COELLO, Claudio
(b. 1642, Madrid, d. 1693, Madrid)


Coello was, like Velázquez, of Portuguese descent, but became the last great painter of the School of Madrid. The principal influences on his work seem to have been Rubens, Van Dyck and Titian - that is, he used his opportunities to study the Spanish Royal collection, which had masterpieces by all of them. He also studied in Italy at some time 1656/64 and was influenced by contemporaries such as Dolci. He became Painter to the King in 1683, and was promoted Pintor de Cámara in 1686.

His pictures tend to be overcrowded and rather complicated, and are reminiscent of Neapolitan Rococo. His masterpiece is Charles II adoring the Blessed Sacrament (1685-90: Sacristy of the Escorial), the space of the actual sacristy being continued in the picture, which contains the portraits of many priests and courtiers. There are other works by him in Castres, Frankfurt, London (Wellington Museum), Madrid (Prado and churches), Munich and Toledo, Ohio.

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