ARELLANO, Juan de
(b. 1614, Santorcaz, d. 1676, Madrid)
Spanish painter. He was the pre-eminent painter of flower-pieces in 17th-century Spain. Although Spaniards of the previous generation had painted such works, it was the inspiration of Flemish and Italian examples in Madrid that from c. 1650 encouraged Arellano's success as a specialist in this genre. First he was inspired by the Antwerp flower painters (Jan Brueghel the Elder and Daniel Seghers), later by Italians such as Mario Nuzzi and Margarita Caffi. According to Palomino, who moved to the Court shortly after the artist's death and befriended many painters who had known him, Arellano began to paint flowers only in his thirties after a beginning that showed little promise. When asked why he devoted himself to flower-pieces and had abandoned figures, he replied that it was because with them he worked less and earned more (Palomino).
In his second period his works became more personal, reflecting the great knowledge he gained in this field. He was a prolific artist who sold his paintings directly from his shop on the Calle Mayor in the centre of Madrid. He run a workshop during forty years in which flower pieces were produced by other artists and sold under his name.