Marinus, the fine print of an era | Prado Museum | Culture

Who has not seen a work by Marinus? Many, even without knowing that this Dutch painter who worked in the first half of the 16th century was the executing hand. This artist, of which the Prado Museum exhibits 10 works until June 13 in what is his first monographic exhibition, Marinus. Pintor de Reymerswale, It’s like that ad that you know by heart, but you don’t remember what it’s promoting; or that melody that is hummed without knowing where it was heard; or that actor who appears in so many films, but whose name is not remembered. Its money changers, treasurers and tax collectors have illustrated everything from textbooks to economics manuals, but little is known about its creator. Now that the Madrid art gallery has focused on him, EL PAÍS puts the magnifying glass on key details of his works that serve to outline his personality and a financial and commercial world that would lay the foundations of something that sounds much more familiar to all of us: the capitalism. Click on the boxed areas to discover more.

1. ‘The vocation of Saint Matthew’ (after 1536)

The theme of this work, belonging to the Museum of Fine Arts in Ghent, is one of the most recurrent by Marinus van Reymerswale: the moment when Mateo, a tax collector, becomes a disciple of Jesus Christ

2. ‘The vocation of Saint Matthew’ (around 1530)

Belonging to the Thyssen-Bornemisza in Madrid, its theme is interpreted as a call to a virtuous life: the repentance of the tax collector and his decision to abandon the luxury that surrounds him. Special attention deserves the rich clothes that Saint Matthew wears in the face of the austerity of Jesus

3. ‘The municipal treasurer’ (known as ‘Tax Collectors’, 1530)

In an office, an old man is seen pointing at a book, while, with the other hand, he counts coins. This treasurer is accompanied by another character who directly addresses the viewer by looking at him and pointing out the annotations (Hermitage Museum, Saint Petersburg)

4. ‘The tax collectors’ (around 1535)

This panel from the Parisian Louvre repeats the motif of two men in an interior with the same attitudes and elements as in the previous work

5. ‘The municipal treasurer and his wife’ (known as ‘The money changer and his wife’, 1538)

The Prado guards this table, one of the best known and most reproduced by the author. It has been in the royal collection since the 18th century and has been instrumental in the rediscovery of the work of Marinus

6. ‘The tax collector and his wife’ (known as ‘The money changer and his wife’, 1539)

This work was donated to the Prado in 1934 and is the second version of this theme in Spain; However, it is the work of Marinus of which there are oldest documentary references, since 1557. Only 18 years after the painter finished it, it is already among the possessions of Pedro Dávila y Zúñiga, first Marquis of Las Navas. Since then he has not lost track

7. ‘Saint Jerome in his study’ (1533)

This is the first work signed and signed by Marinus that we know of. It belongs to the Royal Academy of Fine Arts of San Fernando

8. ‘Saint Jerome in his study’ (1541)

The representation of Saint Jerome as an intellectual, translator of the Bible (like this one in the Prado), are common throughout the history of art

Marinus: Pintor de Reymerswale

Until June 13, 2021

Exhibition organized by


Drafting: Ruth de las Heras Bretin
Coordination: Francis Pasha
Design coordination: Adolfo Domenech
Development and Design: Rodolfo Mata and Juan Sánchez

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