Bayeu y Subías was a leading court painter and teacher at the Madrid academy.

In the 1760s, his career was promoted by Anton Raphael Mengs, who worked side by side with Giambattista Tiepolo at the Spanish court. These two attractive and important sheets illustrate Bayeu’s style and artistic practice at a time when he admired Tiepolo and was strongly influenced by Mengs. The two drawings are preparatory studies for royal commissions, a fresco and a religious painting. They relate to a period of intense artistic development for Bayeu, and for the young Goya who was closely associated with him. The drawings have transformed the Ashmolean's small collection of Spanish art and complement other 18th-century drawings in the collection including works by Mengs, Tiepolo, Goya, and other European Neo-classical artists.

Provenance

Francisco Bayeu; purchased from his heirs by Leonardo Chopinot; his widow, Angela Sulpice (d.1805); sold at auction; Royal Collection, Madrid; María Cristina de Borbón y Borbón; by descent to her son, Fernando María Muño


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