Item #84 On Christian Iconography; Selections from The Art of Painting (1649). Francisco Pacheco.

On Christian Iconography; Selections from The Art of Painting (1649)

Price: $75.00

Place Published: Philadelphia
Publisher: Saint Joseph's University Press
Date Published: 2017
ISBN: 9780916101893
Book ID: 84


With an introduction and the Spanish text translated by Jeremy Roe with Carles Gutiérrez Sanfeliu; and the Latin text translated by José Solís de los Santos

340 pages / index / 10 x 7 in. / 123 color images

In this translation, the writings on religious painting by the Spanish painter Francisco Pacheco are for the first time made available to an English-speaking readership. The Art of Painting by Francisco Pacheco is an invaluable literary and theoretical source for the study of Spanish 17th-century painting; one of the major contributions of this book is the nine chapters, translated here, devoted to the issue of decorum in religious painting and the subject of religious iconography. Among the many subjects addressed in this book are Pacheco's own paintings, providing a rare insight into his artistic thinking, the reception of his paintings by a range of religious and secular authorities, and scholarly discussion of the historical basis for the iconography of subjects such as the Trinity, the Immaculate Conception, the Crucifixion and numerous saints including Sts. Jerome, Francis of Assisi, and Ignatius of Loyola.

Pacheco's text is also a key source for the Counter-Reformation and its cultural legacy, Spanish art and in particular the artistic and literary culture of 17th-century Seville, and cultural debates on iconography ranging from medieval heresy to Michelangelo's Last Judgment. Pacheco's chapters are translated in full, including the numerous Latin authorities that he drew on, and the text is accompanied by relevant bibliographical and historiographical references for all these sources and the diverse themes addressed. In addition, this volume is extensively illustrated with many of the paintings, prints, and sculptures cited by Pacheco, as well as contemporaneous works of art that illuminate his discussion. There is no other English translation of a Spanish art treatise currently available, thus making this an invaluable resource for lecturers teaching courses on Spanish baroque art or counter-reformation visual culture.

In addition, this book is accompanied by a critical introduction to Pacheco's activity as both an erudite painter and writer which sheds valuable light onto the concerns addressed in this book as well as the aims of its author. While his most famous apprentice, Diego Velázquez, launched a brilliant career at court, Pacheco sought to leave a literary testimony of a lifetime spent devoted to the painting of devotional and sacred subjects.

Table of Contents

Translators' Preface and a note on the illustrations



List of Figures

An introduction to Pacheco's writings on the decorum of religious painting

Compiling the past, rewriting the present

Pacheco, a painter amongst scholars

Advice and authority

Pacheco's theory of decorum

Three case studies in the debate on decorum

The reception of Pacheco's theory and its applications

Appendix 1: Description of the painting of the beheading os St. Paul

On Christian Iconography

1 Of the Order, Decency and Decorum That Invention Ought to Follow

2 In Which the Matter of Decorum Is Continued

3 In Which the Approval of the Painting of the Last Judgment and the Subject of Decorum Is Concluded

4 Important Counsels on a Number of Sacred Histories, Regarding the Truth and Correctness with Which They Should Be Painted in Accordance with the Divine Scriptures and the Holy Doctors

The Painting of the Most Holy Trinity

The Painting of Angels

The Painting of Demons

The Painting of St. Joachim and St. Anne at the Golden Gate

The Painting of the Most Pure Conception of Our Lady

The Painting of the Nativity of Our Lady

The Disused Painting of St. Anne

The Painting of St. Anne Teaching Our Lady to Read

The Painting of the Presentation of Our Lady in the Temple

5 In Which Counsels on the Painting of Sacred Histories Are Continued

The Painting of the Annunciation to Our Lady

The Painting of the Visitation of Our Lady to St. Elizabeth

The Painting of St. Joseph When He Wanted to Leave the Virgin Our Lady

The Painting of the Birth of Christ Our Lord

The Painting of the Circumcision of the Child Jesus

The Painting of the Adoration of Christ Our Lord by the Three Wise Kings

The Painting of the Purification of Our Lady and the Presentation of the Child Jesus in the Temple

The Painting of the Virgin with Her Son and Husband during Their Flight into Egypt

The Painting of the Dispute of the Child Jesus among the Doctors in the Temple

6 In Which the Counsels on Sacred Paintings Are Continued

The Painting of Our Savior Fasting and His Temptation by the Devil

The Painting of Jesus Christ Our Redeemer's Coronation with Thorns

The Painting of Our Lord Being Brought before the People and Pilate Speaking the Words: Ecce Homo

