ANDRÉS DE LEITO

Documented Segovia and Madrid, circa 1656 – 1663

Vanitas (Disenchantment of the World)

Oil on canvas

107 x 155.5 cm

Scroll down

ANDRÉS DE LEITO

Documented Segovia and Madrid, circa 1656 – 1663

The gold-work in the painting - sinuous and heavily ornamented - recalls that in several of de Leito’s still lifes. This is due not only to the shape of the objects, but also to the artist’s technique, with impasto and apparently haphazard application of paint. The result is a sense of almost tangible opulence, and it is this which marks out these works from all the other Vanitas painted in Madrid in the same period. There is also a surprising use of light, which is very warm and with large areas of darkness, both in the background and in the foreground.

A final element of de Leito’s signature iconography pointing to the eschatological significance of these objects is the representation of a painting within the painting of the Last Judgement. This device had already been used by Antonio de Pereda and clearly expressed the uselessness of luxurious chattel at the moment of death. Fittingly, this imagery appears on the far edge of the painting, as a counterpoint to the exuberant pile of riches on the table. This is a magnificent example of a Baroque Vanitas, interpreted according to the taste at Court in 17th century Madrid.

Fernando Collar de Cáceres

Technical data

ANDRÉS DE LEITO

Documented Segovia and Madrid, circa 1656 – 1663

Vanitas (Disenchantment of the World)

Oil on canvas

107 x 155.5 cm