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The Annunciation
Decraene, Florentino -Lithographer-; Murillo, Bartolomé Esteban -Painter-; Madrazo y Agudo, José de -Director-; Real Establecimiento Litográfico de Madrid -Printer-
Close Continuar a ficha de la obra
Decraene, Florentino - Lithographer
Tournai (Belgium), 1793 - Madrid (Spain), 1852 - Lithographer
Murillo, Bartolomé Esteban - Painter
Sevilla, 1617 - Sevilla, 1682 - Painter
Madrazo y Agudo, José de - Director
Santander (Spain), 1781 - Madrid (Spain), 1859 - Director
Real Establecimiento Litográfico de Madrid - Printer
Madrid (Spain), 1825 - Madrid (Spain), 1837 - Printer

The Annunciation

1826 - 1829. Lithographic aquatint, Crayon lithography on wove paper.
Not on display

The Company for the engraving of the paintings from the Royal Palaces was one of the Spanish Enlightenment’s major undertakings during the second half of the 18th century. It supervised the reproduction of prints of paintings from the Royal Collections and its early projects were carried out by Francisco de Goya, who reproduced some of Velázquez’s paintings in 1778, and by Juan Barcelón and Nicolás Barsanti, who reproduced The Labors of Hercules after the fresco that Luca Giordano had painted between 1777 and 1785.

On November 16, 1789, Charles IV authorized the founding of the Company for the engraving of paintings from the Royal Palaces in order to spread knowledge of the wealth of the Royal Collections in a manner comparable to other European countries. This private enterprise received royal protection and its partners were noblemen from Madrid, including the Duke of Osuna and José Nicolás de Azara, who contacted the French and Italian engravers charged with the task. At first, the artistic direction was handled by Manuel Salvador Carmona and Francisco Bayeu, who respectively supervised engravings and drawings. According to the collection’s Subscription Plan, the prints were published in series of six issues, beginning in February 1794. The price for subscribers was 288 reals per issue, while non-subscribers were charged 360 reals. An additional “100 prints without words” were pulled and these were sold at twice the price of the others (Continuación del Memorial Literario, intructivo y curioso de la Corte de Madrid. Vol. I, [August], Imprenta Real, 1793, pp. 257-63).

Flagging sales and increasing costs gradually weakened the Company’s economic stability, calling for increased private support. The poor quality of the drawings and their predominantly religious subject matter, as Azara argued, as well as a certain degree of disorganization- an absence of order or classification, as well as unequal formats -made it difficult to bind these prints or to hang them together in cabinets, and all this led the project into bankruptcy in barely ten years. In 1800, it was proposed to the king that Calcografía Nacional defray the project’s costs, and in 1812 the plates and other materials were deposited at the Royal Press. Finally, in 1818, the plates themselves entered Calcografía Nacional (Vega, J., Museo del Prado. Catálogo de estampas, Museo del Prado, 1992, pp. 222-223).

In all, 74 copper plates were engraved from a total of 95 drawings commissioned for the collection. Calcografía Nacional received 50 plates, including the 24 that had already been published by the Company and 26 more. The remaining 24 had actually been engraved, but the engravers had never delivered them to the Company (Carrete, J., El grabado calcográfico en la España Ilustrada, 1978, pp. 28-31).


Technical data

Related artworks

The Annunciation
Printing on japon, Scraper, Crayon lithography, Lithographic aquatint on wove paper, 1826 - 1829
Decraene, Florentino
Inventory number
Decraene, Florentino -Lithographer-; Murillo, Bartolomé Esteban -Painter-; Madrazo y Agudo, José de -Director-; Real Establecimiento Litográfico de Madrid -Printer-
The Annunciation
1826 - 1829
Lithographic aquatint; Crayon lithography
Wove paper
Second support: Wove paper
Height: 603 mm; Width: 467 mm; Alto segundo soporte: 755 mm; Ancho segundo soporte: 550 mm; Alto de la mancha: 400 mm; Ancho de la mancha: 322 mm
“Colección litográfica de cuadros del rey de España el señor don Fernando VII”, Madrid, Real Establecimiento litográfico, 1826-1829, t. I.

Bibliography +

Stirling Maxwell, William Sir, Essay Towards a Catalogue of Prints Engraved from the works of Diego Rodríguez de Silva y Velázquez and Bartolomé Esteban Murillo, Privately Prited for Sir W.S.M., Londres, 1873.

Curtis, Charles Boyd, Velázquez and Murillo: a descriptive and historical catalogu, J. W. BoutonSampson Low, Marston, Searle and Rivig, Nueva York, 1883.

Angulo Íñiguez, Diego, Murillo, Espasa-Calpe, 1981.

Harris, E., Velázquez and Murillo in Nineteenth-Century Britain. An Approach through Prints, Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes, 50, 1987, pp. 148-159.

Vega, Jesusa, Museo del Prado: catálogo de estampas, Museo del Prado, Madrid, 1992.

Velázquez en blanco y negro, Museo del Prado, Madrid, 2000, pp. 169-179.

Matilla, J. M., Álbum facticio de estampas por pinturas de Murillo (segunda mitad del siglo XIX) Memoria de actividades 2005 Museo Nacional del Prado, Ministerio de Cultura, Madrid, 2006, pp. 50-52.

Other inventories +

Inv. Nuevas Adquisiciones (iniciado en 1856). Núm. 2685.

Inscriptions +

B. Murillo lo pintó — J. de Madrazo lo dirigió. — F. Decraene lo litogo. // LA ANUNCIACION DE NA. SA. / El cuadro original existe en Rl. Museo de Madrid. // Imp. en el Rl. Esto. Litogo. de Madrid.
Lettered in the plate. Front, lower area

[Sello en seco circular con el texto alrededor del escudo real]: REAL ESTABLECIMIENTO LITHOGRAPH. — DE MADRID.
Dry seal. Front, lower left area

B. Murillo lo pintó
Lettered in the plate. Front, lower left area

F. Decraene lo litogo.
Lettered in the plate. Front, Lower right area

Imp. en el Rl. Esto. Litogo. de Madrid.
Lettered in the plate. Front, lower right corner

J. de Madrazo lo dirigió.
Lettered in the plate. Front, lower central area

Displayed objects +

Basket, Sewing


Update date: 05-11-2021 | Registry created on 26-10-2016

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