N is for Navarrete

Today in the A to Z Challenge

We are up to the letter N


N is for Navarrete


Juan Fernandez Navarrete

called El Mudo, because he was deaf and did not speak as a result



St. Peter and St. Paul      (1577)

Inner vision spoke

 Let the work do the talking

Patrons were in sync




Juan Fernandez de Navarrete was born in the beautiful town of Navarre, Spain near the mountain range of the Pyrenees. He was called El Mudo (the mute) since childhood. He lost his hearing at the age of three and never learned to talk. Juan’s amazing drawings skills became evident when he began communicating his needs by drawing them out with charcoal on paper. The young artist never allowed his disabilities to hamper his dreams or ambitions and allowed his art to become his voice. Way to communicate! And in the process he left a masterful legacy.

He went to Italy to be absorbed by the culture and the art scene.  I guess at the time Italy was where everyone went, France was not yet the rock star it later became when it came to art. Navarrete spent several years studying under Italian Master Titian in Venice.  In 1568 he became the official court painter to monarch Philip II of Spain. Education – received basic instruction from Fray Vicente de Santo Domingo, studied under Titian in Venice, Italy  Stylistically influenced by the following painters – Titian and Andrea del Sarto.

The paintings of Navarrete are rare. He was prolific but several were burned, lost or simply painted over by lesser artists. Navarrete major art-works were Nativity, Abraham and the Three Angels, and Baptism of Christ, 1568, now at the Museo  del  Prado in Madrid, Spain. He became known as the Spanish Titian and died in Toledo, Spain from Tubercolosis.

I have never heard of Juan Fernendez de Navarrete but he is an inspiration. Accomplishing what he did during the period he lived was amazing.







a to z

2 responses to “N is for Navarrete

  1. Hi Jazzy – I hadn’t heard of Navarette – how interesting to find out about him. Wonderful he could communicate through his drawing and ultimate his paintings. So sad many of his works have been lost … so thanks for telling us about him – cheers Hilary


    • I just learned about him in preparing for this post. Alexander Brooks Jackson’s work suffered the same fate. Lost, not much on the net. Digging paintings up on these two was similar to my dig for female painters during the impressionist period.


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