Sometimes the recognition of the value of the work of Juan Vicente Masip (c. 1473 –1551) has been somewhat hidden under the prestige of his son, Juan de Juanes, also a painter and highly valued thanks to paintings such as the Institution of the Holy Eucharist. So much so that in many of his mature works, the most exquisite, a shared authorship between father and son is usually proposed, who shared a workshop and commissions from his city:Valencia.
The Visitation of Vicente Masip
In fact, the vast majority of the altarpieces and panels painted by Masip were intended for temples in the Valencian city or surrounding towns. And his initial influences are certainly based on theValencian school, but soon you will see Italian nuances in his paintings. Firstly, because some works by Sebastiano del Piombo arrived in the Valencian capital, which were to have enormous strength, not only in Masip's way of painting, but in reality of all his contemporaries. But it is also speculated that Vicente Masip may have traveled to Italy, and more specifically to Rome and Umbría where I would get to know first-hand the work of Rafael, of whom echoes are discovered in his compositions. Including this circular table that he would make between the years 1540 and 1545.
Here we can see a composition with a very Italian air, with ascene in which Saint Elizabeth kneels before her daughter the Virgin Mary, while Saint Joseph and Zechariah are further back.
The raphaelism is evident both in the harmony emanating from the scene and in the different gestures shown by the characters. But instead, Masip is not only dedicated to being inspired and following the great teacher. He was a creator with his own personality and variety of influences. For this reason, the landscape that can be seen in the background is reminiscent of the Flemish painting that were so well known in Spain during the 16th century.
The circular format is due to the fact that at that time this type of painting called tondo was highly appreciated, and the truth is that this Visitación was a double work, since it was a pair with another circular table that represents The Martyrdom of Saint Agnes. Both were painted to be included in an altarpiece in the chapel of Santo Tomás de Villanueva inside the Valencian convent of San Julián. However, today the two panels are part of the collection of the Museo del Prado in Madrid, since they were acquired in the 19th century by King Fernando VII.