Spanish Baroque Era Painter, 1599-1656
Spanish painter. He was probably a pupil of Vicente Carducho, but there is nothing to support this idea. His evident familiarity with contemporary Italian art indicates that he visited Rome and Naples, and this might explain the absence of documentation on him in Spain. Collantes enjoyed considerable prestige, and his paintings were acquired in 1634 for the decoration of the Buen Retiro Palace in Madrid; some of them may have been specially painted for this setting. His name appears frequently in the inventories of collectors in Madrid throughout the 17th century. It is impossible to date Collantes's undated paintings with any accuracy. However, his work shows two very clear and different lines of development. His canvases of large, intensely naturalistic figures, with tenebrist lighting effects , are close in style to those of Jusepe Ribera. In them the intense, energetic figures are sometimes set against landscape backgrounds, for example in St Humphrey (1645-50; Madrid, Prado) and St John the Baptist , but, still following Ribera, the naturalistic elements are emphasized. He also specialized in landscapes and in biblical or mythological subjects, compositions with minute figures set against wide landscapes or architecture with strong light effects. These are the works for which he is best known and which are the most important, since he was one of the few landscape painters in Spain in the 17th century.