Thursday, August 5, 2010

Juan van der Hamen y Leon?

Master of the Veneration of Maria
ca. 1625
Lilies and thornless Roses in a Glass Vase

This painting is distinguished by the subtlety of
Spanish still life painting. It is the work of one of
the greatest specialists in this genre on the Iberian
Peninsula, Juan van der hamen y Leòn (Madrid,
1596-1631), ...

A painting structured in this way certainly con-
tains a moral message. It is meant encourage the
viewer to overcome the vanity of the world, ... and
to recognise the presence of God in nature’s di-
versity. ... The sole intention of the picture discus-
sed is to encourage meditation on the Virgin and
Christ’s Passion. The transparency of the vase and
the arrangement of the light signify virginity. The
purist vessel for the child is implied. ... The vase
rests on a kind of altar or a rounded step (this type
of step is sometimes found in paintings at the foot
of the Madonna’s throne) and is surrounded by li-
lies and roses – flowers linked with the Virgin. In
terms of iconography, roses and lilies stand for the
Immaculate Conception as well as Mary’s humi-
lity and her submission to the will of God. ...

Maurizio Marini
Rome, June 1985

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