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The Portrait of Marqués D. Lorenzo Manzanares FROM GOYA TO ESTEVE
August 28, 2013 - December 8, 2013
This one-object exhibition serves as a study of the Portrait of the Marqués D. Lorenzo Manzanares, (ca.1795), a gift to the LUAG Teaching Collection from Marion Brown Grace in 1960. Until recently, this painting had been attributed to the Spanish painter Francisco de Goya (1746-1828). Significant research, beginning in the 1970s and culminating in the current exhibition, has determined that it was in fact Agustín Esteve y Marqués (1753-c.1835) who painted this masterful portrait.
The Philadelphia Museum of Art, the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art in Sarasota, Florida and the Art Institute of Chicago all house other portraits by Esteve once thought to have been painted by Goya. Many of these paintings were catalogued in a 1943 article by Professor Martin S. Soria, City University of New York. Soria worked diligently to disentangle Esteve’s legacy from Goya’s, and published a more definitive catalogue in 1957.
Although the Manzanares portrait appeared in José Gudiol’s 1970 catalogue raisonné of Goya’s work, further scholarly comparison now reveals that Manzanares bears a “strong family resemblance” to Esteve’s figures. In particular, the large somewhat drooping eyes, the enigmatic rendering of the mouth with its slight smile, and the use of black to punctuate certain facial features all suggest the “elegant but frozen air” of Esteve’s style. When compared with Goya’s Duke of Alba from the same period, Manzanares displays a meticulous rendering of detail that stands in contrast to Goya’s more interpretive brushwork. “…[The] brilliant treatment of the gold threads seems to derive as much from a love of verisimilitude as from a joy in handling paint,” observed art historian Richard Porter in 1980, “…although it barely holds its own against the costume, the face is engaging and suggests a serious man of intelligence and dignity.” (Archivo español de arte, Tomo, No 211, 1980, pp374-377).
More recently, Dr. Arturo Ansón Navarro, head of the Goya Institute and Professor of Art History at Spain’s University of Zaragoza, stated that “in collaboration with Professor Ricardo Viera at Lehigh University, I began studying the portrait of Marqués D. Lorenzo Manzanares. Until now, this painting was attributed to Goya. As I continue studying this painting, I can say that it is an excellent portrait done by the painter Agustín Esteve y Marqués, who was a great friend and colleague of Goya’s. … Of the portraits produced by Agustín Esteve, the Lehigh University painting is one of the highest quality and deserves to be in a monographic exhibition. Other portraits by Esteve are housed in various museums throughout the United States… and in private collections throughout the country. ”
Lehigh University Art Galleries is indebted to the research of Richard Porter, then Registrar at the Pennsylvania State University Museum of Art, and Dr. Arturo Ansón Navarro, Professor of Art History at the University of Zaragoza, Spain and Chair of the Goya Institute. Thanks also to Cristy Esmahan, Ph.D, for the translation of Dr. Ansón’s essay. With their help, LUAG is able to present this exhibition and publicaly reattribute the Portrait of Marqués D. Lorenzo Manzanares to Agustín Esteve y Marqués.