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Coello Alonso Sanchez



Alonso Sanchez Coello

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Alonso Sánchez Coello (born 1531/32, Benifairó de les Valls, near Valencia; died August 8, 1588, Madrid) was a portrait painter of the Spanish Renaissance and one of the pioneers of the great tradition of Spanish portrait painting.

Alonso Sánchez Coello spent his childhood in Benifairó de les Valls, until the death of his father when he was around ten years old. He was educated in Portugal at his grandfather's home. Coello's years in Portugal and his family name of Portuguese origin led to a long-standing belief that he was in fact Portuguese. His grandfather (after whom he was named) was in the service of King John III of Portugal who sent the young painter to study with Anthonis Mor (also known as Antonio Moro) in Flanders around 1550. He was under the service of Antoine de Granville, bishop of Arras, learning from Mor. While studying in Flanders, Coello also spent time copying some of Titian's works.

In 1552, the painter went to Lisbon with Anthonis Mor when Charles V commissioned Mor to paint the Portuguese royal family. For a few years, Sánchez Coello remained in Portugal working for the court of the heir to the throne, John, Crown Prince of Portugal. After the prince's death, Sánchez Coello moved to the Spanish court of Philip II, having been recommended by the widow of John, Juana, who was the sister of the Spanish king. In 1555, Sánchez Coello was in Valladolid working for the Spanish court, and when Mor left Spain in 1561, Sánchez Coello took his former master's place as Court Painter.

Sánchez Coello married Louisa Reyaltes in either 1560 or 1561 in Valladolid, and they had seven children. Coello's daughter, Isabel Sánchez (1564-1612), became a painter. She studied and helped in her father's workshop. The painter moved with the court to Toledo and finally settled in Madrid in 1561. Coello worked on religious themes for most of the palaces, particularly for El Escorial, and larger churches. Philip II held him in high esteem and was godfather to two of his daughters. The painter spent the remainder of his life at the court, becoming a personal favourite of the king and acquiring honours and wealth. Among his disciples were Juan Pantoja de la Cruz and Felipe de Liaño. Lope de Vega praised Coello in his work Laurel to Apolo. Alonso Sánchez Coello died in Madrid on August 8, 1588.

Sánchez Coello was a follower of Titian, and, like him, excelled in portraits and single figures, elaborating the textures of his armours, draperies, and such accessories in a manner so masterly as strongly to influence Velázquez in his treatment of like objects. From Mor, Coello learned precision in representation, and from Titian he incorporated Venetian gold tones, generous workmanship, and the use of light on a canvas.

Sánchez Coello produced both portraits and religious paintings. The religious works, many of which were created for El Escorial, are conventional and undistinguished. It is for his portraits that he is remembered. They are marked by an ease of pose and execution, a dignity and sobriety of representation, and warmth of colouring. Although influenced by the paintings of both Mor and Titian, these portraits display an original talent and reflect admirably the modesty and formality of the Spanish court. Paintings of Philip II (c. 1580) and Infanta Isabel Clara Eugenia (1571), both in the Prado, Madrid, are two of his finest works. Among his religious painting is the St. Sebastian in the church of San Geronimo, also in Madrid.

Sánchez Coello's reputation as a portraitist has been diminished by the innumerable copies and imitations that wrongly bear his name. While his debt to Mor is evident, Sánchez Coello brought distinctive qualities to the court portrait, notably a sharp sense of colour, a crispness of execution and a heightened realism.

There has not been any biography written on Coello, and many of his works are still confused with those of Sofonisba Anguissola, who painted royal portraits in the same period, and Juan Pantoja de la Cruz, Coello's disciple. In 1990 the Museo del Prado held the exhibition: Sánchez Coello and the Portraiture at the court of Philip II.




Self Portrait (?)


St Sebastian between St Bernard and St Francis


Portrait of the Infanta Catalina Michaela of Austria


Desposorios místicos de Santa Catalina


Prince Don Carlos of Austria
c. 1558


Catalina Micaela de Austria, duquesa de Saboya


Dona Juana, Princess of Portugal
c. 1557


Anna von Osterreich, Konigin von Spanien


Anna von Osterreich, Konigin von Spanien


La Infanta Isabel Clara Eugenia con Magdalena Ruiz


La dama del armino


Anne of Austria


Diego de Covarrubias


El Principe Don Carlos


Joven desconocida


La infanta Isabel Clara Eugenia


Don Diego et Don Felipe, Infante D'Espagne


Retrato de la Infanta Ana De Austria


Philip II Holding a Rosary


El Infante Felipe


Archduke Rudolf, the later Holy Roman Emperor Rudolf II of Austria


Retrato del Infante Don Carlos de Espana


Infantas Isabel Clara Eugenia and Catalina Micaela


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