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 Pedro Atanasio Bocanegra



Pedro Atanasio Bocanegra        Pages: 1

(b Granada, 1638; d Granada, 1689).

Spanish painter. By 1668 he was established as the major painter active in Granada and from that date began to receive important commissions. In 1670 he painted a series of canvases (in situ) on the Life of the Virgin for the lateral walls of the church of the Charterhouse in Granada, and these constitute the most important part of the decorative programme in the building. The large paintings are lively in colouring and dynamic in composition; their Baroque illusionistic effect can best be seen in the Assumption of the Virgin in the centre of the chancel wall. Almost immediately after finishing these works, he painted two more small compositions for the chancel depicting the Adoration of the Shepherds and the Adoration of the Magi (in situ). He followed this commission with several large works, whose exact titles are unknown, painted in 1672–3 for the convent of the Discalced Trinitarians, also in Granada. Documents testify that four paintings represented the Mysteries of the Virgin and eight represented the Life of St John of Matha. Two portraits of Members of the Trinitarian Order (Granada, Pal. Carlos V) may have formed part of this commission. Bocanegra’s prospering career made him the favourite painter of the archbishops of Granada, and he was appointed painter to the cathedral church and also an honorary Pintor del Rey under Charles II. Though a much less talented artist, Bocanegra derived his style from that of Alonso Cano. His best works are those of female figures, which are always depicted as charming, graceful and delicate, with rather childish features and meditative poses. His output was prolific but uneven, including carelessly executed and incomplete works as well as very accomplished ones. He was a mediocre draughtsman but contrived to conceal this defect with harmonious colouring and a reasonable talent for composition. Red and blue tones frequently predominate in his paintings. An example of his draughtsmanship can be seen in the drawing of St Jerome (Florence, Uffizi).



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