- Museum number
Assumption of the Virgin her arms outstretched, carried to the heaven by angels. 1661-62
Pen and brown ink and brown wash
- Production date
Height: 234 millimetres
Width: 130 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- Modified text from McDonald 2013
This is one of Cano's finest late drawings executed after he had moved to Granada. It was probably made as a record of his painting in Granada cathedral rather than being a preparatory sketch: as is suggested by the absence of any sign of transfer, and in order to maximize its legibility the arch top is shown without the projecting side entablature that impinge on a clear view of the finished work in situ. Copies of the drawing exist, providing evidence of its value as a model (B. Navarrete Prieto & A.E. Pérez Sánchez, Álbum Alcubierre (dibujos): De la Sevilla ilustrada del conde del Águila la colección Juan Abelló, Madrid 2009, no.24).
In its technique and composition the drawing is very close to another version of the Virgin's Assumption in the British Museum from around the same time where she is depicted seated (1910,0212.42). The sculptural folds of the garments defined by wash and the monumentality of the angels impart a sense of gravity to both compositions.
Cano's use of prints has long been recognised and reflects the practice of many Spanish artists during the seventeenth century. Cano himself assembled a considerable collection of prints and drawings by other artists. The figure of the Virgin in this sheet is thought to have been based on Matham's Assumption after Taddeo Zuccaro, an impression of which Cano possibly owned (V,8.200).
H.E. Wethey, 'Alonso Cano’s Drawings', The Art Bulletin, XXXIV, 1952, pp.223–4; H.E. Wethey, 'Los dibujos de Alonso Cano', Estudios sobre literatura y arte dedicada al Profesor Emilio Orozco Díaz, Granada, 1979, III, pp. 574-61; H.E. Wethey, Alonso Cano, pintor, escultor y arquitecto, Madrid 1983, D.15, fig.164; Exhib.cat., Madrid, Museo del Prado, 'Alonso Cano: Dibujos', 2001, no.27; Z. Véliz, 'Alonso Cano (1601–1667). Catálogo razonado', Santander 2011, no.26; M. P. McDonald, 'Renaissance to Goya: Prints and drawings from Spain', exh.cat., British Museum, London 2012, pp.140 & 142-43; M. P. McDonald, 'El trazo español en el British Museum: Dibujos del Renacimiento a Goya', exh. cat., Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid 2013, cat.no.30.
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
1976 BM, 'Spanish Drawings', (no cat)
1980 Feb-Mar, Nottingham Uni, 'Spanish Art', no. 43
2001 April-June, Museo del Prado, Madrid, 'Alonso Cano'
2012/13 Sept-Jan, London, British Museum, ‘Renaissance to Goya: Prints and Drawings from Spain’
2013 March-June, Madrid, Museo Nacional del Prado, ‘El trazo español en el British Museum …’
2013, Aug-Nov, Sydney, AGNSW, 'Renaissance to Goya'
2013-4, Dec-Mar, Santa Fe, New Mexico Museum of Modern Art, 'Renaissance to Goya'
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number