VÁZQUEZ, Alonso
(b. ca. 1565, Ronda, d. ca. 1608, Mexico City)

Biography

Spanish painter. He probably trained either with Luis de Vargas or with his pupil Antonio de Arjián in Seville, where Vázquez worked from 1588 until his departure for New Spain in 1603. Influenced by the work of northern Renaissance masters such as Marten de Vos and Maarten van Heemskerck, Vázquez's art is a good example of late 16th-century Mannerism in Seville. The sculpturesque quality of his forms, interest in detail and taste for exaggerated gestures and contorted poses reflect both Italian and Flemish influences. Vázquez earned a reputation for his virtuoso treatment of still-lifes in his paintings, as in Lazarus and the Rich Man (1588-1603; untraced), painted for Fernando Enríquez de Ribera, 3rd Duque de Alcalá.

Vázquez's earliest dated work, the Resurrection (1590; Seville, S Ana), is in the Roman tradition; it shows strong draughtsmanship, daring foreshortening and is powerfully expressive. The Last Supper (1588-1603; Seville, Museo de Bellas Artes) combines Flemish motifs taken from prints by or after van Heemskerck and de Vos. The theatrical composition contains still-life objects depicted with great care and attention to detail.