The Spanish school is the best represented among the Museum’s holdings of drawings, with works dating from the late Medieval period to the Modern Age.
A notable 15th-century drawing is the project for the altarpiece on the high altar of San Juan de los Reyes in Toledo, attributed to Juan Guas. The collection of 16th-century drawings is larger and includes works by the Valencian painter Juan de Juanes and painters from El Escorial such as Bartolomé Carducho and Patricio Cajés.
The 17th-century drawings include magnificent sheets by Alonso Cano, Ribera, Valdés Leal, Ribalta, Vicente Carducho, Eugenio Cajés, Pereda, Claudio Coello and Palomino.
However, it is the 18th century that is best represented, both in terms of number and quality. In addition to the very large group of more than 400 drawings by Francisco Bayeu, there are also drawings by other leading painters such as Ramón Bayeu, Salvador Maella, González Ruiz and Paret y Alcázar.
Without doubt, however, the most important and celebrated part of the Prado’s drawings collection is the large group of works by Goya, numbering more than 500. Albums and series such as The Sanlúcar Album, The Madrid Album, The Disasters of War, The Tauromaquia and The Proverbs mean that it is possible to study the artist’s stylistic evolution.
Goya’s influence is to be seen in the numerous drawings in the collection by Zapata, Alenza and Lucas. The group of drawings by Carlos de Haes is magnificent, more than 130 of which came from the Museo del Arte Moderno in addition to the album with a further 22 sheets purchased in 2005. In addition to the names mentioned above, there is a significant group of 19th-century drawings by artists such as Fortuny, Vicente López, Federico de Madrazo, Pérez Villaamil and Eduardo Rosales.