An Antwerp artist at the Madrid court. Juan de la Corte and his “Flemish brand”, junio 9, 11 hrs. Bruselas

Localización: Royal Institute for Cultural Heritage (KIK-IRPA), Brussels, Belgium

An Antwerp artist at the Madrid court. Juan de la Corte and his “Flemish brand”

Abigail D. Newman

Princeton University, Ph.D. Candidate • Belgian American Educational Foundation Fellow, 2014-15 • Visiting Researcher, Rubenianum & Universiteit Antwerpen

In the early seventeenth century, an immigrant from Antwerp going by the name of Juan de la Corte arrived in Madrid to pursue his career as a painter. He arrived at a moment when Spanish audiences were ripe to receive him. For centuries, Spanish monarchs, ecclesiastics, and noblemen had admired Flemish paintings, but now an interest in collecting paintings was spreading more broadly in Spanish society. Not only religious paintings but also secular subjects were increasingly popular, particularly the landscapes, battle paintings, and architectural scenes that many Spaniards associated with Flanders. De la Corte made these genres the basis of his particular artistic brand. And indeed, his paintings soon graced the walls of several Spanish palaces and the homes of many people at court. Yet De la Corte may have clung too closely to his particular brand of painting: over the course of his career, which spanned five decades, Spanish tastes changed, and the artist faced numerous professional setbacks. Yet the career and works of this frequently forgotten and dismissed painter offers a revealing prism through which to view the role of Flemish painting in the many changes in taste and the art market in seventeenth-century Madrid.

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