to the Fellows of the Pierpont Morgan Library, 1984-1986. New York : Pierpont Morgan Library, 1989, p. 347.
Agulló y Cobo, Mercedes. "El convento de San Diego de Alcalá," Cuadernos de arte e iconografía XII 23 (2003), pp.3-76.
Rebollo, Angel Rodriguez. "A propósito de Alonso Cano: el dibujo para el retablo de San Diego de Alcalá y su homónimo para San Andrés," in In sapientia libertas: escritos en homenaje al profesor Alfonso E. Pérez Sánchez. Madrid, 2007, pp. 453-454, fig. 1.

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