El pintor de su deshonra

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El pintor de su deshonra ("The Painter of His Dishonor"), sometimes known as El pintor ("The Painter"), is a 1640s[1] play of the Spanish Golden Age theatre by Pedro Calderón de la Barca.[2] It is one of the author's three famous wife-murder plays, along with A secreto agravio, secreta venganza ("Secret Vengeance for Secret Insult") and El médico de su honra ("The Physician of His Honor"), where private revenge of an aggrieved husband, in this case a painter by the name of Juan Roca, ultimately becomes very public.[3]

This play departs from the other two honor tragedies in its concern with art. Here, Juan Roca is a solitary artist decides to take a young bride. He can never truly depict her in paint, since he feels cannot grasp her soul. During carnival, wanting to flee the noise and revelry, he tells his wife to dance with a masked man who turns out to be don Álvaro, her former lover who was thought to have drowned. During a fire, don Álvaro abducts Serafina. Although she never surrenders to his advances, the husband, upon finding her, believes her guilty. He had been sent to secretly paint this unknown woman. His commission was to paint a mythological subject, Hercules jealous of the abducted Deianira. In killing Serafina, the melancholy Juan Roca becomes the painter of his dishonor. Much of the criticism on this play centers on questions of art. [4] The play has also been studied in terms of the tragic and the political.[5] Its setting in Barcelona and the uses of the poetry of Juan Boscán has led some to see it as an homage to the Catalan poet.[6]

It has been translated into English several times, notably (and freely) by Edward FitzGerald and more recently by Alan K. G. Paterson.[7]


  1. ^ Cruickshank, Don W. (2009). Don Pedro Calderón. Cambridge University Press. p. 285. ISBN 978-1-107-41257-6. 
  2. ^ Jonathan Thacker A Companion to Golden Age Theatre p. 102 "El pintor is a particularly rich play"
  3. ^ Jeremy Robbin The Challenges of Uncertainty p. 123 "the irony of Calderon's three famous wife-murder plays (A secreto agravio, El medico and El pintor) is that private revenge ends up being made public"
  4. ^ Colahan, Clark., "Art and Imagination in Calderón’s El pintor de su deshonra, Bulletin of the Comediantes, 33 (1981), pp. 73-80; Laura Bass, "To Possess her in Paint: (Pro)creative Failure and Crisis in El pintor de su deshonra, Writing for the Eyes in the Spanish Golden Age, ed. Frederick A. de Armas, Lewisburg, Bucknell University Press, 2004, pp. 185-211.
  5. ^ Grace M. Burton, "Painting and Politics in El pintor de su deshonra, Bulletin of Hispanic Studies 94.5 (2017), pp. 745-70.
  6. ^ Frederick A. de Armas, "The Soundless Dance of the Passions: Boscán and Calderón's El pintor de su deshonra,” Modern Language Review, 87 (1992), pp. 858–67.
  7. ^ Pedro Calderón de la Barca The Painter of his Dishonour / El pintor de su deshonra, edited and translated by Alan K. G. Paterson. Warminster, Aris and Phillips, 1991