Alonso Cano (1601 - 1667)
- Saint John the Evangelist's Vision of Jerusalem
- c. 1635 - c. 1638
- Oil on canvas
- Image size: 82.6 x 43.8 cm
Object size: 109 x 69.5 x 10.5 cm
- Great Gallery
- Alonso Cano, a pupil of Velázquez’s father-in-law, Pacheco, was
commissioned in 1635 by the Hieronymite nuns of the convent of
S. Paula, Seville, to make a carved retable with ten paintings illustrating
the story of St John the Evangelist. This is one of six paintings and two carvings completed by the artist before his departure from Seville in 1638.
This painting is based on the account of St John’s vision of a new heaven and
a new earth, recounted in The Book of Revelation. An angel carries St John away to a high mountain and shows him the new city of Jerusalem descending from heaven.
Two further paintings were added to the retable by the painter Juan del Castillo, while the central carvings of St John on Patmos and The Martyrdom of St John were executed by Martínez Montáñes.
The retable and sculptures are still in situ in Seville today, but the paintings
were removed by Marshal Soult in 1810 during the Peninsular War.
Two are now in the Louvre, another two in the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, Sarasota, and a fifth is in the Palazzo Bianco, Genoa. Two are lost.
This painting was acquired by the 4th Marquess of Hertford in 1852,
at the sale of Marshal Soult.