Purchased on the Edwin H. Herzog Fund and as the gift of Hubert and Mireille Goldschmidt, 2007
A FLEMING IN SPAIN
Originally from Brussels, Pieter Kempeneer is generally known by his Spanish name, Pedro de Campaña. After assisting with decorations for the coronation of Charles V in Bologna, he moved to Seville and became the city's leading painter. This drawing is one of only two surviving preparatory sheets for his main altarpiece in the Church of Santa Ana de Triana in Seville. It depicts the episode when the pregnant Virgin visits her cousin Elizabeth, who is pregnant with John the Baptist. The hen and chicks in the foreground herald the imminent births.
From the sixteenth to nineteenth centuries, Spain witnessed the rise of the Catholic Church along with the flourishing of court artists who explored deeply spiritual visions. Concurrently, the nightmare of the Inquisition drove artists to probe the darker side of human nature through scenes of martyrdom and torture. Drawing played a central role in their conception of these diverse subjects—from Murillo's preparatory studies for painting commissions to Goya's private albums satirizing contemporary society. In addition to this rich tradition in Spain, Spanish artists also worked abroad, notably in Naples, which was a Spanish territory.
Visions and Nightmares marks the first exhibition of Spanish drawings at the Morgan, whose holdings in this area are small but significant. Showcasing over twenty sheets by Spanish artists spanning four centuries, this selection traces the shifting roles and attitudes toward the art of drawing in Spain.
This online exhibition was created in conjunction with the exhibition Visions and Nightmares: Four Centuries of Spanish Drawings, on view January 17 through May 11, 2014 and organized by Edward Payne, Moore Curatorial Fellow.
This exhibition is made possible by the A. Woodner Fund.