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Portrait of Fray Diego Deza

Portrait of Fray Diego Deza, c. 1630

Francisco de Zurbarán
Spanish, 1598-1664
Oil on canvas
65-1/2 x 54-1/4 in. (166.4 x 137.8 cm)
The Norton Simon Foundation
© 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.

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