This painting loosely and inventively depicts an actual chapel in the former Jesuit Imperial College in Madrid, which housed a Madonna and Child in gilded and painted wood, a focus of popular devotion. Pérez made temporary decorations for the Spanish court, none of which survive, but the fanciful architecture, curiously inverted obelisks, fruits and flowers, and pastel colors all stem from this side of his work. By representing a polychrome sculpture in two dimensions, Pérez further blurred boundaries between painting and sculpture. This intersection of the spiritual and the real worlds was important in Spanish art of the 1600s.
Credit Line: Text courtesy of The Cleveland Museum of Art.