The reasons in The Zurbarán’s bookcase

“The Zurbarán’s bookcase” is a work plenty of still lifes. What  had motivated me most to perform this trompe-l’oeil  were his still lifes. These are in many cases authentic protagonists in his works. Most of the paintings of saints, and in the series he painted for monastic and conventual orders, the books appears as an inseparable companion.

Attracted by the pictorial naturalism of Francisco de Zurbarán I have not been able to abstract myself from what would be his most immediate natural environment, the Castilian plateau, where it was negotiated with wool and all sheep products, including leather and parchment. It is not strange that young Zurbarán ended up being, in addition to a master of painting, a great businessman. He opened the doors of America with his prolific work towards new and numerous clients across the ocean. In this, some influence also had the trade of his father as a merchant and shopkeeper in Fuente de Cantos y Lerena.

"Easter ram" by Francisco de Zurbaran

“Easter ram” by Francisco de Zurbaran

The left part

On the upper and lower shelves on the left side of the “The Zurbarán’s bookcase” trap, I have placed, with the book and the apple, a cluttered stack of monastic books of the time. These details are taken from the “Portrait of Fray Gonzalo de Illescas”. This work was made for the Jerome series of the Monastery of Guadalupe. Beautiful set of objects that make up a still life well treated and illuminated.

Accompany this group a vase and flowers extracted this detail of “Virgin sleeping girl”. This work is in the Cathedral of Jerez de la Frontera. It is inspired by the songs and poems dedicated to the virgin girl in Seville in the 16th and 17th centuries.

The Zurbarán's bookcase, right quarter

The Zurbarán’s bookcase, right quarter

Details of Zurbarán's works "San Buenaventura receiving the visit of Santo Tomas de Aquino" and "Portrait of Fray Gonzalo de Illescas"

Details of Zurbarán’s works “San Buenaventura receiving the visit of Santo Tomas de Aquino” and “Portrait of Fray Gonzalo de Illescas”

The right side

On the right side of the bookcase painted, next to a row of books from my harvest, I have placed an hourglass. Copied from the aforementioned portrait of Fray Gonzalo de Illescas. Also the books that pose on the table in the play “San Buenaventura receiving the visit of Santo Tomas de Aquino”. Prodigy of naturalistic painting as usual in the still lifes of Zurbarán.

The bell appears in several works of the teacher. But because of its different arrangements and lights, I have chosen to create my own. Inspired by yours, but better suited to the overall composition. Finally, it could not fail to include one of the vessels of the emblematic “Still Life of Cacharros”. There are two versions of this work, both masterly, in the Prado Museum and in the Museum of Art of Catalonia. I have copied that of the latter because it is the lighting that best suits the composition I have developed.

The Zurbarán's bookcase, left quarter

The Zurbarán’s bookcase, left quarter

Final paintings of the “The Zurbarán’s bookcase” trompe-l’oeil photographed by José Garrido Lapeña

For more information;

“The Shelving of Velázquez” of L’Atelier de Santi