(b. 1622, Sevilla, d. 1690, Sevilla)

Assumption of the Virgin

Oil on canvas
National Gallery of Art, Washington

The dramatic side of seventeenth-century Spanish painting is well represented by Juan de Valdés Leal. He tended to give expression to the pessimism of the Baroque, which, for all his religious idealism, he was sometimes unable to suppress and which inspired theatrical visions. Impetuous, dynamic, a bold colorist who experimented with the principles of defocusing, Valdés Leal was a forerunner of Romanticism. He painted his Assumption of the Virgin now in the National Gallery, Washington in 1659, it is among his more decidedly Baroque works.