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The Ball Game, console
Real Laboratorio de Piedras Duras del Buen Retiro
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Real Laboratorio de Piedras Duras del Buen Retiro

Madrid (Spain), 1762 - Madrid (Spain), 1808

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The Ball Game, console

1788 - 1791. Gilt-bronze, Chalcedony, Lapis lazuli. Not on display

The table bears shells, fruit and flowers over ample lapis-lazuli borders. The central scene has a light chalcedony background and is framed by a garland with an asymmetrical rocaille. The scene of ball players with various figures chatting in a landscape with classical architecture—the basalt lion from the Capitolino and the pyramid of Cestius, both in Rome—is taken from models that Giuseppe Zocchi made in 1748 and 1765 for the Emperor, Grand Duke Francis I of Tuscany. This table and its pair (O456) date from 1788 and were the last to be made at the Royal Laboratory of El Retiro. Although they still have many baroque and rococo elements they make certain concessions to neoclassicism. Both splendidly exemplify Charles III’s taste and their excellent quality makes them masterpieces of the European decorative arts, with unmistakably original characteristics. The bronze base dates from between 1791 and 1796 and is thus later than the tabletop. The skirting’s central cartouche shows Spanish heraldic figures such as the lion and tower (Text from González-Palacios, A.: Las colecciones reales españolas de mosaicos y piedras duras, 2001, pp. 184- 187; Gisbert, M.I., Goya y la pintura española del siglo XVIII, 2000, pp. 77-80).

Technical data

Related artworks

The Badminton Game, console
Gilt-bronze, Chalcedony, Lapis lazuli, 1788 - 1791
Inventory number
Real Laboratorio de Piedras Duras del Buen Retiro
The Ball Game, console
1788 - 1791 (1788/89 - 1790/91, the tabletop; ca. 1790/91, the feet)
Gilt-bronze; Chalcedony; Lapis lazuli
Height: 95 cm.; Width: 176 cm.; Base/bottom: 100 cm.; Weight: 297.6 Kg.
Royal Collection (Palacio Real, Madrid, Cuarto del Sr. Rey padre, Pieza dormitorio, 1822)

Bibliography +

Perez Villamil, Manuel, Artes e Industrias del Buen Retiro. La Fabrica de la China, Suc.De Ribadeneyra, 1904.

Rossi, Ferdinando, La Pittura Di Pietra, Banca Toscana, 1967.

Giusti, Anna Maria, Pietre Dure. Hardstone in Furniture and Decorations, Philip Wilson Publishers, 1992, pp. 223-253.

Aguiló Alonso, María Paz, Mesas de piedras duras en el Museo del Prado, Galería Antiquaria, 1996, pp. 28-34.

Mañueco Santurtún, Carmen, Manufactura del Buen Retiro 1760-1808, Ministerio de Educacion y Cultura, 1999, pp. 147-154.

Museo Nacional del Prado, Goya y la pintura española del siglo XVIII: guía, Museo del PradoAldeasa, 2000, pp. 77-80.

González-Palacios, Alvar, Las colecciones reales españolas de mosaicos y piedras duras, Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid, 2001, pp. 184-187, nº 31.

Aguiló Alonso, María Paz, Mosaicos y Piedras duras del Prado, Galería Antiquaria, 2001, pp. 62-66.

López Castán, Ángel, La ebanistería madrileña y el mueble cortesano del siglo XVIII (II), Anuario del Departamento de Historia y Teoría del Arte, XVII, 2005, pp. 104.

Albarrán, V., 'Divertimentos. El juego' En:, Mena Marques,Manuela B. Goya en Madrid : cartones para tapices 1775-1794, Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid, 2014, pp. 94-101 [96-100 f.2.7].

Cruz Yábar, María Teresa, Noticias sobre ocho mesas del Real Laboratorio de Piedras Duras en el Museo del Prado, Boletín del Museo del Prado, XXXIV (52), 2016, pp. 32-49 [39-40, 44-45, f.10,12,19].

Other inventories +

Inv. Real Museo, 1857. Núm. 244.
"244. Una mesa de mosaico igual al nº 83 con unas figuras jugando al balon".



Exhibitions +

Goya in Madrid
28.11.2014 - 03.05.2015

Splendori di Pietre Dure
20.12.1988 - 30.04.1989

Displayed objects +


Update date: 16-09-2021 | Registry created on 02-12-2015

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