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Visions and Nightmares: Four Centuries of Spanish Drawings

January 17 through May 11, 2014

This exhibition marks the first presentation of Spanish drawings at the Morgan and showcases over twenty sheets by Spanish artists from the Morgan's pre-eminent master-drawings collection. Compared to works from other major European schools, Spanish drawings have long been considered uncharted territory. It was traditionally assumed that Spanish artists did not draw, but recent research has demonstrated that drawing was in fact central to artistic practice in Spain. Visions and Nightmares explores the role of drawing in Spanish art through works from the Morgan's small but significant holdings.

Spanning the sixteenth through the nineteenth centuries, this selection features well-known artists such as José de Ribera, Bartolomé Esteban Murillo, and Francisco Goya. It also introduces visitors to drawings by equally talented but less familiar artists, including Vicente Carducho, Alonso Cano, and Eugenio Lucas. On view are recently acquired drawings by Juan Carreño de Miranda and Mariano Salvador Maella, two important artists rarely represented in American collections. Complementing the drawings is a display of contemporaneous Spanish letters and volumes, notably a lavish 1780 edition of Cervantes' Don Quixote.

Image Caption: 

Francisco Goya (1746–1828)
Pesadilla
Pen and black ink, black wash on laid paper
The Morgan Library & Museum, New York; 1959.13
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Richard J. Bernhard