LLANOS VALDÉS, Sebastián de
(b. ca. 1605, Sevilla, d. 1677, Sevilla)

The Head of St Paul

Oil on canvas, 42 x 63 cm
Private collection

Within Valdés' artistic production lies a group of severed heads of martyr saints, an artistic tradition that can be traced back to Spanish sculpture from the last quarter of the 16th century. The majority of the painted treatments of the subject, including the present works, have traditionally been erroneously attributed to the Sevillian master Juan de Valdés Leal, although it is clear that these images were produced by a number of leading Spanish (and especially Sevillian) artists. The finest examples by Llanos Valdés are the paintings of the heads of St John the Baptist and St Paul, dated 1670, today in the Iglesia del Divino Salvador, Seville.