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Isabel Álvarez Montes, II Marchioness of Valderas and II Duchess of Castro Enríquez
Madrazo y Kuntz, Federico de
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Madrazo y Kuntz, Federico de

Roma, 1815 - Madrid, 1894

Miniatura autor

Isabel Álvarez Montes, II Marchioness of Valderas and II Duchess of Castro Enríquez

1868. Oil on canvas, 202 x 126 cm.

The numerous formal portraits painted by Federico over the course of his career -large-format works generally intended to hang in the capacious homes of Elizabethan aristocrats- include some of his most spectacular canvases. The present splendid work from the Museo del Prado dates from the artist’s fully mature period and is marked by a freer touch, a deep and rich use of paint and an attentively realistic approach to this genre at a time when it was fully integrated into Spanish painting. Shown full-length, the young woman wears a magnificent white tulle dress with blue silk adornments and a wide neck that leaves her shoulders uncovered. Her figure stands out in the semi-darkness of a luxurious room. Depicted at the age of twenty, she presents a rounded face with wide eyebrows and large features. Her adornments include a flower in her hair, pearl earrings and necklace, and thick, sumptuous bracelets, one of which has a medallion with the crowned initial of her title as Duchess of Castro Enríquez. This matches the oval brooch on her bosom. With one hand, she plays with one of her bracelets, while the other holds a lace handkerchief.

Despite the extraordinary delicacy with which the artist treats the tactile qualities of the model’s dress -the transparency of the tulle that drapes with abundant folds over her skirt, or the silk rosettes that adorn it- this portrait is resolved with a lively and summary technique that is almost sketchy in certain areas. This painterly effect may respond, at least in some parts, to the participation of the artist’s son, Raimundo, which is mentioned in Federico’s diary-datebook from 1868. There, he clearly records the progress of this portrait, which he painted in nine sessions between January 30 and April 9 of that year. In the first entries, he calls the model Señorita de Gaviria, due to her relation to Manuel de Gaviria y Alcoba, Marquis of Casa Gaviria and Count of Buena Esperanza. This nobleman was married to the model’s aunt, from whom she would later inherit the title of Duchess of Castro Enríquez.

Curiously, among the luxurious furnishings that adorn the setting and thus enhance the portrait’s appeal, Federico included, on a sumptuous console table in the background, the most famous piece of decorative metalwork from the Dauphin’s Treasure, a group of pieces that have been at the Museo del Prado since it was founded. The one visible here is an exquisite inlayed onyx and gold salt cellar, a French work from the first half of the 16th century that Madrazo may have copied from life, as he became director of the Museo del Prado in 1860 and thus had special access to its collections (Text drawn from Díez, J. L.: El siglo XIX en el Prado, Museo Nacional del Prado, 2007, pp. 182-184).

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Inventory number
P03089
Author
Madrazo y Kuntz, Federico de
Title
Isabel Álvarez Montes, II Marchioness of Valderas and II Duchess of Castro Enríquez
Date
1868
Technique
Oil
Support
Canvas
Dimension
High/Height: 202 cm.; Width: 126 cm.
Provenance
Legacy Maria Paz García de la Lama y Álvarez, 1964

Bibliography +

Museo Nacional del Prado, Principales adquisiciones de los últimos diez años: [1958-19, Madrid Museo del Prado, 1969, pp. 37.

Museo Nacional del Prado, Museo del Prado: catálogo de las pinturas, Madrid Museo del Prado, 1972.

Museo Nacional del Prado., Museo del Prado : catálogo de las pinturas /, Madrid Museo del Prado,, 1985, pp. 210-211.

Noticias. Nuevos depósitos. Oviedo. Museo de Bellas Artes : Museo del Prado., 1990, pp. 116.

Díez, José Luis1960-, Da Goya a Picasso. La Pittura Spagnola Dell'Ottocento, Milan Mazzotta, 1991.

Museo Nacional del Prado, Pintura española del siglo XIX: del neoclasicismo al moderni, Madrid Ministerio de Cultura, Dirección General de Cooper, 1992, pp. 124.

Díez, José Luis1960-, Federico de Madrazo y Kuntz (1815-1894), Madrid Museo Nacional del Prado, 1994, pp. 307-308 nº70; 451-425 nº 264.

Museo Nacional del Prado, Museo del Prado: inventario general de pinturas, Madrid Museo del PradoEspasa Calpe, 1996, pp. nº1881.

El siglo XIX en el Prado, Madrid : Museo Nacional del Prado, 2007, pp. 182/ lám.29.

Museo Nacional del Prado, Pintura del Siglo XIX en el Museo del Prado : catálogo general Museo Nacional del Prado, 2015, pp. 369.

Other inventories +

Inv. Nuevas Adquisiciones (desde 1856). Núm. 1881.
Autor, Federico de Madrazo / 1881. Asunto, Retrato de la duquesa de Castro Enriquez / Número del Catálogo, 3089 / Legado al Museo en 1964 por doña María Paz García de la Loma y Álvarez

Catálogo Museo del Prado, 1972. Núm. 3089.

Exhibitions +

Pintura española del siglo XIX. Del neoclasicismo al modernismo
Bilbao
03.04.1992 - 17.05.1992

Pintura española del Siglo XIX: de Goya a Picasso
Milán
18.10.1991 - 08.01.1992

Location +

Room 062B (On Display)

Update date: 15-12-2015 | Registry created on 28-04-2015

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