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An artist with a very fertile creativity, Eugenio Lucas Velázquez (Madrid, 1817-1870) is one of the leading artists of the nineteenth century. An acknowledged follower of Goya, his drawings occupy a place of honour in the artistic production of his time.
While still preserving the imprint of his master, Lucas built suggestive and attractive imaginary forms which, leaving aside key European figures like Victor Hugo or William Turner, are unparalleled amongst artists of his time. Thanks to his use of the 'blot technique', he achieved enormously effective results that bring him close to a powerful and strikingly modern aesthetic. Lucas's debt to Goya can be seen in some of the subject matter present in the exhibition: caprichos, bullfighting scenes and witches' Sabbaths.
This selection put together by the museum is intended mainly as a defence of this prolific artist's less well-known facet as a draughtsman. The object is to show the daring of a highly unusual artistic production and style that took refuge in small-format compositions totally unrelated to his pictorial work, which followed more conventional and well-worn paths.
This is the most important exhibition to have been put on to date and consists of some 70 drawings, amongst them his best compositions kept in prestigious institutions like the Museo Nacional del Prado, the Biblioteca Nacional, The British Museum, The Metropolitan Museum of Art and The Cleveland Museum of Art.
Even if only indirectly, the exhibition is also intended as a tribute to collectors of old drawings and their role in the history of the collections of the museum's Cabinet of Drawings and Prints. In this respect, credit is due the laudable work of the versatile Modernista artist Alexandre de Riquer, to whose enthusiasm we owe the presence of the Lucas collection in the Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya today.