press release

The exhibition Juan Bautista Maíno (1581-1649) includes 35 works by the artist and a further 31 by the painters who most influenced his artistic development, among them Velázquez and Caravaggio. It will allow visitors to see most of the known works by Maíno, one of the most important figures within Spanish painting of the first half of the 17th century but also one of the least known due to the scarcity of surviving information on his life and work and the problems involved in reconstructing his biography and oeuvre.

The exhibition thus offers visitors a unique opportunity to explore and become familiar with the figure of Juan Bautista Maíno, who has not previously been the subject of a monographic exhibition. Thanks to recent research and the growing interest in his figure new attributions have been added to his small output of around 40 works. Seven of these recent attributions will be included in the exhibition as autograph works by Maíno, in addition to various paintings that were previously only known in photographic reproductions and others that have rarely been exhibited and have not previously been set within the context of the rest of his output.

The exhibition also includes notable paintings by the artist such as The repentant Saint Peter (Galería Barbié, Barcelona), The penitent Magdalen (Swiss private collection) and Saint Dominic in Soriano, the composition for which he was best known (Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg).

Particularly outstanding are the ten paintings that make up Maíno’s masterpiece, The Saint Peter Martyr Altarpiece, painted for the Dominican monastery in Toledo where he took religious orders in 1613. In the past they were housed in the now defunct Museo de la Trinidad and are now part of the Prado’s collection. The four large canvases are the most important within the overall composition and can be considered key works of 17th-century Spanish painting. Of them, The Adoration of the Magi and The Adoration of the Shepherds are among the finest examples of Spanish painting of the time and immediately suggest the work of painters such as Savoldo, Caravaggio, Orazio Gentileschi and Guido Reni.

The Recapture of Bahía (1634-35) was originally in the Spanish royal collection and is Maíno’s most famous individual painting, executed for the Salón de Reinos [Hall of Realms] in the Buen Retiro palace in Madrid. Maíno was employed by the Spanish court due to his fame as an outstanding painter and his position as a Dominican monk, and around 1620, when the artist was 42, Philip III appointed him drawing master to the prince, the future Philip IV. At this period Maíno established cordial relations with Velázquez whom he supported and selected as the winner in a competition to paint the subject of The Expulsion of the Moors (now lost), preferring his entry to those by rivals of the stature of Carducho and Cajés.

Portrait of a Gentleman (1618-23) dates from this period when Maíno was close to Velázquez. Acquired by the Museo del Prado in 1936 it is one of only four signed works by Maíno and is of particular importance within his oeuvre, revealing clear parallels with Velázquez.

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Juan Bautista Maíno (1581-1649)
Kuratorin: Leticia Ruiz

Künstler: Juan Bautista Maino, Guido Reni, Annibale Carracci, Caravaggio , Bartolomeo Cavarozzi, El Greco, Pedro Nunez del Valle, Diego Velázquez, Antonio Lanchares, Pedro de Orrente, Bartolome Gonzalez, Orazio Gentileschi, Francisco de Zurbarán, Carlo Saraceni, Adam Elsheimer, Gaspar de Crayer, Francesco Albani, Luis Tristán, Andries van Eertvelt, Eugenio Cajes