Portrait of Domenico Scarlatti
Alpiarça, District of Santarém, Portugal
Patudos House, Alpiarça Museum
Attributed to Domingo António de Velasco
Oil on canvas
H: 131.1 cm; w: 109.5 cm
Workshop of Domingo António de Velasco
Bequeathed to Mariano Hernandez by José Relvas in Madrid, 1913; then left to the Municipality of Alpiarça.
Court Maestro to the exiled Polish queen Maria Kazimiera, and responsible for the Vatican's Capella Giulia, Domenico Scarlatti (1685–1757) was hired in 1714 as Kappelmeister by the Marquis of Fontes, Ambassador to King D. João V, at the Court of Pope Clement XI.
Scarlatti's arrival in Portugal was a result of the high praise he had received from the King of Portugal's brother, Prince D. António who had attended one of his concerts in Rome. Scarlatti arrived in Portugal in around 1720 to become Princess Maria Barbara and Prince D. Jose's music teacher. Meanwhile the Pope had consented to the upgrade of the Royal Chapel to a Patriarchal Chapel and Scarlatti was invited to become Kappelmeister of the orchestra and choir of the Patriarchal Seminar Chapel.
The Neapolitan Scarlatti's contribution to the Portuguese music scene was immense, he introduced Italian Opera, and the new musical and artistic patterns in vogue all over Europe at the time.
In 1729 Scarlatti moved to Madrid to become once again Princess Maria Bárbara's music master, who by this time had married the Prince of Asturias, son of King Philip V and future King Philip VI of Spain. He remained in Spain until his death in 1757.
Under the patronage of King D. João V, Domenico Scarlatti lived with his family in Spain where he enjoyed all the preconditions necessary to enhance his musical career and ensure his notoriety grew among his European musical peers.
The art of portraiture peaked in the 18th century, fuelled by commissions from the European monarchs. Artists such as Louis Michel Van Loo, court painter to King Philip V of Spain (grandson of Louis XIV) between 1738 and 1752, or Jean Ranc (1674–1735) gained notoriety. The latter also painted the Portuguese Royal family following H. Rigaud.
So it was that the Spanish artist Domingos António Velasco painted this portrait of Scarlatti in the Van Loo style in around 1739. Velasco depicts the maestro standing in front of an opulently painted curtain, his body twisted to the right and his hand resting on a wooden box. The light falls on the musician's face and hands, and he is dressed in a golden yellow and grey-blue ceremonial court vestment, adorned with the prestigious St James, a cognizance bestowed upon him one year previously by King D. João V, Grand-Master of the Order.
Casa dos Patudos, Museu de Alpiarça
José Relvas Collection
Iconographic and stylistic analysis
Bequeathed to Mariano Hernandez by José Relvas in Madrid in 1913. In his will, José Relvas donated the palace and collection to the Municipality of Alpiarça in order to create a museum.
Teixeira, José de Monterroso, O Triunfo do Barroco, Centro Cultural de Belém, Lisbon, 1993 p.p.56/63,223/224
Cristina Correia "Portrait of Domenico Scarlatti" in Discover Baroque Art , Museum With No Frontiers, 2018. http://www.museumwnf.org/thematicgallery/thg_galleries/database_item.php?itemId=objects;BAR;pt;Mus11_A;8;en&id=theatre
Prepared by: Cristina CorreiaCristina Correia
AFFILIATION: Eça de Queirós Public High School, Lisbon and MWNF
TITLE: Senior Teacher, Local Co-ordinator and Vice-President of MWNF
Cristina Correia is a History graduate and, since 1985, a Senior Teacher of History at the Eça de Queirós Public High School, Lisbon where she also lectures in Portuguese Language and Culture for non-native speakers. From 1987 to 1998 she was involved with youth affairs, primary prevention and the Camões Institute. She is Vice-President and Local Co-ordinator (Portugal) for MWNF.
Translation by: Manuel Silva Pereira
Translation copyedited by: Mandi Gomez
MWNF Working Number: PT 11
On display in
Exhibition(s) Discover Baroque Art
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