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Play Rehearsal
Paret y Alcázar, Luis
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Paret y Alcázar, Luis

Madrid, 1746 - Madrid, 1799

Paret y Alcázar, Luis See author's file

Play Rehearsal

1772 - 1773. Oil on canvas Room 093

With its delicate, highly individual style, the work of Luis Paret y Alcázar, an artist whose family was of French origin, unambiguously represents the French Rococo in Spanish art. The career of this erudite painter, who perfected his extraordinary humanistic training in Italy, nevertheless did not benefit from official commissions. Between 1774 and 1785, he worked in the service of the infante Don Luis, Count of Chinchón, who had been banished from the royal court by his brother King Charles III because of his morganatic marriage to a member of the lesser nobility in Aragon. Supposedly implicated in an amorous scandal instigated by Don Luis, Paret was exiled to Puerto Rico in 1775. When he returned three years later, he settled first in Bilbao and then in Madrid in 1787, where he was placed in charge of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts´ architectural division. In the present work, a curtain has been pulled back to reveal a delicately lit interior, adorned with a painting of a bull-fighting scene and furnished with a mirror-topped table and rug, whose design appears to reproduce a map of Europe. Several people have gathered in this intimate atmosphere, each wearing costumes from different periods and cultures and who, it would seem, are preparing to rehearse one of the theatre pieces that were often spontaneously organised in private homes in the eighteenth century. On the left, a couple dressed in old Spanish fashion are engaged in an intense tête-à-tête, metaphorically echoed by the brazier´s glowing embers nearby. The lady´s evident sadness suggests that the gentleman is taking his leave, perhaps because he must set out on a military campaign. The sword and the fold in the rug mark a dividing line between the lovers and the figures on the right, who wear current fashion and pay no attention to the couple. Indeed, the seated woman at the centre of the image, who seems to be the lady of the house and wears a folk costume from La Mancha, is completely absorbed in coquettish conversation with the young man dressed as a majo (a denizen of a working-class neighbourhood in Madrid). The majo points with his toe to a place on the map in the rug that might represent Istanbul, the major city of the Ottoman Empire since it was conquered by the Turks in 1453. The young man has also attracted the attention of the little child and its mother, who is dressed in the French style with her head covered in a mantilla for strolling outdoors, and who also points to the Turkish city with her fan. The eastern headdress with a transparent gauze veil, worn by the woman in the background, also belongs to the world of the Turkish Empire, as do the turban -with which the woman standing behind the table occupies herself- and the accessories being exchanged by the elegant couple on the right. Eighteenth-century fashion and theatre were characterised by a fascination with the East, which was considered exotic and admired for its sensuality and its customs, viewed by Western Europeans as eccentric. This attraction to the East had replaced people´s past fears of the Ottoman Empire, which had waned as the Turks suffered various important defeats, including the emblematic naval battle of Lepanto in 1571, the major defeat at Vienna in 1683, and the Battle of Chesma (Turkish Çesme) in 1770 during the Russo-Turkish War, which marked the beginning of the end of the Empire´s ability to seriously threaten other European powers. In the theatre of Spain´s Golden Age, represented in Paret´s painting by the couple on the left, the theme of conflict between Christians and Muslims served to reinforce values defended by Church, Crown and nobility. By contrast, in the eighteenth century the East was either a subject of ridicule or romanticised, in works like Jean-Philippe Rameau´s opera-ballet Les Indes galantes (1736), the first act of which extols the noble character of the sultan. Here, it seems that Paret has taken advantage of the change in attitude toward foreign lands, and especially the East, in order to portray -with a touch of irony- contemporary Spanish society and the mixture of social classes and their new customs, which had emerged as a result of the conflict between the national and the foreign, manifested primarily in the contrast between the world of the majos and the French styles introduced to Spain by the Bourbon dynasty. The couple in contemporary Spanish folk dress at the centre of the painting relate thematically to the couple on the left in archaic costumes, emphasising the difference in their comportment, while the oriental costumes may be compared with those in French dress, who would be considered no less foreign (Text drawn from Maurer, G. in: Portrait of Spain. Masterpieces from the Prado, Queensland Art Gallery-Art Exhibitions Australia, 2012, p. 188).

Multimedia

Technical data

Inventory number
P002991
Author
Paret y Alcázar, Luis
Title
Play Rehearsal
Date
1772 - 1773
Technique
Oil
Support
Canvas
Dimension
Height: 38 cm.; Width: 51 cm.
Provenance
Acquired from William Hallsborugh Ltd. Old Masters, London, 1956.

Bibliography +

Noticias sobre arte. Adquisiciones del Museo del Prado, Goya: Revista de Arte, 20, 1957, pp. 130.

Gaya Nuño, J. A., Actualidad de Luis Paret, Goya: Revista de arte, 22, Madrid, 1958, pp. 210-211.

Puente, Joaquín de la, Exposicion de Arte Español, Asahi Shimbun, Tokyo, 1970, pp. nº95.

Ceballos, I., Exposicion de la Administracion y las Bellas Artes, Escuela Nac.De la Admon.Publiac, Alcalá De Henares, 1972.

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

Puente, Joaquín de la, Del Greco a Goya, Ministerio de Cultura, Madrid, 1978.

Pérez Sánchez, Alfonso E., Panorama de la pintura española desde los Reyes Católicos a, Servicio de Publicaciones del Instituto de Coopera, Madrid, 1980, pp. 120.

Pita Andrade, José Manuel, Ob el Grieka Ob Goje, Narodni Muzei, Belgrado, 1981, pp. 92.

Museo Nacional del Prado, Museo del Prado: catálogo de las pinturas, Museo del Prado, Madrid, 1985, pp. 492.

