Throughout history the Western monarchy, and in particular the European one, has always been intimately linked to religion; The kings have been the main defenders of Catholicism and have proclaimed great wars and persecutions in favor of their religion, but if we have to highlight the role of a monarchy that has been linked to the church, that will undoubtedly be the Spanish monarchy. Since the Middle Ages and especially since the reign of the Catholic Monarchs, the Spanish monarchs have maintained an intimate relationship with the Church and the Vatican. For this reason, it is not surprising that the painting we are analyzing here today is commissioned by a monarch Spanish, Charles I of Spain and V of Germany.
With the arrival of Carlos I to the Spanish throne, the Habsburg monarchy expanded its power in Europe and despite the fact that at first the king did not have the support of his subjects, it was precisely through religion that the monarch came to gain their favor. The work that we are analyzing today was commissioned by the king from Titian, one of the great figures of the Italian Renaissance and a world-famous painter, on his second trip to Spain, specifically in the year 1550, although the artist would not finish the canvas until 4 years later in 1554.
The piece, which is currently part of the collection exhibited at the Prado Museum in Madrid, represents the union between the Spanish monarchy and the Church. In fact, the kingHe took the grandiose canvas, more than three meters high and two and a half meters wide, to his retreat in the Yuste Monastery and asked to be allowed to see it on canvas on his deathbed.
The work is a great ode to the Catholic religion in which some of its protagonists appear; in the upper area we find God the Father together with Jesus Christ and the dove of the Holy Spirit. Both are dressed very similarly, to emphasize the fact of the Trinity and near them, also dressed in blue as a symbol of eternity, appears the Virgin Mary.
The canvas is completed by outstanding figures of Catholicism such as Saint John the Baptist who acts as intercessor for men before God, Moses with the tables of the ten commandments, Noah or King David. The king and his family also appear in a lower register. It is an ascending oval of characters that converge at the top of the canvas.