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The Cabinet of Drawings and Prints of the MNAC is commemorating the bicentenary of the publication of the first volume of the work by the multi-faceted Alexandre de Laborde (1773-1842), Voyage Pittoresque et historique de l'Espagne (Picturesque and Historical Journey to Spain, 1806-1820), with the holding of an exhibition that brings together 86 works, including preparatory sketches, various publications of Laborde's work and a small Andalusian chest from the Museu de la Catedral de Tortosa. While the majority of the drawings on show, a collection of 38, belong to the Cabinet's rich Laborde Collection, purchased in 1958, the idea behind the exhibition also includes a selection of works from both public and private collections. Among the former, we cannot forget to mention the more than 200 drawings conserved in the Bibliothèque de l'Institut National d'Histoire de l'Art in Paris, from which 22 works are on show for the first time in Catalonia. Although it is a more modest contribution, we should also mention the four compositions that belong to the Barcelona City Archive's collection. Furthermore, it is important to mention the presence of a group of nine drawings that have been loaned for this exhibition by various private collectors.
As a complementary aspect, visitors can admire a selection of various works of literature by Alexandre de Laborde. It is a display of 12 books that enable us to appreciate the phenomenon of acceptance and the subsequent success of Voyage Pittoresque et historique de l'Espagne, one of the most important landmarks in the process of consolidation of the literary genre of travel books.