Vázquez Dueñas 2010
“Los Comentarios de la pintura de Felipe de Guevara” (Elena Vázquez Dueñas) 2010
[in: Anales de Historia del Arte, 2010, Volumen Extraordinario, pp. 365-376]
In this article Elena Vázques Dueñas announces that she is preparing a PhD thesis in which she intends to deliver a new edition of the original text of Felipe de Guevara’s Comentarios de la pintura by comparing the three copies of this work that are known to us.
Felipe de Guevara (c. 1500-1563) was a Spanish scholar linked to the Courts of Charles V and Philip II. His father, Diego de Guevara, who served at the Courts of Philip the Fair, Margaret of Austria and Charles V, was an important collector of paintings (he is known to have possessed the famous Arnolfini Wedding by Jan Van Eyck). It is probable that Felipe inherited some of his father’s paintings but he also acquired other ones. He showed a preference for the works of Joachim Patinir and especially for those of Hieronymus Bosch. An inventory of Felipe’s goods has not come down to us but Justi (1889) has drawn attention to a sales document, dated 16th January 1570, according to which king Philip II bought a number of paintings from Felipe’s widow, Beatriz de Haro, and Felipe’s son Ladrón. The document lists six works by Hieronymus Bosch: one painting on wood (a Haywain triptych) and five paintings on canvas (which have been lost).
Felipe was also interested in numismatics. He had an important collection of antique coins and wrote a treatise about it in Latin around 1560. The manuscript is now preserved in the library of the University of Copenhagen. Felipe also wrote a lot in Spanish prose and verse but little of his written work has survived. His most famous text is Comentarios de la pintura [Commentaries on Painting], written in 1560 but only published much later, in 1788, by Antonio Ponz, who used a written copy which is now in the library of the Prado Museum. Nothing is known of the whereabouts of the original manuscript. The original title of the text was Comentario de la Pintura y pintores antiguos. It contains a passage about the work of Hieronymus Bosch, which is one of the oldest testimonies about the painter we have.
In the last paragraphs the author offers a survey of her earlier publications about Felipe de Guevara and she announces her forthcoming PhD thesis.
As far as Bosch is concerned, this article does not contain anything that we didn’t know yet, but it opens interesting perspectives for the future.
[explicit 8th July 2014]