The Spanish Renaissance artist nicknamed Juan de Juanes was born in 1500 (or in 1510 according to the attributes of the Hermitage). Most likely, his birthday falls on the interval between these two dates, according to some reports for 1507.
The real name of the master is Vicente Juan Masip. Since his father was also an artist and bore the name Vicente Masip, and then his son was born, also an artist named by the same name (Vicente Masip Costa, or Vicente de Juanes). Juan de Juanes experienced a strong influence of his father, and also influenced the painting of his son, which led to serious confusion in the attribution of paintings by different artists.
Juan de Juanes was born in La Font de la Figuera, his painting was influenced by the creative style of Sebastiano del Piombo, but the master himself allegedly never visited Italy. All his work was concentrated in Valencia. A significant number of artists from different countries arrived in the city, including Italy, which was then the center of all arts and a source of inspiration for many painters.
Most of the work of de Juanes survived in Valencia. They relate to religious painting, famous for their excellent compositional solutions, accurate portrayals of characters, excellent color and careful study of even the smallest details. He painted portraits, but most of his work was devoted to religious art.
The artist approached the process of creating the canvas not as a craftsman, but as a highly spiritual and deeply religious person. Before work, he did exactly the same as the Russian icon painters acted: he spent time in prayer, fasted, and before the start of the painting he took holy communion. This activity for the artist was akin to serving God.
The Archbishop of Valencia, Thomas Villanova, ordered the artist a series of cardboards from the life of the Mother of God to create then fashionable tapestries. De Juanes worked a lot for churches of various Catholic orders - Jesuits, Franciscans, Dominicans, Augustinians and Minims.
Among the master’s best works is the Immaculate Conception, created for the Jesuits under the influence of the artist’s confessor, father Martin Alberto, and The Last Supper (or “Last Supper”), created in 1562. The last picture in composition and dynamics strongly resembles the fresco of Leonardo da Vinci, but is distinguished by an abundance of decor and architectural details, as well as rich, rich colors. Perhaps de Juanés still visited Italy, where he could see the famous fresco or lists from it made by other painters. The outward resemblance to the discrepancies in details cannot serve as proof of either his stay in another country or his acquaintance with the works of Leonardo.
Among the famous works of the artist is a portrait of St. Vicente (Vincent) Ferrer with the motto of the Inquisition. This canvas is in the Hermitage. The saint was the patron saint of Valencia and the entire Valencia region, and for the artist this place was of great importance.
The master’s works are typically Renaissance paintings unique in style and quality. Thanks to his skill, the artist was nicknamed "Spanish Raphael." His painting is considered the best example of art of the 16th century, and the master himself is recognized as the best artist of the Valencian school of painting of that period.
De Juanés died in 1579 in Bocairent during the creation of the church altar. His style and type of painting was imitated by his son, which led to difficulties in identifying paintings and church paintings. Considering that initially Juan de Juanes worked with his father, it turns out to be extremely difficult to separate their work until 1550 (the date of death of the artist’s father, Vicente Masipa).