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The Death of Lucretia
Rosales Gallinas, Eduardo
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Rosales Gallinas, Eduardo

Madrid, 1836 - Madrid, 1873

Miniatura autor

The Death of Lucretia

1871. Oil on canvas, 257 x 347 cm.

After revolutionizing the painting of his time with Queen Isabel la Católica dictating her Last Will and Testament (P4624), Rosales again shook the very foundations of the Spanish art world when he presented the present historical canvas at the 1871 Exposición Nacional. This is the work that he always considered his masterpiece, and it earned him a first medal. It was always very polemical, however, and the fierce criticism it received for its disconcerting modernity embittered the final years of the artist’s life. Here, Rosales decided to again address one of the most exemplary episodes from Ancient Rome, returning to a subject widely exploited by academic classicism during the early decades of the 19th century. The present work marked the beginning of a second golden age for Spanish history painting, now with a fully modern approach to both its pictorial language and the dramatic nature of its subjects.

Here, as in his previous groundbreaking work, the chosen episode was the agony of a virtuous woman whose death would also have lasting political consequences. The suicide of Roman patrician Lucrece after she was raped by the son of the king of Rome led to the fall of the monarchy and the proclamation of the Roman Republic in the year 510 B.C.E. Thus, Lucrece was widely known in the Neoclassical era as the maximum example of virtue and marital fidelity.

In her chambers, the violated Roman lies dying, held by her father and her husband while Brutus vows vengeance with raised dagger. A blue-robed patrician, probably Valerius, buries his face in his arms, horrified at the sight of her tragic end. Unlike the eminently political and spectacular interpretation that other Spanish artist brought to this story shortly after this work, Rosales’s scene is set in the intimacy of the married couple’s bedroom, thus emphasizing the eminently human character of a tragedy whose private nature grew precisely because its public repercussions changed the course of history and transformed the political system of the ancient world’s most powerful empire.

The truly revolutionary effect that this painting by Rosales had in its time lies fundamentally in its disconcertingly modern technique, a masterful display of absolute freedom in which the artist carries the realist use of paint to its ultimate consequences with an extremely broad and direct technique based on vigorous brushstrokes (Text drawn from Díez, J. L.: El Siglo XIX en el Prado, Museo Nacional del Prado, 2007, pp. 218-224).

Technical data

Related artworks

Muerte de Lucrecia / Muerte de Lucrecia
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Muerte de Lucrecia / Estudio de ropajes para Bruto
Charcoal on brown paper, Ca. 1870
Inventory number
P04613
Author
Rosales Gallinas, Eduardo
Title
The Death of Lucretia
Date
1871
Technique
Oil
Support
Canvas
Dimension
High/Height: 257 cm.; Width: 347 cm.
Provenance
Acquisition, 1882; Museo de Arte Moderno.

Bibliography +

Lozoya, Juan de Contreras y López de Ayala, Marqués de, Historia del arte hispánico, Barcelona-B.Aires Salvat, 1949, pp. 387-389.

Pantorba, Bernardino de, Historia y crítica de las Exposiciones Nacionales de Bellas, Madrid Jesús Ramón GarcíaRama, 1980, pp. 101-102.

Museo Nacional del Prado., Catálogo de las pinturas del siglo XIX /, Madrid Ministerio de Cultura,, 1985, pp. 234.

La pintura de historia del siglo XIX en España, Madrid Consorcio Madrid 92Museo del Prado, 1992, pp. 278-291.

Museo Nacional del Prado, Museo del Prado: inventario general de pinturas, Madrid Museo del PradoEspasa Calpe, 1996.

García de Cortázar, Fernando, La peseta y el arte: imágenes en billetes anteriores al euro, Madrid Safei, 1999, pp. 75.

El ''Prado disperso''. Nuevos depósitos. Madrid, Museo Nacional de Antropología (Sede de Juan de Herrera) : Museo del Prado., 1999, pp. 170.

Symmons, Sarah, The Spanish Diary of Enid Layard MUSEO DEL PRADO, 2000, pp. 94.

Isabel la Católica y el arte, Madrid : Real Academia de la Historia : Ma, 2006, pp. 202-216.

El siglo XIX en el Prado, Madrid : Museo Nacional del Prado, 2007, pp. 218 / lám. 41.

Navarro, Carlos G., 'Nuevas fuentes formales en la obra de Eduardo Rosales' en In sapientia libertas : escritos en homenaje al profesor Alf..., Madrid : Museo Nacional del Prado : Fundac, 2007, pp. 693-703.

Salas, Xavier de, La exposición de la obra de Eduardo Rosales 1836-1873 : Universidad de Extremadura, Servi, 2010, pp. 345-377.

Lopez Delgado, Juan Antonio, Eduardo Rosales en la colección López Delgado : dibujos, car... : s.n.], 2010, pp. 48-49.

Díez, José Luis, 'Eduardo Rosales y la conquista del realismo por los pintores españoles en Roma (1855-1875)' En: Del realismo al impresionismo, Madrid Fundación Amigos Museo del Prado - Galaxia Gutenberg, 2014, pp. 81-104 [100].

Other inventories +

Inv. Nuevas Adquisiciones (desde 1856). Núm. 547.
547 / D. Eduardo Rosales / La muerte de Lucrecia / Alto 2,55 anº 3,42 [Nota al margen izquierdo] Ley de 20 de enero de / 1882. Comunicada en / 28 del mismo [Nota en rojo en registro inferior] Paso al Museo de A. M.

Inv. General del Museo de Arte Moderno, 1899-1902. Núm. 188.

Catálogo Museo de Arte Moderno, 1899. Núm. 360.
SECCIÓN DE PINTURA EN SUS DIVERSAS CLASES, DIBUJOS Y GRABADOS EN LAMINAS. / ROSALES (D. Eduardo) [...] 360.- Muerte de Lucrecia. / Alto 2'55 metros. Ancho 3'42 metros.

Registros-Inventarios MAM (Museo Nacional de Arte Moderno), 1900-1936. Núm. 38-R.

Catálogo Museo de Arte Moderno, 1900. Núm. 566.
SECCIÓN DE PINTURA EN SUS DIVERSAS CLASES, DIBUJOS Y GRABADOS EN LÁMINAS. / Rosales (D. Eduardo) [...] 566.- La muerte de Lucrecia. / Alto 2'55 metros. Ancho 3'42 metros.

Registros-Inventarios MAM (Museo Nacional de Arte Moderno), 1900-1936. Núm. 62-R.

Inv. Museo Arte Moderno, 1954. Núm. 522.

Actas traslado de obras MEAC - Prado, 1971-1973. Núm. 641.

Catálogo Museo del Prado, 1985. Núm. 4613.

Exhibitions +

EL SIGLO XIX EN EL PRADO
Madrid
31.10.2007 - 20.04.2008

La pintura de historia del Siglo XIX en España
Madrid
01.10.1992 - 01.12.1992

Location +

Room 061B (On Display)

Update date: 12-02-2016 | Registry created on 28-04-2015

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