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Monday, December 21, 2009

Fray Juan Bautista Maíno de Castro

Fray Juan Bautista Maíno de Castro 1578 -1649
Adoración de los pastores / Adoration of the Shepherds 1612 -1614
Oil on canvas
315 cm x 174 cm
Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid



Fray Juan Bautista Maíno de Castro 1578 -1649
Adoración de los Reyes / Adoration of the Kings 1612-1614
Oil on canvas
315 x 174.5cm
Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid

In 1612 Maino was commissioned by the Dominican monastery of San Pedro Martir in Toledo to paint the main altarpiece of the church and the frescoes inside the entrance portal, under the choir.

In the two pictures above Maino comes close to what is now called 'superrealism' in some sections of the pictures.

The altarpiece decoration consists of four large paintings - including the two above and four small landscapes with saints, together with two half-length portraits.

Both paintings are the works a painter fully immersed in the art of Caravaggio and the Italian Baroque and it will come as no surprise to learn that he did spend a number of years in Italy.

Maino's artistic career virtually came to an end on 20 June 1613, when he professed as a Dominican in the very monastery of San Pedro Martir.

A few years later, he moved to Madrid and was appointed the drawing master of Prince Philip, the future Philip IV.

Maino seldom picked up his brushes from 1613 to the day he died in March 1641