Exhibition in Madrid: Goya and the Infante Don Luis at the Royal Palace
The exhibition revolves around the controversial figure of the Infante Don Luis de Borbón y Farnesio, King Charles III’s youngest brother. It is arranged into seven sections whose titles sum up the vicissitudes in the infante’s life that in some way or other spurred his artistic, scientific and cultural patronage in the historical context of the Spanish Enlightenment of the latter half of the eighteenth century.
As the fifth son of Philip V, the Infante Don Luis’s possibilities of acceding to the Spanish throne were initially so remote that he was destined for an ecclesiastical career. However, a number of unforeseen circumstances—the death without issue of two of his four elder stepbrothers and brothers and the fact that the sons of Philip, Duke of Parma, and Charles III had not been born and raised in Spain and therefore did not meet the requirements of the Salic Law—made the Infante Don Luis central to the issue of succession, especially after he renounced his brilliant career in the Spanish Church at the age of twenty-seven and proved that he was biologically very capable of fathering children. In the end the court’s concerns were only allayed when he was forced into an unequal morganatic marriage that put paid to his aspirations and rights.
The exhibition investigates the relationship between the two persons: the aristocrat was the first mentor of Francisco de Goya, who later became official painter for Spanish Crown, during the reign of Charles IV. This exhibition in Madrid displayed some of the less known works of this master of painting, who developed a personal style that influenced the modern and avant-garde movements. Its located in Madrid is set inside the Royal Palace, at the temporary gallery, and also shows works by other important Spanish painters, such as Luis Meléndez, Mariano Salvador de Maella, Luis Paret and Francisco Bayeu, one of the artists that protected and taught Goya.