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Boletín del Museo del Prado

Latest boletín

NUMBER 52 | 2016

The Museo del Prado publishes a new issue of the Boletín del Museo del Prado. This is an important publication that serves to present to the academic community and the general public the outcome of new research on works in its collections and on related topics in the field of Art History, as well as on the history of the Museum.

This number contains the following articles:

Contextualising the Prado’s Hypnos: a hypothesis

Graziella Becatti

Until the nineteenth century, the statue of Hypnos held by the Prado Museum was thought to represent the Roman god Mercury. Its provenance is unknown, although occasional sixteenth-century documents make reference to the existence of the masterpiece within Renaissance collections of Roman antiquities. Evidence also exists that suggests the Hypnos may have been located in the imperial Palatine Palace during ancient Roman times.

Cardinal Quiroga’s Artistic Relations with Italy: A Venetian Portrait in the Prado Collections

Cloe Cavero de Carondelet

This brief article presents the Prado collection’s newly identified portrait of Cardinal Gaspar de Quiroga. The subject of this portrait has traditionally been identified as Cardinal Andrea of Austria, most likely due to his family’s connections with the Spanish monarchy. However, careful examination of both prelates’ likenesses and an investigation into their artistic interests has resulted in a reassessment. The identification of the sitter establishes this as the first-known preserved Italian artwork relating to Cardinal Quiroga, and thereby opens up new lines of enquiry for research into his profile as an art patron and collector.

Finding Clara: Establishing the Biographical Details of Clara Peeters (ca. 1587–after 1636)

Jean Bastiaensen

This article is the first to shed light on the life of Antwerp painter Clara Peeters. Analysis of the existing literature and studies of untapped archival pieces led to the discovery that Clara Peeters could be one Clara Lamberts, born into the third generation of a family of painters in Mechelen around 1587, and later becoming the wife of the painter Henrick II Peeters. The author has found possible evidence that her studio may have been in Antwerp, where she painted the majority of her works. Clara Peeters-Lamberts most likely died in Ghent sometime after 1636.

News on the Prado Museum’s eight Real Laboratorio de Piedras Duras Console Tables

María Teresa Cruz Yábar

Until recently, the Prado Museum’s eight gilt-bronze and pietre dure (semi-precious stonework) console tables have been dated to 1774, but new research proposes a slightly later date of 1779. Several contemporary newspaper articles as well as documents from various Spanish archives provide fresh information relating to the start and end dates of five of the tables, and offer new details relating to the other three. Charles-Joseph Flipart’s six preparatory models for the boards, five of which were recently purchased by the Prado Museum, provide further evidence of likely dates of the tables’ manufacture.

From English Gentleman to Spanish hidalgo: Frank Hall Standish (1799–1840) and his Spanish Art Collection

Xanthe Brooke

Frank Hall Standish lived in Seville between around 1830 and 1840, during which time he created one of the foremost collections of Spanish art in the city, acquiring some 240 paintings and over 260 drawings – mostly by Spanish masters such as Murillo, Velazquez and Zurbaran. He befriended resident diplomats such as the British vice-consul Julian Benjamin Williams, from whom he acquired some of his collection, and authored several publications, including a travel book on the countries of the Mediterranean, and another on the art and antiquities of Spain (specifically, the art collections of Seville and its hinterlands), which was published shortly before his death in 1840. In the same year, he bequeathed his collection to the French king Louis Philippe I; by 1842 it had been installed as the ‘Musee Standish’ on the top floors of the Louvre, alongside the recently established Galerie Espagnole. Standish’s collection was sold at auction in 1842 and 1853. This article discusses some of its works, and identifies their present locations.

Federico de Madrazo’s Giovanna la Pazza fashion plates for the actress Adelaide Ristori

Juan Ramón Sánchez del Peral y López

This is a new contribution to the catalogue of drawings by Federico de Madrazo y Kuntz (1815–1894) and his output as a designer of fashion plates. Two unpublished letters, preserved in the Prado Museum archive, document Madrazo’s collaboration with the Italian actress Adelaide Ristori (‘the Marquise’, 1822–1906) for a Spanish production of the play Giovanna la Pazza. The letters confirm the Spanish painter as the designer of several theatrical costumes now preserved by the Adelaide Ristori Fund at the Museo Biblioteca dell’Attore in Genoa, Italy. They also establish links between the fashion plates and two drawings and a photograph in the Prado Museum.

Cecilio Pizarro, Editorial Illustrator. The Prado Museum’s Album of Drawings

Gloria Solache Vilela

During the nineteenth century the publishing world underwent significant transformation. New printing presses, capable of producing low-cost publications illustrated with woodcuts to meet the demands of an ever-growing middle class, meant that the work of publishers and printers increased exponentially as the century progressed. Spain was no exception, and from the 1840s, cartoonists and engravers had the opportunity to develop their skills extensively. In this context, an album of almost 300 illustrations by Cecilio Pizarro, acquired by the Prado Museum in 2004, provides an insight into the artist’s creative process as he formed ideas prior to engraving. Covering the period between 1840 and 1873, the album spans the era of the woodcut’s boom in popularity as a medium in Spain, its domination coming to an end with the introduction of photomechanical reproduction processes towards the end of the century.

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