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A Sybil
Blanco, Enrique -Lithographer- (After Velázquez, Diego Rodríguez de Silva y); Madrazo y Agudo, José de -Director-; Real Establecimiento Litográfico de Madrid -Printer-
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Blanco, Enrique -Lithographer- (After Velázquez, Diego Rodríguez de Silva y)
Madrazo y Agudo, José de
Santander (Spain), 1781 - Madrid (Spain), 1859
Real Establecimiento Litográfico de Madrid
Madrid (Spain), 1825 - Madrid (Spain), 1837

A Sybil

1829 - 1832. Lithographic aquatint, Crayon lithography, Scraper on wove paper. Not on display

The Company for the engraving of the paintings from the Royal Palaces was one of the Spanish Enlightenment’s major undertakings during the second half of the 18th century. It supervised the reproduction of prints of paintings from the Royal Collections and its early projects were carried out by Francisco de Goya, who reproduced some of Velázquez’s paintings in 1778, and by Juan Barcelón and Nicolás Barsanti, who reproduced The Labors of Hercules after the fresco that Luca Giordano had painted between 1777 and 1785.

On November 16, 1789, Charles IV authorized the founding of the Company for the engraving of paintings from the Royal Palaces in order to spread knowledge of the wealth of the Royal Collections in a manner comparable to other European countries. This private enterprise received royal protection and its partners were noblemen from Madrid, including the Duke of Osuna and José Nicolás de Azara, who contacted the French and Italian engravers charged with the task. At first, the artistic direction was handled by Manuel Salvador Carmona and Francisco Bayeu, who respectively supervised engravings and drawings. According to the collection’s Subscription Plan, the prints were published in series of six issues, beginning in February 1794. The price for subscribers was 288 reals per issue, while non-subscribers were charged 360 reals. An additional “100 prints without words” were pulled and these were sold at twice the price of the others (Continuación del Memorial Literario, intructivo y curioso de la Corte de Madrid. Vol. I, [August], Imprenta Real, 1793, pp. 257-63).

Flagging sales and increasing costs gradually weakened the Company’s economic stability, calling for increased private support. The poor quality of the drawings and their predominantly religious subject matter, as Azara argued, as well as a certain degree of disorganization- an absence of order or classification, as well as unequal formats -made it difficult to bind these prints or to hang them together in cabinets, and all this led the project into bankruptcy in barely ten years. In 1800, it was proposed to the king that Calcografía Nacional defray the project’s costs, and in 1812 the plates and other materials were deposited at the Royal Press. Finally, in 1818, the plates themselves entered Calcografía Nacional (Vega, J., Museo del Prado. Catálogo de estampas, Museo del Prado, 1992, pp. 222-223).

In all, 74 copper plates were engraved from a total of 95 drawings commissioned for the collection. Calcografía Nacional received 50 plates, including the 24 that had already been published by the Company and 26 more. The remaining 24 had actually been engraved, but the engravers had never delivered them to the Company (Carrete, J., El grabado calcográfico en la España Ilustrada, 1978, pp. 28-31).


Technical data

Related artworks

A Sybil
Oil on canvas, Ca. 1632
A Sybil
Lithographic aquatint on wove paper, 1832 - 1836
A Sybil
Lithographic aquatint on wove paper, 1832 - 1836
Inventory number
Blanco, Enrique -Lithographer- (After Velázquez, Diego Rodríguez de Silva y); Madrazo y Agudo, José de -Director-; Real Establecimiento Litográfico de Madrid -Printer-
A Sybil
1829 - 1832
Lithographic aquatint; Crayon lithography; Scraper
Wove paper
Height: 627 mm.; Width: 470 mm.; Alto segundo soporte: 750 mm.; Ancho segundo soporte: 540 mm.; Alto de la mancha: 293 mm.; Ancho de la mancha: 236 mm.
“Colección litográfica de cuadros del rey de España el señor don Fernando VII”, Madrid, Real Establecimiento litográfico, 1829-1832, t. II
Collection Edward Gordon Douglas-Pennant, I barón Penrhyn de Llandegai (1800-1886), Reino Unido; herederos de Edward Gordon Douglas-Pennant, Reino Unido; Eduardo Moreda; Artemis Fine Arts Limited, Londres; Acquired by the Museo del Prado, 2000

Bibliography +

Biblioteca Nacional de España, Repertorio de grabados españoles en la Biblioteca Nacional, Ministerio de Cultura, Secretaría General Técnica, 1981, pp. 134, n. 281-1, vol. 1.

Origen de la litografía en España: el Real Establecimiento L..., Fábrica Nacional de Moneda y Timbre, 1990, pp. 372, 175.

Museo Nacional del Prado., Museo del Prado: catálogo de estampas, Museo del Prado,, 1992, pp. 256, 1281.

Velázquez en blanco y negro, Museo del Prado, Madrid, 2000, pp. 94-104 y p. 212.

Obras adscritas al Museo Nacional del Prado en el año 2000, Boletín del Museo del Prado, XIX, 2001, pp. 204.

Fábulas de Velázquez: mitología e Historia Sagrada en el Siglo de Oro, Museo Nacional del Prado, 2007, pp. 329-330.

Copied by the Sun: Talbotype Illustrations to the Annals of..., 1, Museo Nacional del Prado,, Madrid, 2016, pp. 182, n. 24.5.

Other inventories +

Inv. Nuevas Adquisiciones (iniciado en 1856). Núm. 2563.

There are no temporary exhibitions related to this work

Update date: 02-05-2019 | Registry created on 29-06-2016

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