Arts of Spain & Portugal: Drawings

Jusepe Ribera

There are more than six thousand drawings and watercolors from the Renaissance through the 20th century at the Hispanic Society. Drawings in the collection by 16th-century artists include Alonso Berruguete, Luis de Vargas, and Blas del Prado. In addition to these is an important group of 16th- and 17th-century works that are promised gifts. One of the earliest is by Alonso Berruguete, whose drawing Design for the Ornamentation of a Galley Poop, (1519-1520) was commissioned by Charles V. Other outstanding works from this group include a truly exceptional red chalk drawing David Beheading Goliath (1624) by Jusepe Ribera; and Saints John Baptist, Justa, Rufina, and Felix Cantalice, (late 1660s–mid-1670s) by Bartolomé Esteban Murillo. Among the Golden Age artists already represented in the Hispanic Society’s collection of drawings are Juan de Roelas, Vicente Carducho, Alonso Cano, Bartolomé Esteban Murillo, Sebastián Herrera Barnuevo, Francisco de Herrera the Younger, José Antolínez, Matías de Torres, and Claudio Coello.

Late 18th- and 19th-century artists are equally well represented, the most notable being Francisco de Goya y Lucientes. The dozen drawings in the collection that date from around 1796 to 1828 reflect the various stages in Goya’s artistic development. His depictions of unusual figures, Old Man in a Swing (1826-1828?); violent acts, Majas Fighting (ca. 1796) and Torture of a Man (1812-1820); and witty subject matter, Tuti li Mundi ((1803-1824); not only capture the Romantic spirit of the age but reflect the artist’s unique sense of humor. Significant works from the late 19th century include the collection of hundreds of drawings from the sketchbooks of the Spanish landscape artist Martín Rico y Ortega; and a large collection of masterly pen-and-ink drawings by Daniel Urrabieta Vierge, many of which were prepared for publications, including an edition of Don Quixote.

Bartolomé Esteban Murillo
TUTI LI MUNDI, 1808-1814
Francisco de Goya

Among the drawings from the 20th century are 56 of Sorolla’s gouache sketches–some over 3 feet high and 24 feet wide—made for his Vision of Spain. The collection also boasts works by Catalan modernism artists, such as Isidre Nonell i Monturiol, Hermengildo Anglada Camarasa, Pau Roig, Xavier Gosé, and Ismael Smith Marí. Among the drawings by early 20th-century Spanish artists is a small but important group of large early drawings in gouache and mixed media by the uniquely original artist José Gutiérrez Solana. Three of these drawings – Chulo y Chulas (1906), El Tío Florencio (1906), and Clown (1916) – also served as the studies for major paintings.