This Arrest of Christ by Juan Correa da Vivar,1 only recently identified and restored to the artist's oeuvre, was painted during the 1530s, soon after Correa left the workshop of Juan de Borgoña. Although of different dimensions to panels firmly identified with the altarpieces he painted for the churches at Mora and Meco, both in the vicinity of Madrid, such is the stylistic affinity with them that it must have been executed at roughly the same time. While no documentary evidence survives to prove the dating of the Mora retablo, that of Meco is recorded as having been completed by Correa da Vivar in March 1538 at a cost of 225,000 maravedís.
The panel has most in common with another recently discovered Arrest of Christ sold in these Rooms, 8 July 2010, lot 114 (see fig. 1). Both Arrests, of which Isabel Mateo considers the present example to be of the best quailty, share an extraordinarily similar mise-en-scène, with a frieze-like arrangement of the protagonists, framed on the left by one of Christ's followers attacking a soldier with a raised sword and on the other by a lavishly dressed soldier in profile tending rope to his colleagues for the binding of Christ. Both, too, are characterised by the curious confusion of spears, javelins, axes, forks, torches and trumpets above the helmets of the soldiers.
We are grateful to Isabel Mateo for endorsing the attrbution to Juan Correa da Vivar on the basis of photographs.
1. It had previously laboured under a mis-attribution to the German Leonhard Beck.