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Bouquet of flowers with blue and white ribbon
Paret y Alcázar, Luis
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Paret y Alcázar, Luis

Madrid (Spain), 1746 - Madrid (Spain), 1799

Paret y Alcázar, Luis See author's file

Bouquet of flowers with blue and white ribbon

1780 - 1785. Oil on canvas.
Room 039

These two Bouquets of flowers (P001043 and P001042) perfectly exemplify Paret’s mastery in truthfully and beautifully representing nature, as well as his ability to execute compositions in which the harmony of shapes, colour and light emphasise the pleasure of contemplation. The smooth modelling as well as the detailed and thorough depiction of the different flower species – achieved through the artist’s remarkable technical prowess, use of a wide range of colours and observation of the reflections from life – confer upon the flowers a palpable quality and extraordinary delicacy and freshness. These paintings hold a prominent position among European still lifes.

The paintings were documented in 1818 in the Royal Collection. Alfonso E. Pérez Sánchez thought they might have come from the collection of Prince Charles (the future Charles IV, King of Spain) located in the Casita del Príncipe at El Escorial. Nevertheless, the absence of the inscription ‘Pe. Nro. Sor.’ (Prince Our Lord) on the back of the original canvases – which is not unusual in works from that collection – casts doubt on this hypothesis. It seems more plausible that the works were acquired by Charles IV in 1807 and, as Andrés Sánchez López stated, correspond to the ‘two flower arrangements by Paret’ in the inventory of the 156 paintings in the collection of the royal gilder Andrés del Peral.

Despite the fact that both paintings were conceived as a pair, each one has been signed. One of them, Bouquet of flowers with a blue and white ribbon, bears the artist’s elegant signature – towards which a rosebud leans – traced with a brush and yellow pigment to the right of the ribbon. The other bears the initial of Paret’s name in white in the same place, the rest of which is depicted in a less visible tone nearly blending in with the background. The first of the bouquets was most certainly intended to be placed to the left of its companion, judging by the orientation of the main flowers in both paintings, which point towards each other. Alfonso E. Pérez Sánchez and Juan J. Luna (2008–11) rightly dated them to Paret’s Bilbao period on account of his technique and the outline of the flowers, which can be compared to those in the portraits of the artist’s wife and daughters from 1783 and in the painting Virgin Mary with Child and James the Great from 1786. There is also a possibility that the painter sent them to Madrid without frames, planning for them be manufactured there with gilded spandrels. This idea can be inferred by the ochre colour of the canvas spandrels. They may have been left in the hands of the gilder Andrés del Peral upon the decease of the recipient, who may have been the Infante Don Luis.

Paret’s originality can be perceived in the design of oval spaces for the flower arrangements, which was unusual in this genre of painting. He may have been inspired by the garlands framing religious scenes or vanitas in 17th-century paintings, such as those by Brueghel the Elder or Bartolomé Pérez in the Royal Collection. Another unusual detail in paintings on this subject is the absence of containers, namely glasses or vases of water to hold the bouquets. Paret may have taken the idea of representing the flowers tied with silk ribbons and showing the ends of their branches cut-off from the 11 etchings of flower bouquets in the Recueil de différents bouquets de fleurs, inventé et dessiné par Jean Pillement, et gravé par P. C. Canot, published in 1760 in London and Paris and republished in 1767. In addition, on its cover, the title of the series is framed by a garland of flowers. These flower bouquets recall those of the Spanish painter in their detail and their elegant composition, even though Paret outshone the French artist in evoking the freshness of freshly cut flowers and (with a hint of melancholy) their transience.

Maurer, Gudrun, 'Luis Paret y Alcázar. Ramillete de flores con lazo blanquiazul' En:. Paret, Madrid, Museo Nacional del Prado, 2022, p.142-143 nº 31


Technical data

Related artworks

Inventory number
Paret y Alcázar, Luis
Bouquet of flowers with blue and white ribbon
1780 - 1785
Height: 40.4 cm; Width: 35.5 cm
Andrés del Peral Collection (?); acquired by King Charles IV, 1807 (?); Royal Collection (Casita del Príncipe, El Escorial, Madrid; Aranjuez Palace, Madrid, queen’s boudoir, 1818, No. 306).

