View of The Palace of Aranjuez1756. Oil on canvas, 68 x 112 cm.
This view of Aranjuez Palace was painted in 1756, on the occasion of the celebration of the saint´s day of King Fernando VI (1713-1759). This work was one of a group of views of the Palace and of the celebrations that took place there. Originally, there were probably four, but only this one and Fernando VI and Bárbara de Braganza in the Gardens of Aranjuez (P04181, also in the Prado Museum) remain. The moment depicted here may be the beginning of the series: the guests arriving at the palace in their carriages. Battaglioli shows almost topographical precision in his rendering of the architecture and gardens, which gives these two works a valuable historical and testimonial content. Moreover, in order to avoid confusion, he added the description necessary for identifying the scenes on a pair of cartouches in the foreground: “View of the illumination with which at the/Delightful Royal Seat of Arangez is/ celebrated the Most Glorious day of Saint Fernando/ [which is the] name of our lord and king, arr/ anged by Carlo Broschi Farinelli / painted by Francesco Battaglioli/ 1756.” These paintings were probably privately commissioned as they were part of the collection of the well-known castrato, Farninelli, in Bologna. They were acquired by the Prado Museum in 1979. There is also an unsigned but autograph copy of one of these, with very interesting variations in the distribution of the figures and of the sculptures on the fountains.