Art/ Collection/ Art Object
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Pietà

Artist:
Juan de Valdés Leal (Spanish, Seville 1622–1690 Seville)
Date:
ca. 1657–60
Medium:
Oil on canvas
Dimensions:
63 1/4 x 56 1/2 in. (160.7 x 143.5 cm)
Classification:
Paintings
Credit Line:
Victor Wilbour Memorial Fund, 1954
Accession Number:
54.168
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 611
Valdés Leal was one of the most prominent artists in Seville in the seventeenth century, specializing in theatrical and dramatic religious paintings for churches of the city. Paintings such as this one were heavily indebted to the example of polychrome sculptures and recall in dramatic intensity the pasos—carved and painted ensembles of religious figures that are paraded through the streets of Spanish cities during the week leading to Easter.
[M. Payen, Paris]; [Ryaux, Paris, until 1954; as by Carreno de Miranda; sold for $800 to Kleinberger]; [Kleinberger, New York, 1954; sold to MMA]
Seville. Museo de Bellas Artes de Sevilla. "Valdés Leal," February 28–March 30, 1991, no. 34.

Madrid. Museo Nacional del Prado. "Valdés Leal," April 25–June 30, 1991, no. 34.

Mexico City. Centro Cultural Arte Contemporáneo. "Juan de Valdés Leal y el arte sevillano del barroco," August 5–December 5, 1993, no. 26.

Harold E. Wethey. Letter to Margaretta Salinger. February 18 and October 25, 1955, believes it is probably by Valdés Leal.

Juan Antonio Gaya Nuño. La pintura española fuera de España. Madrid, 1958, p. 130, no. 542, as by Carreño de Miranda.

Martin Soria in George Kubler and Martin Soria. Art and Architecture in Spain and Portugal and their American Dominions, 1500 to 1800. Baltimore, 1959, pp. 293, pl. 161A, ascribes it to Valdés Leal and dates it about 1657–60.

Harold E. Wethey. "Book Reviews: Art and Architecture in Spain and Portugal and their American Dominions, 1500–1800. By George Kubler and Martin Soria, 1959." The Americas 16 (April 1960), p. 426, concurs with Soria's attribution of the painting to Valdés Leal.

Duncan T. Kinkead. Letter to Marcus Burke. May 20, 1975, attributes it to Valdés Leal; dates it about 1658.

Duncan Theobald Kinkead. "Juan de Valdés Leal (1622–1690): His Life and Work." PhD diss., University of Michigan, 1976, pp. 125–26, 383–84, no. 65, fig. 61, dates it about 1658.

Enrique Valdivieso. Historia de la pintura sevillana: Siglos XIII al XX. Seville, 1986, p. 268.

Enrique Valdivieso. Juan de Valdés Leal. Seville, 1988, pp. 95–98, 240, no. 65, colorpl. 69, dates it about 1657–59.

Domingo Sánchez-Mesa Martín. Historia del arte en Andalucia. Vol. 7, El arte del Barroco: Escultura, pintura y artes decorativas. Seville, 1991, p. 414.

Enrique Valdivieso. Valdés Leal. Ed. José Sánchez Dubé. Exh. cat., Museo de Bellas Artes de Sevilla. [Madrid], [1991], pp. 144–45, no. 34, ill. (color).

Enrique Pareja López in Juan de Valdés Leal y el arte sevillano del Barroco. Exh. cat., Centro Cultural Arte Contemporáneo. Mexico, 1993, pp. 220–21, no. 26, ill. (color), dates it about 1657–59.



The frame is from Florence and dates to about 1860 (see Additional Images, figs. 1–3). This reverse profile frame is made of pine and both water gilded and painted a blue green. The cavetta hollow sight edge rises to a carved laurel leaf top edge which falls back in a painted hollow to a simple gilded bead at the back edge. Skillfully replicated carved corners and centers based on seventeenth-century models in the form of volute clasps with rocaille spines are flanked by leafy caliculi. The surface was regilded no doubt when the height of the frame was increased.

[Timothy Newbery with Cynthia Moyer 2016; further information on this frame can be found in the Department of European Paintings files]
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