Antiques -
Reference: Z5099

Circle of VAN DE KASTEELE, Frans (Brussels, h. 1541 - Italy, 1621).
"Virgin with angels and saints."
Oil on copper
Devotional painting, judging by its small format, its theme and also because it is an oil painting on copper. Therefore, it was surely conceived for a private altar or chapel. It presents a great rupture of central Glory, delimited by clusters of clouds between which cherubim heads appear, with the figure of the Virgin Mary in the center, carried by children angels. He wears a tunic of an intense pink tone, with violet sayo underneath, of which we only see the sleeves, blue mantle (symbol of truth and eternity) and white veil over the head, alluding to the concept of purity. Maria appears in a rotational, dynamic and typically baroque position, and shows a hand extended towards the earth plane, another on the chest and the head slightly turned, with the eyes directed to the sky. At its feet, four figures in a landscape environment closed on both sides and open in the center in depth (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 This is the representation of Santiago el Mayor, San Juan, San Francisco and San Mauricio, from left to right. All of them appear large, with special attention to their anatomies and clothing, worked in typically Baroque chiaroscist folds. Santiago wears a mantle adorned with a scallop on his shoulder, and wears the staff and the pilgrim's hat. Saint John wears the sheepskin of his iconography, 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 the plastic representations, symbol of Christ and his sacrifice. On the right side we see Saint Francis with a brown habit, knotted with the Franciscan's own rope, raising his gaze to Mary and crossing his hands over his chest, showing his stigmas and carrying a wooden crucifix. Finally at his side we see Saint Maurice, with armor and mantle, bearing the palm of martyrdom. The blue and pink tones of his attire are in line with the colors of the Virgin's clothes, as is the violet mantle of Santiago, a resource by which the painter balances the composition, unifying both planes, and establishes a pyramidal structure typically classic, balanced and symmetric.
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 appointed consul. Today we know nothing about his training in the Netherlands or his first works. There is in a private Viennese collection a miniature on parchment signed by the artist and dated in 1584, a adoration of the magicians. Likewise, a 1588 contract is known in which he is commissioned with six paintings on canvas and five miniatures on copper of religious theme. 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 in addition to that of St. 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, so he had numerous followers in our country"

· Size: 24x31 cms.

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