An iconography no longer used of St. Anne
Year mention: 1649
St. Anne accompanied by three husbands, three daughters and grandsons, close to Mary with Jesus in her arms
Inadequate manner

It is inappropriate depict St. Anne accompanied by three husbands

Pacheco, Francisco
Frostispiece of Pacheco, El Arte de la pintura (1649), Seville, Simon Faxardo, impressor de libros, a la Cerrajeria

Pacheco is very clear: artists should erase forever from their memories what was one time a valid model of depicting Saint Anne, who was seated, with the Virgin Mary and Jesus as a child in her arms, and accompanied by three husbands, three daughters, and many grandchildren. The three reasons are: first, Virgin Mary must be considered the only child of Saint Anne and Saint Joachim; second, it is irrational to believe that St. Anne who at such an advanced age had married a second and third time; and third, is indelicacy to think that principal and honest matrons had a second and, a third marriage because he argues in them not so much purity. Pacheco considered the painting of Juan de Roelas (1558-1631) as an inadequate artwork.

“At one time, the painting of the glorious Saint Anne seated, with the Blessed Virgin and her Son in her arms and accompanied by three husbands, three daughters, and many grandchildren, as in some old prints, was very valid; which today is not approved of by the most learned and must rightly be rejected by sane painters; […]It seems to me that this is enough for painters not to renew such a painting, but rather to erase it from their memory forever.”

En un tiempo, estuvo muy válida la pintura de la gloriosa Santa Ana asentada, con la santisima Virgen y su Hijo, en brazos y acompañada de tres maridos, de tres hijas y de muchos nietos, como en algunas estampas antiguas se halla; lo cual hoy no aprueban los más doctos y lo deben escusar, justamente, los pintores cuerdos; […]paréceme que esto sobra para que los pintores no renueve semejante pintura, antes la borren de su memoria para siempre.”

Quoted Authorities

P. Antonio Quintanadueñas, 3nd Treatise about S. Anna (unknown)

Model to follow

Seville, Part of the main altarpiece of the Casa Professa de los Jesuitas Madrid, Monastery of the Escorial

Anna selbdritt, parents, three daughters with seven children, three husbands

Date mention

Historical Location

Type of Object

Iconclass Number

Pacheco, El Arte de la pintura (1649), book 3, ch.11, 580-582

Pacheco 1990, 581, n. 48

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