Catholic Encyclopedia (1913)/Sebastiano de Herrera Barnuevo

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Catholic Encyclopedia (1913), Volume 7
Sebastiano de Herrera Barnuevo

by Leigh Harrison Hunt


A painter, architect, sculptor and etcher; born in Madrid, 1611 or 1619; died there, 1671; son of Antonio Herrera, a sculptor of fair ability, who, after teaching his son the rudiments of his art, placed him with Cano. Under this famous artist he made such great progress in both painting and sculpture that Philip IV took him into his service, commanded him to decorate the chapel of Our Lady of Atocha, and made him guardian of the Escorial, for which he henceforth worked. Most of his pictures are in Madrid. His masterpiece is the "St. Barnabas" in the hail of the council-chamber in the Escorial, and was long regarded as by the hand of Guido. Nearly as famous is the "Beatification of St. Augustine" in the chapel of the Augustinian Recollects and the "Nativity" in the church of San Gerónimo. Barnuevo's colouring was as brilliant and harmonious as that of Titian, whom he imitated; his style was scarcely to be differentiated from Guido's; his draughtsmanship was excellent, and his work with the graver and etching-needle highly esteemed. He was an able architect, and won such fame in this branch of art that he received many commissions from the Court and the nobility. He was a simple, modest, urbane, and deeply religious man, as well as a most versatile artist.

SANTOS, La Descripción del Escorial (Madrid, 1657); QUELLIET, Dictionnaire des peintres espagnols (Paris, s. d.); SIRET, Dictionnaire historique des peintres (Louvain, 1883).

Leigh Hunt.