Nino, De Guevara, Don Juan

Nino, De Guevara, Don Juan, a Spanish painter, was born in Madrid February 8, 1632. His father, don Luiz, was captain of the guards of the viceroy of Aragon, bishop of Malaga, don Antonio Henriquez. This prelate took charge of the family of his favorite nobleman, and brought him into his diocese. It was at Malaga that young Nino studied; from that time he oftener held the pencil than the pen. Educated in philosophy, he gave himself with so much ardor to design that the bishop, who loved him like a son, not wishing to oppose his vocation, confided him to the care of a Flemish captain, whom Quilliet calls "Manrique, a painter of credit in Malaga, and one of the best pupils of his compatriot Rubens." The progress of Nino was rapid. In 1645 his protector confided him to marquis de Montebello, one of the most distinguished amateurs of Madrid, who soon placed him in a condition to follow the lessons of Alonso Cano. This celebrated master admitted him to his friendship, and often worked with him. Cano composed and Nino executed. It is thus that they decorated the Augustins of Cordova and Granada (1652-1667). In 1676 Nino returned to Malaga, where he made many paintings for churches and portraits — a style in which he succeeded very well. His touch shows a certain timidity; but his compositions have a lovely character, and his coloring has freshness. He remains one of the best representatives of the Hispano-Flemish school. All the religious monuments of Malaga, and some of Cordova, Granada. Madrid, and Seville, possess his paintings, which are also found in the most complete galleries. He died in Malaga December 8, 1698. We quote especially of this artist three admired masterpieces in Malaga: in the church, Faith, or the Triumph of the Cross, remarkable for the expression and the good disposition of the numerous figures which are represented in it: — Charity, surrounded by personages who have most distinguished themselves by this virtue; this painting is the worthy companion of the preceding;-and in the cathedral, Saint Michael, become popular by numerous copies and engravings. Seville also possesses a large number of paintings by Nino, among others a Holy Family, sometimes attributed to Rubens. We have in Paris an allegorical painting of his, representing War giving Place to Peace and Study. Nino combines the grandeur and correctness of Cano with the admirable coloring of Rubens, and yet in some of his works he differs even so widely from these great masters as to be compared to Vandyck.' See Raphael Mengs, Obras (Madrid, 1780); Felippe de Guevara, Los Commentarios de la Pintura (ibid. 1788); Pons, Viaje en Espana; Don Antonio Palomino de Velasco, El Museo pictorico (Cordova, 1715, 3 vols.); Spooner, Biog. Hist. of the Fine Arts, 1:380, s.v. Guevara.

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