Shot of the Prado Museum: Goya’s first documented work enters the collection
Here is the € 3.3 million acquisition of the Prado Museum in Madrid
Acquiring works of art for a museum in the last period has not been easy at all, the news told of many institutions that have resorted, especially in the United States, to the practice of Art Deaccessioning , which involves the sale at auction of works present in collection in order to finance the budget of a museum in difficulty.
Despite this, here is the news that comes from Spain: the Prado Museum in Madrid can boast the acquisition of a very important new masterpiece within its collections.
This is the painting Aníbal vencedor, que por primera vez mira Italia desde los Alpes (“Hannibal winner who for the first time looks at Italy from the Alps”) , the first documented work by Francisco Goya y de Lucientes .
An acquisition of great importance, made possible thanks to the donation of the Fundación Amigos del Prado which purchased this piece for € 3.3 million in honor of Professor Francisco Calvo Serraller , founding member of the association and former director of the Prado in the 90s. .
The museum announced the arrival of the work through a video on its Instagram account where the current director, Miguel Falomir , declares: “It is an extraordinarily happy day for the Prado”.
The picture was painted in 1771 and dates back to the Italian period of the artist who, just twenty-five years old, presented it to the competition of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Parma : Goya did not win but still distinguished himself from the other participants so as to obtain six votes and one special mention and his name was mentioned in the January 1772 edition of the magazine Le Mercure de France , where the results of the competition were published. The work testifies to the painter’s first contacts with the world of academies and his ability to adapt, at least initially, to the aesthetics and conventions of these environments: the Hannibal is in fact the first known canvas in which he deals with a subject of a historical character with a very articulated composition.
The importance of the acquisition is also given by another significant factor: the Cuaderno Italiano also belongs to the youthful and Italian period of Goya , or the notebook of drawings that the painter executed during the years of his stay in Rome and which is already part for some time, of the collections of the great Spanish institution. Among the sheets there is also one with a compositional idea of Hannibal and others where studies for his main figures are noted. A reunion therefore between the actual painting and the preparatory studies dedicated to it, which thus fills one of the last chronological gaps relating to the artist’s career in the Museum’s collections.
Certainly, before the handling of the work of art, for the Collector as well as for a Museum wishing to acquire a work for its own collection, it is essential to check the accompanying documentation, also proceeding in advance and with the utmost safety to verify the Due Diligence and Provenance of the work before the sale.
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