RIZI, Francisco
(b. 1614, Madrid, d. 1685, Madrid)

Virgin and Child with Sts Philip and Francis

Oil on canvas
Capuchinos, El Pardo

At the end of the 1640s Rizi worked at the court in Madrid, although without an official appointment. Part of his time was dedicated to painting for the Buen Retiro theater, where his undeniable talent for scenographic painting developed. This is displayed in his Virgin and Child with Sts Philip and Francis which might be called the first High Baroque altarpiece painting in Spain. The composition is enclosed within an illusionistic proscenium arch, behind which is seen a landscape vista drawn in the deep perspective of contemporary stage sets. The Virgin and Child are surrounded by a small army of fluttering putti, whose varied poses imitate the heavenly glories of Rubens. While the main figures are still firmly and solidly drawn, they have taken on a new sense of animation and movement.