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The Birth of Venus
Esquivel, Antonio María
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Esquivel, Antonio María

Sevilla (Spain), 1806 - Madrid (Spain), 1857

Esquivel, Antonio María See author's file

The Birth of Venus

1842. Oil on canvas.
Not on display

The delicate figure of Venus, goddess of love and beauty, rises out of the waves on a large scallop shell supported by naiads crowned with seaweed. Using a refined technique, Esquivel respects the classical canons of proportion and ideal beauty. The composition is inspired by the Venus pudica, a Classical sculpture of which Esquivel himself had a cast. It was regarded in the nineteenth century as the epitome of female perfection and beauty. This is arguably the finest female nude in Spanish Romantic painting.


Technical data

Inventory number
Esquivel, Antonio María
The Birth of Venus
Height: 184 cm; Width: 110 cm
Collection of Balmaseda, Sevilla, 1842; Bartolomé Santamarca, Madrid; condesa de Santamarca, Madrid, 1926; collection of Santamarca, Madrid, 1926-42; collection of Morales; Domingo Carlés, Barcelona, 1957; Juan Andreu, Barcelona, 1959; private collection, Madrid, 2006; acquired by the Museo del Prado, 2007

Bibliography +

Lafuente Ferrari, Enrique, Breve historia de la pintura española, Tecnos, Madrid, 1953, pp. 462.

Guerrero Lovillo, José, Antonio Maria Esquivel, C.S.I.C. Instituto Diego Velázque, Madrid, 1957, pp. 30 y 43 / lám. 14 y 15.

Ars hispaniae: historia universal del arte hispánico, XIX, Plus Ultra, Madrid, 1966, pp. 311 / lám. 212.

Valdivieso, Enrique, Pintura Sevillana del Siglo XIX, El Autor, Sevilla, 1981, pp. 40 / lám. 33.

Banda y Vargas, Antonio de la, Antonio Maria Esquivel, Diputación de Sevilla, Area de Cultura y Deportes, Sevilla, 2002, pp. 87-88.

Diez, J.L; Barón, J., El siglo XIX en el Prado, Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid, 2007, pp. 147 / lám. 18.

Museo Nacional del Prado, Memoria de Actividades 2007, Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid, 2008, pp. 30-32.

Valdivieso, E. Fernández, J., Pintura romántica sevillana, Fundación Sevilla Endesa, Sevilla, 2011, pp. 109.

Díez, José Luis (dir.), Pintura del Siglo XIX en el Museo del Prado: catálogo general, Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid, 2015, pp. 171.

Other inventories +

Inv. Nuevas Adquisiciones (iniciado en 1856). Núm. 2760.
Nº de catálogo: P 7974 / N.A.: 2760 / Título: El nacimiento de Venus / Autor: Esquivel y Suárez de Urbina, Antonio María / Técnica / soporte: óleo sobre lienzo / Medidas: Alto 183 cm.; Ancho 107 cm. / Forma de ingreso: Adquirido por el Museo Nacional del Prado a Coll Cortés Fine Art Dealers. Comisión del Real Patronato de 23 de mayo de 2007 / Valoración: 180.000, 00 €.

Inscriptions +

A. Esquivel f.t / 1842
Signed and dated. Front, lower central area

Exhibitions +

Arte y mito. Los dioses del Prado
15.10.2020 - 14.03.2021

El Siglo XIX en el Prado
31.10.2007 - 20.04.2008

Update date: 28-01-2022 | Registry created on 28-04-2015

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