Vicente Carducho

Vicente Carducho
Florence ca. 1576–1638 Madrid

Martyrdom of Father Andrés

Inscribed at upper center, este santo / se hara maior / y mas en medio.

ca. 1632
Brown wash, over black chalk, with lead white chalk
11 1/2 x 10 3/16 inches (293 x 259 mm)

Gift of Gertrude W. and Seth Dennis, 1986

Item description: 

Celebrated for his treatise on painting, Carducho was also an accomplished painter and draftsman. This drawing is one of many preparatory sheets for a series of fifty-six paintings that the artist designed for the Charterhouse of El Paular. In the foreground, the prior Father Andrés is tortured by a device called la garrucha; the background reveals his subsequent murder by a mob. Squared for transfer to the oil sketch that preceded the final painting, the drawing bears an inscription by the patron indicating that the suspended figure should be larger and more centered. Carducho incorporated this correction into the finished canvas.

About this exhibition: 

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.