It was traditionally assumed that Spanish artists rarely drew, but recent research has demonstrated that drawing was, in fact, central to artistic practice in Spain. Visions and Nightmares: Four Centuries of Spanish Drawings explores the shifting roles and attitudes toward the art of drawing in Spain, as well as the impact of the Catholic Church and the nightmare of the Inquisition on Spanish artists and their work. It is the first exhibition of Spanish drawings ever to be held at the Morgan Library & Museum, whose holdings in this area are relatively small but strong.
On view in the Clare Eddy Thaw Gallery through May 11, the exhibition features more than twenty drawings spanning the sixteenth through the nineteenth centuries. Works by well-known artists such as José de Ribera, Bartolomé Esteban Murillo, and Francisco Goya are presented alongside sheets by equally talented but less familiar artists, including Vicente Carducho, Alonso Cano, and Eugenio Lucas. Complementing the drawings is a display of contemporary Spanish letters and volumes, notably a lavish 1780 edition of Cervantes’ Don Quixote.
“With one of the world’s most important collections of master drawings, the Morgan is committed to developing exhibitions that explore important subjects that may be less familiar or have been overlooked,” said William M. Griswold, Director. "The practice of drawing in Spain is relatively unexplored, by comparison to that in Italy or France, but the extraordinary works in this show demonstrate an artistry and themes unique to their country of origin.”