Alonso Sanchez Coello  
Alonso Sanchez Coello
Alonso Sánchez Coello, (born 1531/32, Benifayó, near Valencia, Spain—died August 8, 1588, Madrid), painter who was one of the pioneers of the great tradition of Spanish portrait painting. The favourite portrait painter of King Philip II, he introduced into Spanish portraiture a specifically Spanish character that endured until Velázquez came to the court in the 1620s.

After spending his childhood in Portugal, he was sent by the Portuguese king John III to study under Anthonis Mor (Anthony More) in Flanders. Returning to Portugal in 1550, he served as a court painter to John. In 1555 he moved to the Spanish court of Philip II, having been recommended by the widow of John III, Juana, who was the sister of the Spanish king. He spent the remainder of his life at the court, becoming a personal favourite of the king and acquiring honours and wealth.

Sánchez Coello produced both portraits and religious paintings. The religious works, many of which were created for El Escorial, are conventional and undistinguished. It is for his portraits that he is remembered. They are marked by an ease of pose and execution, a dignity and sobriety of representation, and a warmth of colouring. Although influenced by the paintings of both Mor and Titian, these portraits display an original talent and reflect admirably the modesty and formality of the Spanish court. Paintings of Philip II (c. 1575) and Infanta Isabel Clara Eugenia (1579), both in the Prado, Madrid, are two of his finest works.

Encyclopædia Britannica


Self Portrait

St Sebastian between St Bernard and St Francis

Portrait of the Infanta Catalina Michaela of Austria

Desposorios místicos de Santa Catalina

Prince Don Carlos of Austria
c. 1558

Catalina Micaela de Austria, duquesa de Saboya

Dona Juana, Princess of Portugal
c. 1557

Anna von Osterreich, Konigin von Spanien

Anna von Osterreich, Konigin von Spanien (detail)

La Infanta Isabel Clara Eugenia con Magdalena Ruiz

La dama del armino

Anne of Austria

Diego de Covarrubias

El Principe Don Carlos

Joven desconocida

La infanta Isabel Clara Eugenia

Don Diego et Don Felipe, Infante D'Espagne

Retrato de la Infanta Ana De Austria

Philip II Holding a Rosary

El Infante Felipe

Archduke Rudolf, the later Holy Roman Emperor Rudolf II of Austria

Retrato del Infante Don Carlos de Espana

Infantas Isabel Clara Eugenia and Catalina Micaela