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Juan de Alfaro y Gomez


Alfaro y Gomez Juan de

(b Córdoba, 1643; d Madrid, 1680). Spanish painter. He served his apprenticeship in Córdoba, where he was a pupil of Antonio del Castillo, and completed his training in Madrid in the workshop of Velázquez. He wrote a biography of Velázquez, now lost, which was used by Palomino de Castro y Velasco. Apart from brief visits to Córdoba, Alfaro spent his life in Madrid, and he was associated with the court. He painted religious scenes, but his principal activity was portraiture (both large-scale and miniature), in which he was particularly successful, developing a style influenced by Velázquez. Although he was a prolific artist, few of his paintings have survived. While young he painted a series of works depicting the life of St Francis for the cloister of the convent of S Francisco in Córdoba and also an Assumption of the Virgin for the convent of the Discalced Carmelites. For the episcopal palace at Córdoba he painted a portrait of Bishop Francisco de Alarcón and portraits of other earlier bishops (in situ). In Madrid he painted a portrait of Don Pedro de Arce (untraced) and the Portrait of a Jesuit (Madrid, Bib. S Isidoro Labrador), in which the influence of van Dyck is evident; Alfaro y Gómez had access, for purposes of study, to the royal collections, and, according to Palomino, he made copies there of paintings by van Dyck. In 1986 the portrait of Doña María Josefa Díaz de Morales y Córdoba (1675; Madrid, priv. col.), painted in Córdoba, was attributed to Alfaro. An Assumption of the Virgin (1668; Madrid, S Jerónimo Real), signed by Alfaro, is of excellent quality; its composition is inspired by Rubens, and the technique and brushwork derive from Velázquez.


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