Portrait of Fray Diego Deza

Francisco de Zurbarán (Spanish, 1598-1664)
c. 1630
Oil on canvas 
65-1/2 x 54-1/4 in. (166.4 x 137.8 cm) 
Credit Line:
The Norton Simon Foundation 
Accession Number:
© The Norton Simon Foundation 
On View

Father Diego Deza (1444-1523) was Archbishop of Seville, Grand Inquisitor of the Faith and Confessor at the Court of Ferdinand and Isabella. He was an influential patron and firm supporter of Christopher Columbus.

In 1517, Deza established the Dominican Colegio de Santo Tomás in Seville. In about 1630, the college commissioned Zurbarán to paint several major religious works as well as two posthumous portraits of its founder. (The second, identical version of this portrait is now in the Prado Museum, Madrid.) Zurbarán's juxtaposition here of intense light and deep shadow, his use of clear, distinct colors and sharp definition of forms are typical of his finest work.


Collegio Mayor de Santo Tomás, Seville (where it was hung in the cell of the Prior).
The Royal Alcazar, Seville (deposited 1810, Sala baja 2, no. 66, as Retrato de Fundador. Among those pictures Joseph Bonaparte had hoped to take to Paris, but was prevented from doing so).
Pérez de Acebo, Madrid; soon after 1900.
Virginia Gómez Pérez de Acebo, Madrid.
[David M. Koester, New York; sold 1/3 share 1951 to];
[M. Knoedler & Co., Inc. New York; jointly owned with Pinakos, Ltd., New York (1/3 share); stock no. A4509; sold 21 November 1957 to];
Assis Chateaubriand; sold 6 February 1958 to;
[M. Knoedler & Co., Inc., New York; jointly owned with Pinakos, Ltd., New York; stock no. A6997; sold 2 January 1970 to];
The Norton Simon Foundation.

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