Skip to Main Content


Altarpiece of the "capilla mayor (main chapel)", church of San Lázaro, Palencia, commissioned c. 1508, until c. 1945.[1] Arcadio Torres Martín, Palencia, 1950-1951.[2] Acquired c. 1952 by (Frederick Mont, New York);[3] purchased 11 February 1953 by the Samuel H. Kress Foundation, New York;[4] gift 1961 to NGA.

Technical Summary

The softwood panel was cradled in 1953 when the painting was being treated by Mario Modestini. A thick layer of hemp in a glue sizing and three horizontal battens on the back were presumably removed at that time. These elements are visible in x-radiographs of 1961.9.22 and 1961.9.23 made before cradling and are still present on the Prado panels from the same altarpiece.[1] The painting was also cleaned and restored in 1953/1954. This painting and 1961.9.23 had previously been cleaned by William Suhr in 1952.[2] The Annunciation may have been trimmed very slightly on the sides, but without removing the unpainted edges here. The panel has also been cut at top and bottom within the painted image and .5 cm wide strips added to these edges.[3] The panel is made up of vertically joined boards; however, the joins cannot be readily discerned, in part because of the edging strips at top and bottom. The ground layer includes fibrous strands, probably also hemp. Very little underdrawing could be made visible when this painting was examined with infrared reflectography. Apart from small localized losses, the painting is in excellent condition.

[1] The nail holes that secured the battens are also visible in the x-radiographs of 1961.9.24 and 1961.9.25, though the battens themselves had already been removed from these panels. X-radiographs of all four panels in the Gallery and of the Prado panels also show an irregular row of holes above the center of the panels that have been filled with a dense substance. Their function is unclear. However, since the actual holes are not visible on the back of the Prado panels, they must lie below the isolating fibrous layer. In a forthcoming article in the Boletín del Museo del Prado, María del Carmen Garrido and Martha Wolff discuss the structure and technique of the eight panels in greater detail.

[2] Eisler 1977, 186-187.

[3] The original unpainted edges have been removed at top and bottom. Although it is difficult to determine how much, if any, of the design has been cut away, the difference of approximately 14 cm in the height of the painted image between the Adoration of the Magi and the Baptism (1961.9.24 and 1961.9.25), which retain their unpainted edges, and the six panels removed from San Lázaro relatively recently suggests that the six were rather substantially cut down; see under 1961.9.25, The Baptism of Christ.


