This print is from a collection of lithographs after paintings commissioned by King Fernando VII from his court painter Fernando Brambila to decorate the rooms of his royal palaces, a series Brambila began in 1821 and continued working on for the next 15 years. Brambila painted the landscapes, his forte, and was assisted by other artists in the painting of the people who animate the views. Eighty-eight of Brambila’s paintings were translated into a collection of lithographs published in 1832 by the Royal Lithographic Establishment, including 30 of San Ildefonso, 18 of San Lorenzo de El Escorial, 27 of Aranjuez, and 13 of Madrid. Spain’s National Library has digitized an uncolored copy of the original collection (see References).
Fernando Brambila was an Italian painter who worked in Madrid, best known for his landscapes and mastery of perspective. He was trained as an artist at an early age. He arrived in Spain in 1791, recruited as an artist to join a naval expedition led by Alejandro Malaspina to undertake an exhaustive geographical and natural history study of Mexico, South America, and the South Pacific. At the conclusion of the expedition, he remained in Spain and in 1799 was given the position of “architect painter and decorator of his Royal Chamber” to Carlos IV. In 1808 he made a set of aquatints of the disasters caused by Napoleonic troops in the Spanish city of Zaragoza, resulting in a collection of 32 plates entitled Ruinas de Zaragoza, which may be the antecedent of Goya’s famous series Disasters of War. From 1814 he became an instructor at the Academy of Fine Arts of San Fernando. In 1821 he began a series of paintings commissioned by Fernando VII of the royal palaces, which were also eventually published as lithographs in Colección de las Vistas de los Sitios Reales (1832). He resigned his academy position as Director of Perspective in 1826 to concentrate on the commission, which occupied him until his death in 1832.
Condition: Generally very good with the usual overall light toning and wear. Large margins, as issued.
Colección de las Vistas de los Sitios Reales. p. 25. Online at Biblioteca Nacional de España. 2018. http://bdh-rd.bne.es/viewer.vm?id=0000216027&page=1 (20 March 2018).
Pascual, Emilio Soler. “Fernando Brambila, pintor de cámara de Carlos IV.” Biblioteca Virtual Miguel de Cervantes. http://www.cervantesvirtual.com/obra-visor/espanoles-en-italia-e-italianos-en-espana-iv-encuentro-de-investigadores-de-las-universidades-de-alicante-y-macerata-mayo-1995–0/html/ff147868-82b1-11df-acc7-002185ce6064_39.html (20 March 2018).
“Vistas de los Sitios Reales y Madrid.” Wikipedia. 7 February 2017. https://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vistas_de_los_Sitios_Reales_y_Madrid (20 March 2018).