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Eugenio Lucas Velazquez (1817 - 1870)

Lot 239: EUGENIO LUCAS VELÁZQUEZ, MADRID 1817-70

Sotheby's

November 18, 2003
London, United Kingdom

More About this Item


Description

SIGNED AND DATED (MAKER'S MARKS)
bears signature and date Goya/1817 l.r.

Dimensions

172 by 107 cm., 67 3/4 by 42 1/4 in.

Medium

oil on canvas

Exhibited

Madrid, Antecedentes, Coincidencias e Influencias del Arte de Goya, 1932, no. 100

Literature

Enrique Lafuente Ferrari, Antecedents, Coincidencias e Influencias del Arte de Goya, 1947, p. 367, pl. IV, illustrated
José Manuel Arnaiz, Eugenio Lucas: Su vida y su obra, Madrid, 1981, p. 500, no. 383, catalogued; p. 501, illustrated

Provenance

PROPERTY FROM THE ESTATE OF DON. LUIS HERNANDO DE LARRAMENDI

Acquired by the family of Don Luis Hernando de Larramendi circa 1900; thence by descent

Notes

Inscribed Goya and until recently incorrectly attributed to the great Spanish master, Maja dormida can be seen both as one artist's tribute to Francisco Goya and as testimony to the latter's far-reaching influence on the succeeding generation of Spanish artists.

While little is known of Lucas's formal training, he did spend considerable time copying the works of Velázquez and Goya at the Prado. Goya's influence in Lucas's work is obvious from the dark palette and in Lucas's choice of poses and his modelling of the human figure. The present work clearly shows its debt to such works as Joven adormecida of 1790-92 and Maja desnuda of 1801 (figs. 1 & 2), both in the Museo del Prado.

But Lucas's admiration of the virtues of past masters was tempered by an artistic temperament of his own, reflecting a keen awareness of the work of his contemporaries, notably Eugène Delacroix, whom the artist may well have met in Paris while exhibiting at the Exposition Universelle in 1855. This awareness is evident on one level in his looser, more vigorous brushstroke. But more importantly, in contrast to the vast majority of Goya's figural works which have an air of formality about them, their sitters engaging very directly with the viewer, the present work is less a portrait than the evocation of a mood. Lost in her own world and utterly oblivious of the spectator, Maja dormida reaches to the heart of the Romantic sensibility.

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