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The Fall of Lucifer
Esquivel, Antonio María
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Esquivel, Antonio María

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

Esquivel, Antonio María See author's file

The Fall of Lucifer

1840. Oil on canvas. Not on display

Lucifer was one of God´s favorite angels. He was expulsed from Heaven when he rebelled against His power. To represent the subject, Esquivel chose the moment when, with a stern expression, Saint Michael separates him from Celestial Glory. The subject is comparable to Saint Michael´s fight with the dragon of sin, which was frequently depicted by innumerable artists. Nevertheless, Esquivel eschews the customary image of the saint with helmet and sword, concentrating instead on both figures´ expressions, one stern, the other, hateful. This painting was approached with an esthetic eclecticism that mixes the Spanish pictorial tradition, as embodied by Murillo, with the purism of Madrid´s court painting from that period, which was greatly influenced by the work of Ingres. This work was painted for the Liceo of Madrid as thanks for the support its members gave the artist when he accidentally went blind. At the time, it was warmly received by the critics, who praised its most notable characteristics: correct coloring, accurate rendering of the figures, and perfect composition.


Technical data

Inventory number
Esquivel, Antonio María
The Fall of Lucifer
Height: 275 cm.; Width: 205 cm.
Painted for the Lyceum, Madrid; Pedro Reales, Supremo Tribunal de Rota, 1858; Gregorio Campero y Jordán, 1880; Acquired from Durán Subastas de Arte, Madrid, 1991

Bibliography +

Museo del Prado, Últimas adquisiciones: 1982-1995, Museo del Prado, Madrid, 1995.

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

Díez, J. L., El Romanticismo académico en la pintura religosa isabelina. En: El arte de la era romántica, Fund. Amigos del Museo del Prado, Madrid, 2012, pp. 275-303.

Díez, J.L (dir.), Pintura del Siglo XIX en el Museo del Prado: catálogo general, Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid, 2015, pp. 170.

Martínez Plaza, Pedro J., Nuevas lecturas sobre la pintura religiosa de Antonio María Esquivel (1806-1857), sus fuentes y su fortuna crítica, De Arte. Revista de Historia del Arte, 2020, pp. 129-145.

Other inventories +

Inv. Nuevas Adquisiciones (iniciado en 1856). Núm. 2255.
Autor: Esquivel, Antonio Mª / 2255. Titulo: la Caída de Luzbel. / Tipo de obra: pintura / Medidas: 2,75 x 2,05 m. / Técnica/soporte: Óleo sobre lienzo. / Nº de catálogo: P-07569 / Observaciones: firmado y fechado: 'Al liceo de / Madrid. / Antonio M. Esquivel, en Sevilla, 1840', en el ángulo inferior derecho. / Adquirido por el Estado, por derecho de tanteo, en la subasta de Fernando Durán de 13-III-1991 (lote nº 167), en 4.025.000 pesetas. O.M. de 14-III-1991. Ingreso en el museo (Casón del Buen Retiro) el 24-IV-1991.

Exhibitions +

Antonio María Esquivel (1806-1857), his religious paintings
09.07.2018 - 21.04.2019

Update date: 14-11-2020 | Registry created on 08-04-2017

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