Collection: Angel Carrying a Cypress

ARTIST: Museum Religious Art Classics


Artist: Juan Correa – c. 1680 – 1690

This painting depicts an angel standing in a golden cloud and carrying a cypress, a symbol associated with the purity of the Virgin Mary; it probably formed part of a lost altarpiece devoted to the Immaculate Conception. Stylistically, the picture is characteristic of Correa’s work from the period between 1670 and 1690 in terms of its vibrant palette, elegant composition, and overall emphasis on decorative details (e.g., the diaphanous veils and cabochons of the angel’s attire). The figures’ proportions, with prominent muscular white arms, are also typical of Correa’s works of this period, as are the finely detailed hands, with elongated fingers. Another element that is characteristic of Correa’s style is the impressionistic detailing of the cypress’s foliage, painted by pressing the tip of the brush against the canvas and then quickly dragging it down. Correa was a master at creating subtle color gradations and providing a sense of iridescence, contributing to the overall mystical effect of the composition, seen here in the wings and the fabric of the angel’s boots.