Domínguez Díez, Rosalía; Gallego García, Ángela, La elegancia y el desgarro en el teatro madrileño del siglo XVIII, Villa de Madrid, 24, 1986, pp. 6.

El Real Sitio de Aranjuez y el arte cortesano del siglo XVII, Patrimonio Nacional, Madrid, 1987, pp. 177.

Luna, Juan J., ''Watteau et l'Espagne'' en: Antoine Watteau. 1684-1721. Le Peintre, Son Temps et Sa Lege..., Ediutions Clairefontaine, París, 1987.

Iglesias, Maria del Carmen, Carlos III y la ilustración: 1788-1988, Ministerio de Cultura, Madrid, 1988.

Du Greco a Goya: chefs-d'oeuvre du Prado et de collections e, Musée d'Art et d'Histoire, Ginebra, 1989, pp. 134, nº61.

Luis Paret y Alcazar, 1746-1799, Servicio Central de Publicaciones del Gobierno Vas, Vitoria-Gasteiz, 1991.

Coso, M.A., Cuatro Siglos de Teatro en Madrid., Consorcio Madrid Capital Europea, Madrid, 1992.

Quesada, Luis, Luz y Lumbre en la Pintura Española, Fundacion Sevillana de Electricidad, Sevilla, 1992, pp. 86 / lám. 93.

Museo Nacional del Prado, Museo del Prado: inventario general de pinturas, III, Museo del Prado, Espasa Calpe, Madrid, 1996, pp. nº1808.

Morales y Marín, José Luis, Luis Paret:vida y obra, Aneto Publicaciones, Zaragoza, 1997, pp. 120, nº26.

Museo Nacional del Prado, Goya y la pintura española del siglo XVIII: guía, Museo del PradoAldeasa, Madrid, 2000, pp. 136.

Kuster, Ulf, Theatrum Mundi : Die Welt Als Bühne, Edition Minerva, Múnich, 2002, pp. 205, nº152.

De Tiziano a Goya. Obras maestras del Museo del Prado., Tokio - Osaka, 2006.

Goya e Italia, Turner, 2008, pp. 217.

Portrait of Spain. Masterpieces from The Prado, Queensland Art Gallery, 2012, pp. 188-189, nº54.

Maurer, G., Goya: lo bello y lo recóndito. En: La belleza encerrada: de Fra Angelico a Fortuny, Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid, 2013, pp. 339.

Mena Marqués, M.; Albarrán, V., La belleza encerrada: de Fra Angelico a Fortuny, folleto, Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid, 2013, pp. 46 n.198.

Carlos III y el Madrid de las Luces, Ayuntamiento de Madrid,, Madrid, 2017, pp. 126.

Martínez Pérez, Alejandro, Dibujos de Luis Paret y Alcázar (1746-1799). Catálogo razonado., Centro de Estudios Europa Hispánica,, Madrid, 2018, pp. [o.r] 154-155 n.58.

Other inventories +

Inv. Nuevas Adquisiciones (iniciado en 1856). Núm. 1808.
Autor, Luis Paret y Alcázar / 1808. asunto, 'Ensayo de una comedia' / Lienzo de 38 x 51 cms. / Nº del catálogo 2991 / Adquirido por el patronato a William Hallsborough, de Londres, en 19 junio de 1956 precio, 750 lib.s esterlinas

Catálogo Museo del Prado, 1972. Núm. 2991.

Catálogo Museo del Prado, 1985. Núm. 2991.

Exhibitions +

Carlos III y el Madrid de las luces
Madrid
13.12.2016 - 29.04.2017

Captive Beauty. Fra Angelico to Fortuny
Madrid
21.05.2013 - 10.11.2013

Portrait of Spain. Masterpieces from the Prado
Houston
16.12.2012 - 31.03.2013

Portrait of Spain. Masterpieces from the Prado
Houston TX
15.12.2012 - 31.03.2013

Portrait of Spain. Masterpieces from the Prado
Brisbane
22.07.2012 - 04.11.2012

Portrait of Spain. Masterpieces from the Prado
Brisbane, Australia
21.07.2012 - 04.11.2012

Goya e Italia
Zaragoza
28.05.2008 - 15.09.2008

De Tiziano a Goya. Obras maestras del Museo del Prado
Osaka
14.07.2006 - 15.10.2006

De Tiziano a Goya. Obras maestras del Museo del Prado
Tokio
24.03.2006 - 02.07.2006

Theatrum Mundi - All the World's a Stage
Munich
24.05.2003 - 21.09.2003

Cuatro siglos de teatro en Madrid
Madrid
13.03.1992 - 30.06.1992

Luis Paret y Alcázar
Bilbao
12.12.1991 - 31.01.1992

Obras maestras de la Pintura Española: del Siglo de Oro a Goya
Ginebra
14.06.1989 - 24.09.1989

Carlos III y la Ilustración
Barcelona
27.02.1989 - 16.04.1989

Carlos III y la Ilustración
Madrid
09.11.1988 - 22.01.1989

El Arte en las Cortes Europeas del siglo XVIII
Aranjuez
29.04.1987 - 22.06.1987

Location +

Room 093 (On Display)

Expuesto

Displayed objects +

Brazier: En la parte izquierda

Mirror, table: Espejo de sobremesa, de grandes dimensiones (espejo de tocador); con marco mixtilineo, con copete de formas vegetales, de estilo barroco

Game / Toy: Molinillo, que lleva la niña en la mano izquierda.

Lighting accesories: Candelero de vidrio de color verde, compuesto por una pierna, pie discoidal y un segundo disco del mismo diámetro situado a mayor altura.
Lámpara

Painting

Update date: 10-10-2019 | Registry created on 28-04-2015

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