White Alonso (Granada, 19 of February of 1601 - 3 of September of 1667) was a painter, sculptor and Spanish architect. He is considered one of the most complete artists of the Spanish Golden Age. He studied with his father, Miguel Cano and then in Pacheco's workshop, where he met Diego Velázquez.
His father, Miguel Cano Pacheco, was a prestigious assembler of altarpieces of La Mancha origin. Along with him and his mother, the drawing teacher María Almansa Pacheco from Villarroblet, Alonso learned the first notions of architectural drawing and imagery, soon collaborating on his father's assignments, because very soon the his parents began to discover his enormous talent.
In 1614 the family moved to Seville, where he learned painting from the hand of Velázquez's master, Francisco Pacheco, and sculpture with Juan Martínez Montañés. In 1624, two years before obtaining the title of Master Painter, he made his first painting, a Sant Francesc de Borja with the imprint of Pacheco. He was for several years Velázquez's companion.
His works are a mixture of Italian and Baroque Mannerism. They are the highlights of his work. At a time when darkness dominated, he was able to be a colorist in his works, such as Zurbarán, Sánchez Cotán and Juan Bautista Mayno.
His first wife, Maria de Figueroa, died in 1627, apparently during a birth. He remarried in 1631, this time to Magdalena de Uceda.
In 1629 he made his greatest work, the Altarpiece of the High Altar of the Church of Santa Maria de Lebrija (Seville). Other of his outstanding paintings are Miracle of the Well and Altarpiece of the Infant Jesus of the Cathedral of Getafe.
At the beginning of 1638 he moved to Madrid, where thanks to the intervention of Velázquez, the Count-Duke of Olivares appointed him chamber painter. He was passing through the court of Madrid, where he had contact with the royal collections and Venetian painting of the sixteenth century.
As a sculptor, his most famous works are the altarpiece of the Virgin of the Olive in the church of Lebrija, and the colossal figures of St. Peter and St. Paul.
As an imager, Cano has left numerous works, including his well-known Immaculate Conception, on the lectern of the Cathedral of Granada, a masterpiece made in 1655 in polychrome wood just 50 cm high, which for its finesse and virtuosity soon it was transferred to the Sacristy, to better protect it and at the same time encourage its contemplation.
In Seville he made another of his important works, the Immaculate Conception which is venerated in the Church of San Julián, a polychrome wood sculpture 1.41 m high.
In 1644 his wife was murdered, so Alonso was charged with murder and even tortured, although he could not be convicted, having been shown to be innocent. He fled to Valencia with the intention of becoming a monk.
In 1652 he went to Granada where he obtained the position of rationer of the Cathedral, thanks to the collaboration of Philip IV of Castile. There he completed the decoration of the Main Chapel. However he had constant confrontations with the canons there and had to return to Madrid. to die. He was buried in the crypt of the same Cathedral.
Throughout his life he was a reason seeker and duels were always the order of the day. Despite earning large sums of money, he was always in debt, reaching the prison, the Prison of Debtors, although his friend Juan del Castillo paid the debts.
This is a partial list of Alonso Cano's works.
Notes and references