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Juan de Villanueva
Gragera y Herboso, José
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Gragera y Herboso, José

Laredo (Spain), 1818 - Oviedo (Spain), 1897

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Juan de Villanueva

1878. Marble.
Room 100

Juan de Villanueva (1739-1811) is represented somewhat larger than life-size, dressed in late eighteenth-century style and covered with a cape. This enlightened architect designed the Prado Museum building, which was originally intended to be a Museum and Cabinet of Natural Sciences. The artist follows the same characteristics found in some of his other commemorative sculptures, such as those of the politician, Juan de Mendizábal, in the Plaza de Tirso de Molina, or that of the natural scientist, Rojas Clemente, in the Botanical Gardens. In the present bust, he concentrates all of his creative powers in an attempt to emulate the capacity of the architect represented there. This image, a bust on a pedestal with robes on his shoulders, is in keeping with neoclassical concepts. Esthetically, it clearly owes much to the busts of illustrious men made during the Renaissance and Baroque, which were in turn based on Roman sculptures.

Technical data

Related artworks

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Inventory number
Gragera y Herboso, José
Juan de Villanueva
Height: 115 cm; Width: 81 cm; Base/bottom: 50 cm; Weight: 324.4 Kg; Altura de la peana: 18 cm; Diameter of the base: 38 cm; Alto de una de las partes: 97 cm; Ancho de una de las partes: 81 cm; Fondo de una de las partes: 50 cm
Acquisition, 1878

Bibliography +

Gaceta de Madrid de 03/02/1875, Madrid, 1875.

Gaceta de Madrid de 12/03/1876, Madrid, 1876.

Pardo Canalis, Enrique, Vida y Arte de Jose Gragera, Instituto de Estudios Madrileños, Madrid, 1954, pp. 125.

Gaya Nuño, Juan Antonio, Madrid, Aries, Barcelona, 1966, pp. 178.

Museo Nacional del Prado, Catalogo de la Escultura, Museo del Prado, Madrid, 1969, pp. 223.

Blanco, Antonio; Lorente, Manuel, Catálogo de la escultura. Museo del Prado, Patronato Nacional de Museos, Madrid, 1981, pp. nº450.

Monleón Gavilanes, Pedro, Proyectos y obras para el Museo el Prado. Fuentes documentales para su historia, Museo del Prado, Madrid, 1996, pp. 197.

Reyero, Carlos, Escultura, museo y estado en la España del siglo XIX: histo..., Fundación Eduardo Capa,, 2002, pp. 232.

Azcue Brea, Leticia, La escultura española durante el Romanticismo: continuidad y cambios, El arte de la era romántica, Madrid, 2012, pp. 335-364 [355].

Other inventories +

Inv. Nuevas Adquisiciones, Escultura, 1856-96. Núm. 45.
45 / Autor Dn / Jose Gragera / En Marmol Busto de Villanueva (Arquitecto) / Alto Ancho // [En lápiz azul:] Prado (Paso al Museo del Prado fha 7 Mayo / 1878)

Inscriptions +

J- Gragera F- 1878.
On the back

Exhibitions +

History of the Museo del Prado and its Buildings
17.03.2021 - ...

Location +

Room 100 (Temporary Exhibition)

Exposición Temporal
Update date: 09-11-2021 | Registry created on 28-04-2015

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