Bibliography +

Cavestany, Julio, Pintores españoles de flores, Arte Español / Revista Española de Arte, 6, 1922, pp. 124-135 [131-132].

Cavestany, Julio, Floreros y bodegones en la pintura española: catalogo ilustr, Sociedad Española de Amigos del Arte, Madrid, 1936, pp. 98.

Aguilera, Emiliano M., Pintores españoles del siglo XVIII, Iberia Joaquin Gil, Barcelona, 1946, pp. 18.

Gaya Nuño, Juan Antonio, Luis Paret y Alcázar, Boletín Sociedad Española de Excursiones, LVI, 1952, pp. 87-153 [144].

Lafuente Ferrari, Enrique, Breve historia de la pintura española, Tecnos, Madrid, 1953, pp. 396.

Delgado, O., Paret y Alcázar, Universidad de Puerto Rico. Instituto Diego Velázquez, C.S.I.C., 1957, pp. nº 28.

Ars hispaniae: historia universal del arte hispánico, Plus Ultra, Madrid, 1965, pp. 238.

Salas, Xavier de, Museo del Prado. Catálogo de las pinturas, Museo del Prado, Madrid, 1972.

La nature morte de Brueghel a Soutine, Galerie des Beaux-Arts, Burdeos, 1978, pp. nº128.

Pérez Sánchez, Alfonso E., Panorama de la pintura española desde los Reyes Católicos a Goya, Servicio de Publicaciones del Instituto de Cooperación Iberoamericana, Buenos Aires, 1980, pp. 122.

Pérez Sánchez, Alfonso E., Pintura española de bodegones y floreros de 1600 a Goya, Ministerio de Cultura, Madrid, 1983, pp. 173 nº 159.

Luna, Juan J., Guia Actualizada del Prado, Alfiz, Madrid, 1984, pp. 103.

Luna, J.J., Miscelánea sobre bodegones. De Meléndez a Goya, Goya: Revista de Arte, 183, 1984, pp. 151-157.

Museo Nacional del Prado, Catálogo de las pinturas, Museo del Prado, Madrid, 1985, pp. 489-490.

Pérez Sánchez, Alfonso E. (1935-2010)), La nature morte espagnole du XVII sièecle a Goya /, Office du Livre ; Vilo, París, 1987, pp. 192/ lám.201.

Museo Nacional del Prado, Museo del Prado. Inventario general de pinturas (I) La Colección Real, Museo del Prado, Espasa Calpe, Madrid, 1990.

Luis Paret y Alcazar, 1746-1799, Servicio Central de Publicaciones del Gobierno Vasco, Vitoria-Gasteiz, 1991, pp. 186-192.

Pérez Sánchez, Alfonso E., Pintura Española de Bodegones y Floreros, The National Museum of Western Art, Tokio, 1992, pp. nº57.

Museo Nacional del Prado, La belleza de lo real: floreros y bodegones españoles en el, Museo del Prado, Madrid, 1995, pp. 125-127.

Jordan, William B., Spanish Still Life From Velazquez To Goya, National Gallery, Londres, 1995, pp. 164.

Morales y Marín, José Luis, Luis Paret, vida y obra, Aneto Publicaciones, Zaragoza, 1997, pp. 124.

Milicua, José, El bodegón español: de Zurbarán a Picasso, Fundación Bilbao Bizkaia KutxaMuseo de Bellas Arte, Bilbao, 1999.

Natures mortes de Sánchez Cotán a Goya a l'entorn de la col...., Museu Nacional d'Art de Cataluny, Barcelona, 2007, pp. nº45.

Luna, Juan J., El bodegón español en el Prado: de Van der Hamen a Goya, Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid, 2008, pp. 126/127.

Sánchez López, Andrés, La pintura de bodegones y floreros en España en el siglo XVIII, Fundación Arte Hispánico, Madrid, 2008, pp. 186-190, 626.