Justi, Carl. "Juan de Flandes, ein niederländischer Hofmaler Isabella der Katholischen." Jahrbuch der königlich Preussischen Kunstsammlungen (Jahrbuch der Berliner Museen) 8 (1887): 167.
Winkler, [Friedrich]. "Juan de Flandes." In Thieme-Becker. 37 vols. Leipzig, 1907-1950:19(1926):279.
Justi, Carl. Miscellaneen aus drei Jahrhunderten spanischen Kunstlebens. 2 vols. Berlin, 1908: 1:324.
Mayer, August L. "Studien zur Quattrocento-malerei in Nordwestkastilien." Repertorium für Kunstwissenschaft 32 (1909): 519.
Mayer, August L. Geschichte der spanischen Malerei. 2 vols. Leipzig, 1913: 1:149.
Moreno Villa, José. "Un pintor de la reina católica." Boletín de la Sociedad Española de Excursiones 25 (1917): 281.
H[ulin] de L[oo], [Georges]. Trésor de l'art flamand du moyen âge au XVIIIe siècle. Mémorial de l'exposition d'art flamand ancien à Anvers. 1930. 2 vols. Paris, 1932: 1:51.
Post, Chandler Rathfon. A History of Spanish Painting. 14 vols. Cambridge, Mass., 1933: 4, part 1:45, 50.
Revilla Vielva, Ramón. "Retablo Mayor de la Santa Iglesia Catedral de Palencia." Publicaciones de la Institución "Tello Téllez de Meneses" no. 5 (1950): 98.
Brans, Jan V. L. Isabel la Católica y el arte Hispano-Flamenco. Madrid, 1952: 96-98, pl. 43.
Museo del Prado. Catálogo. Madrid (and later editions), 1952: 204.
Brans, Jan V. L. "Juan de Flandes, pintor de la Reina y de Castilla." Clavileño 4, no. 21 (1953): 29, 32.
Sánchez Cantón, Francisco Javier. "Las adquisiciones del Museo del Prado en los años 1952 y 1953." Archivo Español de Arte y Arqueologia 27 (1954): 5.
Gudiol Ricart, José. Pintura Gótica. In Ars Hispaniae. 22 vols. Madrid, 1955: 9:259-260.
Paintings and Sculpture from the Kress Collection Acquired by the Samuel H. Kress Foundation 1951-56. Introduction by John Walker, text by William E. Suida and Fern Rusk Shapley. National Gallery of Art. Washington, 1956: 108-110, no. 39, repro.
Gudiol, José. "Oeuvres inédites de Jean de Flandres." Miscellanea Prof. Dr. D. Roggen. Antwerp, 1957: 116, 118.
Gaya Nuño, Juan Anotonio. La pintura española fuera de España; historia y catàlogo. Madrid, 1958: 148, nos. 761, 762.
Post, Chandler Rathfon. A History of Spanish Painting. 14 vols. Cambridge, Mass., 1958: 12, part 2:615, 618, 620, 622-625, figs. 262, 263.
Brans, Jan V. L. Vlaamse schilders in dienst der Koningen van Spanje. Louvain, 1959: 55.
Eisler, Colin. "Juan de Flandes's Saint Michael and Saint Francis." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin n.s. 18 (1959): 130.
Paintings and Sculpture from the Samuel H. Kress Collection. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1959: 264, repro.
Sánchez Cantón, Francisco Javier. The Prado. New York, 1959: 138.
Walker, John, Guy Emerson, and Charles Seymour. Art Treasures for America: An Anthology of Paintings & Sculpture in the Samuel H. Kress Collection. London, 1961: 74-75, 212, color fig. 67.
Bermejo, Elisa. Juan de Flandes. Madrid, 1962: 28-31, 44, pls. 36-39.
Puyvelde, Leo van. La peinture flamande au siècle de Bosch et Breughel. Paris, 1962: 353.
Sammlung Heinz Kisters. Altdeutsche und altniederländische Gemälde. Exh. cat. Germanisches Nationalmuseum, Nürnberg, 1963: 14-15, under no. 76.
Walker, John. National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. New York, 1963 (reprinted 1964 in French, German, and Spanish): 305, repro.
Anzelewsky, Fedja. "Der Meister der Lübecker Bibel von 1494." Zeitschrift für Kunstgeschichte 27 (1964): 57.
Held, Julius S. "The Bearing of the Cross Hitherto Attributed to Juan de Flandes." The Art Quarterly 38 (1965): 31.
Summary Catalogue of European Paintings and Sculpture. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1965: 71.
Vandevivere, Ignace. Primitifs flamands. Corpus. La cathédrale de Palencia et l'église paroissiale de Cervera de Pisuerga. Brussels, 1967: 44-47.
National Gallery of Art. European Paintings and Sculpture, Illustrations. Washington, 1968: 62, repro.
Osten, Gert von der, and Horst Vey. Painting and Sculpture in Germany and the Netherlands 1500 to 1600. Harmondsworth, 1969: 142.
European Paintings: An Illustrated Summary Catalogue. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1975: 182, 184, repro. 183, 185.
Lurie, Ann Tzeutschler. "Birth and Naming of St. John the Baptist Attributed to Juan de Flandes: A Newly Discovered Panel from a Hypothetical Altarpiece." Bulletin of the Cleveland Museum of Art 63 (1976): 127, fig. 21.
Eisler, Colin. Paintings from the Samuel H. Kress Collection: European Schools Excluding Italian. Oxford, 1977: 186, fig. 187.
Rogers, Millard F., Jr. Spainish Paintings in the Cincinnati Art Museum. Cincinnati, 1978: 12.
De Coo, Josef, and Nicole Reynaud. "Origen del retablo de San Juan Bautista atribuido a Juan de Flandes." Archivo Español de Arte y Arqueologia 52 (1979): 140-141, figs. 7, 9.
Walker, John. National Gallery of Art, Washington. Rev. ed. Washington, 1984: 138, no. 136, color repro.
European Paintings: An Illustrated Catalogue. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1985: 211, repro.
Hand, John Oliver and Martha Wolff. Early Netherlandish Painting. The Collections of the National Gallery of Art Systematic Catalogue. Washington, 1986: 125-133, repro. 126.
Apostolos-Cappadona, Diane. "Virgin/Virginity." In Encyclopedia of Comparative Iconography: Themes Depicted in Works of Art. Edited by Helene E. Roberts. 2 vols. Chicago, 1998: 2:905.
Denny, Don. "Annunciation." In Encyclopedia of Comparative Iconography: Themes Depicted in Works of Art. Edited by Helene E. Roberts. 2 vols. Chicago, 1998: 1:37.
Hand, John Oliver. National Gallery of Art: Master Paintings from the Collection. Washington and New York, 2004: 58, no. 42, color repro.
Weniger, Matthias. Sittow, Morros, Juan de Flandes: Drei Maler aus dem Norden am Hof Isabellas der Katholischen. Kiel, 2011: 250-253, 254, no. 12.1, fig. 174, 176.

Related Content

  • Sort by:
  • Results layout:
Show  results per page
The image compare list is empty.