Antiques -
Reference: Z5099

Circle of VAN DE KASTEELE, Frans (Brussels, c. 1541 – Italy, 1621). "Virgin with angels and saints". Oil on copper. Curly frame in ebony. Devotional painting, judging by its small format, its theme and also by the fact that it is an oil painting on copper. For this reason, it was surely conceived for an altar or private chapel. It presents a great breaking of central Glory, delimited by cumulus clouds among which the heads of cherubs appear, with the figure of the Virgin Mary in the center, carried by child angels. She wears an intense pink tunic, with a violet tunic underneath, of which we can only see the sleeves, a blue cloak (symbol of truth and eternity) and a white veil over her head, alluding to the concept of purity. Maria appears in a rotating, dynamic and typically baroque position, and shows one hand outstretched towards the ground plane, another on her chest and her head slightly turned, with her eyes directed towards the sky. At his feet, four figures in a landscape environment closed on both sides and open in depth in the center (in the distance we see a city, shrouded in mist and bluish by distance), a balanced, symmetrical and orderly composition typical of the Baroque classicist. It is the representation of Saint James the Greater, Saint John, Saint Francis and Saint Mauritius, from left to right. All of them are represented large, with special attention paid to their anatomies and clothing, worked in typically Baroque chiaroscuro folds. Santiago wears a cloak adorned with a scallop on his shoulder, and carries a staff and a pilgrim's hat. Saint John wears the sheepskin typical of his iconography, a red cloak alluding to his passion, and carries the cruciferous labarum and his Gospel in his hand. At his feet, the lamb that usually accompanies him in plastic representations, a symbol of Christ and his sacrifice. On the right side we see Saint Francis in a brown habit, tied with the Franciscan rope, looking up at Mary and crossing his hands over his chest, showing his stigmata and carrying a wooden crucifix. Finally at his side we see Saint Maurice, with a breastplate and cloak, carrying the palm of martyrdom. The blue and pink tones of her attire are in keeping with the colors of the Virgin's clothing, as is Santiago's purple cloak, a resource by which the painter balances the composition, unifying both planes, and establishes a pyramidal structure. typically classical, balanced and symmetrical. Due to its formal characteristics, we can relate this work to the influence of Frans Van de Kasteele, called Francesco da Castello, a Flemish painter installed in Rome during the pontificate of Gregory XIII (1572-85). Already in 1577 he is documented as a member of the Academy of San Lucas, and in 1588 he was named consul. To this day we know nothing of his training in the Netherlands or of his early works. In a private Viennese collection there is a miniature on parchment signed by the artist and dated 1584, an Adoration of the Magi. Likewise, a contract from 1588 is known in which he was commissioned six paintings on canvas and five miniatures on copper with religious themes. Although installed in Rome, Kasteele always maintained relations with the Netherlands, especially with the humanists Philips van Winghe, Abraham Ortelius and Henricus Corvinus. In Rome he was respected and recognized, a member of the Pantheon of the Academy of the Virtuosos as well as that of Saint Luke. Although he also worked on easel painting, he was mainly the author of small-format works, illuminations, and miniatures. Many of his works were sent to Spain, which is why he had numerous followers in our country.

· Size: 33x3x40 cms. int. 24x32 cms

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