Maurer, G., Goya: lo bello y lo recóndito. En: La belleza encerrada: de Fra Angelico a Fortuny, Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid, 2013, pp. 333.

Mena Marqués, M.; Albarrán, V., La belleza encerrada: de Fra Angelico a Fortuny, folleto, Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid, 2013, pp. 47 n.206-n.207.

Mena Marqués, M.; Albarrán, V., Azúa, F. de, La belleza cautiva. Pequeños tesoros del Museo del Prado, Museo del Prado - Obra Social ''La Caixa'', Barcelona, 2014, pp. 168.

Prado captive beauty: treasures from the Prado Museum, Mitsubishi Ichigokan Museum, 2015, pp. n.79.

Mena, M. Barba, E, Luis Paret y Alcázar, 1746-1799: El Triunfo del Amor sobre la Guerra. Donación Alicia Koplowitz, Bilboko Arte Ederren Museoa Museo de Bellas Artes de Bilbao., 2018, pp. 39-42.

Martínez Plaza, Pedro J., El gabinete de descanso de sus majestades, Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid, 2019.

ALba, L. García Maíquez, J. Gayo, M.D, Jover de Celis, M. Merino Gorospe, J.L, 'Aportaciones al estudio técnico de las obras de Paret' En:, Paret, Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid, 2022, pp. 47-63 [49,50,52,56].

Maurer, Gudrun, 'Luis Paret y Alcázar. Ramillete de flores con lazo blanquiazul' En:, Paret, Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid, 2022, pp. 142-143 nº 31.

Barba, Eduardo, 'Luis Paret y Alcázar. Rosas, claveles y alhelíes: una ofrenda para la vista y el olfato, Paret, Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid, 2022, pp. 143-151.

Other inventories +

Inv. Real Museo, 1857. Núm. 1967.
Luis Paret (Firmado) / 1967. Un florero. / Alto 1 pie, 5 pulg; ancho 1 pie, 4 pulg.

Inv. Fernando VII, Aranjuez, 1814-1818. Núm. 306.
Tocador de la Reyna [...] {20811} 306 / dos quartas alto tercia ancho florero = Paret

Catálogo Museo del Prado, 1872-1907. Núm. 937.
937.-Florero. Alto 0,39. Ancho 0.37.-Lienzo.-(Compañero del anterior.) / Dentro de un óvalo, un ramo de rosas, amapolas reales, narcisos, etc., y por remate dos tulipanes. Atado con una cinta blanca listada de azul.-Firmado.

Inscriptions +

L. Parét. fect.
Inscribed in white. Front, Lower right area

Inscribed in orange. Front, lower right corner

Inscribed in white. Front, lower right corner

Exhibitions +

COPIA DE - Paret
24.05.2022 - 21.08.2022

24.05.2022 - 21.08.2022

Their Majesties’ Retiring Room
09.04.2019 - 12.10.2021

Goya y la corte ilustrada
14.02.2018 - 28.05.2018

Goya y la corte ilustrada
27.09.2017 - 21.01.2018

Captive Beauty. Treasures from The Prado Museum
10.10.2015 - 31.01.2016

Captive Beauty. Small Treasures at the Prado Museum
16.07.2014 - 05.01.2015

Captive Beauty. Fra Angelico to Fortuny
21.05.2013 - 10.11.2013

El bodegón español en el Prado
24.03.2011 - 26.06.2011

El bodegón español en el Prado
11.03.2010 - 06.06.2010

El bodegón español en el Prado
12.10.2009 - 14.02.2010

El bodegón español en el Prado
25.06.2009 - 20.09.2009

El bodegón español en el Prado
31.03.2009 - 31.05.2009

El bodegón español en el Prado
24.09.2008 - 30.11.2008

El bodegón español. de Zurbarán a Picasso
03.12.1999 - 19.04.2000

Spanish still life. Painting from Sánchez Cotán to Goya
22.02.1995 - 21.05.1995

Luis Paret y Alcázar
12.12.1991 - 31.01.1992

Location +

Room 039 (On Display)


Displayed objects +

Textile: Cinta

Update date: 23-11-2022 | Registry created on 28-04-2015

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