Diego de Covarrubias, Alonso Sanchez Coelho – description

Diego de Covarrubias, Alonso Sanchez Coelho – description
Diego de Covarrubias, Alonso Sanchez Coelho - description - 1

  • Posted by Alonso Sanchez Coelho
  • Museum: Private collection
  • Year: 1574

Overview of the painting :

Diego de Covarrubias – Alonso Sanchez Coelho. 1574.

   Diego de Kovarrubias-i-Leyva is a Spanish theologian, economist and preacher who has left a significant mark in history. But his ceremonial portrait of the brush of Sanchez Coelho is also worthy of a separate story.

   Outwardly, this is a typical ceremonial portrait, very characteristic of Spain of that time period. A dark background without a hint of decoration or any decor immediately gives out the work of this master, who refused to depict landscapes or architectural elements in the background. Usually the background of his paintings is grayish, but a special artistic technique is used here. It seems to absorb light, a very dark, almost black “velvet” background, so the white priestly outfit on it seems literally luminous, radiating the pearl radiance of holiness.

   The portrait depicts a middle-aged man with dark, very smart and attentive eyes, with hair covered with black headgear, and a neatly trimmed gray-haired beard, dark mustache. The bronze color of the face is betrayed by the fact that the portrait person was often given sermons on the streets, in front of large masses of people.

   His face is the only thing that lives on this portrait, so it literally attracts views. It immediately becomes clear that in front of you is not a simple person, but a representative of the clergy, very smart and educated. The master very vividly conveyed the expression on his face, and his eyes, despite all the static and constraint of the posture, seemed to live their own lives. Perhaps due to the fact that the artist managed to “capture” a special expression of his eyes or thanks to playing shadows in the corners of his eyes, it seems that the portrait also carefully looks at the audience and even follows them, while remaining completely motionless.

   The artist was a great master in small details, so it is not surprising that he paid a lot of attention to them in this strict men’s portrait. The priest’s clothes immediately look like. This is the finest white fabric, casting silver and pearls on a dark background and contrasting sharply with the high black gate of the main clothes. The white outfit is trimmed with small pearls on the neckline, shoulder seams and a opening. The pearls here add up to the most elegant pattern. In the neck, the fabric of the outfit is collected by many small folds. Thanks to the artist’s increased attention to detail, we can literally count all the pearls and stitches, creases on the clothes of theologian.

   It is extremely difficult to portray white, and even in such a large amount, but the artist brilliantly coped with his task. It seems that in the portrait you can understand not only the cut of clothes, but also figure out what fabric it was made of. The cloak looks light, airy, translucent.

   A rather large precious cross hangs on the man’s chest, on a wide satin ribbon – a symbol of his belonging to the Catholic Church. This portrait for centuries has retained the true appearance of a man who has left a significant mark on the history of mankind. And the master himself once again demonstrated the highest level of his portrait skill and artistic talent.