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Juan Bautista Martínez del Mazo: authorship, canonicity, and originality in the workshop of Velázquez

MANZANO-RODRIGUEZ, PATRICIA (2023) Juan Bautista Martínez del Mazo: authorship, canonicity, and originality in the workshop of Velázquez. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.

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Author-imposed embargo until 06 February 2025.


Spanish art has long been straightjacketed by a series of six names: El Greco, Ribera, Velázquez, Murillo, Goya, and Picasso. Juan Bautista Martínez del Mazo (ca. 1612–1667) is notably absent, which is astonishing given that his paintings occupy the upper half of one of the most important Spanish artworks, Velázquez’s Las Meninas. However, Mazo has been merely a footnote in Spanish Art History. He is literally a footnote in Jonathan Brown’s seminal Painting in Spain 1500–1700 (1998), where the author claims that Mazo’s monograph is necessary for the development of Spanish art. Curiously, one does not exist, as no extensive research on the painter has been published. This is surprising, given that Mazo was portraitist to the Spanish royal family, a renowned copyist, and a skilled landscape painter. He painted one of the three known seventeenth-century Spanish group portraits (along with Las Meninas) and produced prized religious paintings. Nevertheless, he is still a vastly under-researched artist from Velázquez’s workshop. Using Mazo as a case study, this thesis provides further insight into the artistic context of early modern Spain, touching on such broader issues in the humanities as authorship, canonicity, and originality. The project investigates the scope of Mazo’s work and influence in Spanish art from the seventeenth century onwards by exploring the tensions between canonical and non-canonical artists, reconsidering what constitutes an ‘original’ artwork, and addressing the question: ‘What’s in a name?’

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Keywords:Diego Velázquez, Juan Bautista Martínez del Mazo, Early Modern art, Spanish art
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Modern Languages and Cultures, School of
Thesis Date:2023
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:07 Feb 2023 09:21

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