On the desirable education of a painter
The subject of the passage is the inadequate training of contemporary artists in comparison to antiquity, to which the participants attribute the errors in art. They cite ancient artists, such as Eupompus of Sicyon, as a positive reference.
The correct way of depicting “Christ’s dispute with the doctors in the temple”
Pacheco states in this passage how should be depicted the scene “Christ’s dispute with the doctors in the temple”. Also, he mentions the image made by Jeronimo Nadal as a good model to be followed.
Holy Scriptures are suitable decoration for churches
Molanus refers to Early-Christian sources and the Council of Nice for the decoration of churches and confirms the suitabilty of stories from the Holy Scriptures for this scope.
Joseph holding a green branch as a sign of his virginity
Molanus affirms that the green branch held by Joseph in paintings can only refer to his virginity.
Objects expressing sacrality
Molanus explains that certain objects, such as the cross, the aureole, and the palm, can be used in images to express sacrality.
The memory of bad people will vanish, despite ordering many artworks of themselves
Molanus argues that people will be recorded for their virtues, as the case of Apelles’ paintings of Alexander the Great demonstrates.
It is better not to befriend carvers and makers of images of saints
A certain Beltrán de la Borda was accused of despising images because he said that the friends of the carvers and makers of saints were “guitones”
In the course of the passage, the participants discuss elements of the crucifixion.
How to represent St. John Baptist (and how not to do it)
What concerns the life of the saints, Pacheco started his analysis with the iconography of St. John Baptist. In his analysis, he pointed out four things: the first, his age and countenance; the second, his vestments; the third, his insignia; the last, the occupations and exercises in which he should be painted. Some inadequate elements of depicting the St. observed by Pacheco were: with fur; without a lamb; without a cross; eating, decomposed, drinking from a cliff stretched out of his breast.
Depiction of the martyrs by painters is often done according to convenience and should not be analysed in a too detailed manner
Molanus argues that the outer features of martyrs in paintings, such as their clothes and height, should not be taken too literally, since they are painted according to artistic convenience.
Devil in images of a dying people
Molanus affirms that one can paint devils and demons in images of dying people.
On how to depict St. Marc
Molanus discusses the exterior features of St. Mark, who would have been of the height and age of a mature man.
Painting of the Trinity described in the letter of the Suprema to the Inquisition
Letter of the Suprema to the Inquisitiors of the town of Valencia describing some canvases that allegedly entered the kingdom and recommending that they be collected so that they do not continue to circulate.
Burying old images
Some images, which were in the churches of San Miguel and San Antolin, were buried because they were considered to be to old and ridiculous
How to represent St. Catherine of Siena (and how not to do it)
Dealing with the story of St. Catherine of Siena and how to represent it, Pacheco indicates three things to be analysed: that the saint had no external wounds, but they should be painted, and the way to paint them correctly.
Virgin Mary should not be depicted in pain while labouring
Molanus argues that a recurrent depiction of the Virgin Mary during labour is incorrect and deviates from the Holy Scriptures and the teachings of the Church.
The Lord at the supper at the house of Martha and Mary
Molanus condemns the depiction of Christ in blasphemous and funny manners in artworks about Christ in the house of Martha and Mary.
Cupid is a poetic fiction
Molanus condemns images of Cupid because the ordinary people do not understand his poetic meaning and therefore he only has negative effects on them.
The correct way of depicting the “Baptism of Christ”
Pacheco states in this passage how should be depicted the scene of “Baptism of Christ”. Also, he mentions the image made by Jeronimo Nadal as a good model to be followed, although the author comments on the necessity to be added a few more elements to the scene.
Christ depicted as the Salvator Mundi
Molanus assesses iconographic traditions which are based on well-established stories, here: Christ depicted as the Salvator Mundi.
Joseph depicted as an old man
Molanus affirms that the depiction of Joseph as an old man comes from apocryphal sources, but if done in a benevolent way, it does not constitute an error.
Limbs made of precious materials to commemorate the dead
Molanus discusses objects between the categories of sacred and profane art and gives the example of limbs out of precious materials that decorate churches to commemorate the dead.
The creation of artworks based on distorted memories
Molanus condemns images cults dedicated to worldly rulers.
The Virgin del Pilar is like a sailing ship
The artists’ abuse of the age
In this section of the dialogue, the participants address various cases of abuse in the representation of saints. The central focus is on the incorrect representation of age.