Design for a Cope with SS. John and Luke
Inscribed at lower right, Sct Joan y san marcos; numbered at upper right, 6.
Purchased on the Lois and Walter C. Baker Fund, 1985
GLORIFYING THE CHURCH THROUGH GARMENTS
This is one of a series of designs executed by the little known Miguel Barroso for the embroidery of liturgical vestments at the Monastery of El Escorial. Pricked for transfer and for a shoulder-length garment, the drawing depicts SS. John and Luke seated in a landscape with their respective attributes, the eagle and ox. At the lower right, a later owner of the sheet correctly identified John but mistook Luke for Mark, whose attribute is a lion. A faint outline of John's face, a copy after the finished figure, hovers at lower left.
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.