The Painting of Christ Carrying the Cross on the Way to Calvary and of Simon of Cyrene Who Helped Him

The Painting of the Glorious Resurrection of Christ Our Lord

The Painting of the First Apparition of Christ Resurrected to His Most Holy Mother

The Painting of the Assumption of Our Lady

7 On the Truthful Paintings of Some of the Best Known of the Saints

The Painting of St. John the Baptist

The Painting of St. Peter and St. Paul

The Painting of St. John Apostle and Evangelist

The Painting of St. Philip and James the Less

The Painting of the Apostles and Disciples

The Painting of St. Christopher

The Painting of St. Sebastian

The Painting of St. George Armed and on Horseback

The Painting of St. Anthony Abbot

The Painting of St. Jerome, Doctor of the Church

The Painting of the Glorious Patriarch St. Dominic

The Painting of the Seraphic Father St. Francis

The Painting of St. Catherine of Siena

The Painting of St. Ignatius, Founder of the Society of Jesus

8 In Favor of Painting the Four Nails with Which Christ Our Redeemer Was Crucified

Reply from Francisco Pacheco to Francisco de Rioja

9 In Which the Thought and Approval of These Two Letters Is Given by Learned Men That Examined and Approved Them

First Approval

Second Approval

Third Approval

Fourth Approval

Fifth Approval

Sixth Approval

Seventh Approval



Jeremy Roe was awarded his doctorate from the University of Leeds for his thesis on Velázquez's early Sevillian paintings. Since then he has undertaken further research as AHRC fellow at the University of Nottingham and is currently an FCT research fellow working on a new Hispano-Luso project at the CHAM - Centre for the Humanities, a research centre at FCSH/Universidade NOVA de Lisboa and Universidade dos Açores. He has published a number of articles on Spanish Golden Age Art and cultural history and co-edited a number of volumes of essays, including Vicente Carducho and "Los Diálogos de la Pintura" (1633) (University of Wales Press, 2016).

Carles Gutiérrez-Sanfeliu is a specialist in Spanish Golden Age literature and cultural history, with an emphasis on the relationship between the classical and the vernacular traditions. He completed his doctorate at the University of Nottingham with a thesis on Alonso López Pinciano, and he has since taught at the Open University, the University of Oxford, the University of Queensland, and Griffith University. He publishes on early modern literary theory, and he also contributed to the events accompanying the exhibition "Masterpieces from the Prado" at the Queensland Art Gallery (Australia).

José Solís de los Santos holds a Ph.D. in Classical Philology and is Professor in the Department of Greek and Latin Philology at the University of Seville. His research focuses on editing, translating, and writing commentaries on Latin texts of all genres and periods. His commentaries address both textual and literary criticism in conjunction with the study of the socio-cultural context that shaped these Latin works. While his research embraces the study of literature, history, and thought, his publications focus on three main topics, namely: authoring critical editions and studies of Latin texts; the history of the book and libraries; and, finally, humanist culture in Golden Age Spain.

 “The lack of a substantial English translation of Pacheco’s treatise has hampered the teaching of art of the Spanish Golden Age at the undergraduate level in English-speaking institutions. On Christian Iconography is a very welcome addition to the corpus of primary sources on Spanish religious art in English. The audience for this volume includes not only undergraduates studying art of the Spanish Golden Age and art historians researching the period, but also scholars of the intellectual and literary history of early modern Spain. […] On Christian Iconography is the sixteenth volume in the series Early Modern Catholicism and the Visual Arts published by Saint Joseph’s University Press, which has already produced four other volumes of cutting-edge scholarship on the visual culture of Spain and its colonies.”

                             Marta Bustillo (University College Dublin), Renaissance Quarterly


“Jeremy Roe and Carles Gutiérrez Sanfeliu’s English translation of ample selections from Pacheco’s treatise fills a void in the scholarly non-Spanish speaking world, contributing to the study of the artist and his literary production. […] On Christian Iconography offers a thorough analysis and discussion of Pacheco’s treatise, providing readers with insightful information on the artist and his work, his artistic and social milieu, and the tradition of Spanish religious art. The close translation makes the text available to a wider scholarly audience, not just art historians but also historians of the Siglo de Oro.”

                                                     Carlotta Paltrinieri (Indiana University) Sixteenth Century Journal

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