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Cardinal-Infante Luis Antonio de Borbón as a Boy
Ranc, Jean
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Ranc, Jean

Montpellier (France), 1674 - Madrid (Spain), 1735

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Cardinal-Infante Luis Antonio de Borbón as a Boy

Ca. 1731. Oil on canvas. Room 021

Son of Philip V and Isabel Farnese, Louis Antonio of Bourbon was born July 25, 1727, became archbishop of Toledo on September 9, 1735, and became cardinal on December 9 of that year. In 1739, he also assumed the archbishopric of Seville. Regardless of his high ecclesiastical rank, he lacked the interest or capacity to carry out such activities, and led a life of hunting and pleasure unsuitable to his position. He resigned from the cardinalate and the administration of both archdioceses in 1754 to lead a comfortable, wealthy existence. In the court of his stepbrother, Ferdinand VI, he could stay current on various matters and then inform his mother, then in official retirement at the Palace of La Granja at San Ildefonso. When his brother Charles III took the throne, his adventures earned the new King´s disapproval. Charles III even exiled those who had supported the Infante in his activities, including the painter Luis Paret y Alcázar. On July 27, 1776, the Infante entered into a marriage with María Theresa de Vallabriga, who was below his station. Removed from court, they took up residence in Velada and Arenas de San Pedro. As art patrons they amassed a great collection and commissioned architects, sculptors and painters; the Infante was one of the great protectors of Goya. He died on August 7, 1785, leaving his widow with three young children: the future Cardinal Louis María of Bourbon, the Countess of Chinchón and the Duchess of San Fernando de Quiroga.

Ranch has painted the Infante at the age of four, in an artificial architectural oval with a trompe l´oeil effect, fairly realistic owing to the molding´s unfinished look. The supporting pedestal´s form evokes the appearance of etchings of the time. The boy wears an elegant jacket embroidered with white branching, which gives him a mature air. He displays the band of Saint-Esprit and holds a hat; his hand is supported by a table covered in a decorative tablecloth; a droll black dog serves as a slight correction to the rigor of the compositional formula. The simple background is animated by conventional tasseled drapes.

This must belong to a series of portraits rendered in Seville in 1731 which were formerly attributed to Michel-Ange Houasse. It has the hallmarks of Ranc: care, precision, and an interpretative grace that avoids and overly hieratic treatment. Two copies of this picture exist. One in Florence in the collection of Count Bino Sanminiatelli; the other in a private Spanish collection. (Text drawn from Luna Fernández, Juan J., The Majesty of Spain, Jackson, Mississippi, 2001, p. 51).

The Majesty of Spain. Royal Collections From the Museo del P, Jackson, Mississipi Commission For Internati, 2001, p.51

Technical data

Inventory number
Ranc, Jean
Cardinal-Infante Luis Antonio de Borbón as a Boy
Ca. 1731
Height: 105 cm.; Width: 84 cm.
Royal Collection (Furriera del Rey-Casas arzobispales, salón principal, 1747, nº 262; Palacio del Buen Retiro, Madrid, cuarto del príncipe, 1772, nº 262; Buen Retiro, 1794, nº 612).

Bibliography +

Inventario Nuevo Palacio Real 1772., Madrid, 1772, pp. nº13297(305).

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

Museo Nacional del Prado, Museo del Prado. Catálogo de las pinturas, Museo del Prado, Madrid, 1985, pp. 532.

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

Goya y el Infante Don Luis de Borbon. Homenaje a la Infanta, Ibercaja, Zaragoza, 1996, pp. 138.

El Real Sitio de La Granja de San Ildefonso: retrato y escena del rey, Patrimonio Nacional; El Viso, Madrid, 2000, pp. 327.

The Majesty of Spain. Royal Collections From the Museo del P, Mississipi Commission For Internati, Jackson, 2001, pp. 51.

El arte en la corte de Felipe V, Fundación Caja Madrid Patrimonio Nacional Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid, 2002, pp. 443.

Aterido Fernández, Ángel, Colecciones de pinturas de Felipe V e Isabel Farnesio: inventarios reales, II, Fundación de Apoyo de la Historia, Madrid, 2004, pp. 449.

Paredes, C., Album familiar. En: Calvo Serraller, F. Goya y el Infante Don Luis: el exilio y el reino : arte y ciencia en la época de la Ilustración española, Patrimonio Nacional, Madrid, 2012, pp. 132, n. 13.

Other inventories +

Inv. Felipe V, Furriera del Rey, 1747. Núm. 262.
Salon prâl. [...] Ottro Rettratto del sr Ynfantte cardenal niño de vara y quartta de Caida y vara de ancho con un Perro en la mano original de Ranc en mil y doscienttos Reales de vellon

Inv. Carlos III, Buen Retiro, 1772. Núm. 262.
Quarto del Principe [...] {14494 - 14495} 262 - 263 / Dos retratos medio cuerpo en obalo el señor Infante don Luis quando niño y la señora Infanta Delfina vara y quarta de alto vara de ancho = Ranc

Inv. Testamentaría Carlos III, Buen Retiro, 1794. Núm. 612.
Otra [pintura] de Guas, con el retrato del Ynfante Dn. Felipe niño, de vara y quarta de alto, marco dorado, vº. de aº. ...200

Catálogo Museo del Prado, 1854-1858. Núm. 1028.

Inv. Real Museo, 1857. Núm. 1028.
Hovasse (Miguel Ángel) / 1028. Retrato del infante don Felipe, duque de Parma, niño. / Representado dentro de un ovalo de piedra, con casaca bordada, pelucón enpolvado y banda azul. Tiene en las manos un perrito y un sombrero con plumas. / Alto 3 pies, 8 pulg; ancho 3 pies.

Catálogo Museo del Prado, 1872-1907. Núm. 1998.

Catálogo Museo del Prado, 1910. Núm. 2265.

Catálogo Museo del Prado, 1942-1996. Núm. 2265.

Exhibitions +

Charles III in hunting Dress by Francisco de Goya. Connections and differences
19.12.2016 - 12.06.2017

Goya y el Infante Don Luis: el exilio y el reino
22.10.2012 - 24.02.2013

El arte en la corte de Felipe V
30.10.2002 - 26.01.2003

Tha majesty of spain. Royal collections from the Museo del Prado & patrimonio nacional (La majestad de España)
Jackson MS
01.03.2001 - 03.09.2001

El Real Sitio de La Granja de San Ildefonso. retrato y escena del rey
La Granja
15.06.2000 - 15.10.2000

Goya y el infante Don Luis
14.10.1996 - 30.12.1996

Location +

Room 021 (On Display)


Displayed objects +

Order of the Holy Ghost

Update date: 04-06-2020 | Registry created on 28-04-2015

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