Barrett and bad luck

In 1767, the Count of Aranda allowed the celebration of masked balls, first in Madrid and later in Seville, Barcelona and Valencia. It was among the first events that took place, precisely in the Teatro del Principe, that the great painter Louis Barrett Alcazar was aiming for. In the scenographic representation of dance, he thus saw an extraordinary opportunity to analyze the value of nocturnal entertainment in Spanish society that was accommodating French Rococo as the most complete expression of the way of life that would underpin the growth of Madrid as the capital of the state. Spanish.

In his efforts to define the social game, Paret entered a costumbrista that fascinated good society and that would influence changes in attitude toward Spanish life in the last third of the eighteenth century. Despite his young age (he was twenty-one when he painted it), this painting reflects the assimilation of all the changes that were taking place in the world of music, theater, and the culture of social representation in terms of dress, gestures or taste.

mask dance

new habits

In 1767, the Count of Aranda allowed the celebration of masked balls, first in Madrid and later in Seville, Barcelona and Valencia. It was among the first events that took place, precisely in the Teatro del Principe, that the great painter Louis Barrett Alcazar was aiming for. In the scenographic representation of dance, he thus saw an extraordinary opportunity to analyze the value of nightly entertainment in Spanish society that was assimilating French Rococo as the most complete expression of the way of life that would underpin the growth of Madrid as the capital of Spain..
In his efforts to define the social game, Paret entered a costumbrista that fascinated good society and that would influence changes in attitude toward Spanish life in the last third of the eighteenth century. Despite his young age (he was twenty-one when he painted the work), this painting reflects the assimilation of all the changes that were taking place in the world of music, theater, and the culture of social representation in terms of clothing, gestures, or taste.

By revealing the hidden feelings of society, Paret expresses his feelings, emotions, and passions. Precisely for this reason, he was first removed from court, then forced into exile in Puerto Rico, marking the future of this brilliant painter forged at the time when the giant Goya figure took control of Spain.

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Dancing in a Mask by Louis Barrett and Alcazar

Prado Museum

Luis Paret y Alcázar (1746-1799) was a Spanish painter of the second half of the eighteenth century associated with the great artistic transformations that occurred at the Bourbon court, since Charles III ascended to the throne to succeed his half. – Brother Fernando VI died without issue in December 1759. Barrett, at the age of thirteen, was among many spectators interested in a king who would alter aesthetic taste. He soon discovered that the new king would differentiate between the rococo that marked his formative years with the neoclassical style. This change of style was supported at court by Anton Raphael Menge, who arrived in Madrid on the initiative of Queen Amalia of Saxony and culminated with the arrival of Giovanni Battista Tiepolo of Venice as a mural painter.

Barrett: Geniani Store, 1772

Barrett: Geniani Store, 1772

Lazzaro Galdiano Museum

This atmosphere of fusion of styles marked Barrett and made him a painter open to many directions, with an elegant manners in keeping with Watteau and Fragonard, but with his own personality. His life in the first steps at court was connected with the infant Louis de Bourbon, the king’s younger brother, who attended him in all things relating to the social taste of the moment, perhaps in an exaggerated manner in connection with some scandalous relationship. Personal.

The king exiled him to Puerto Rico, and although he lifted the sentence three years later, he was unable to approach the court, and settled in Bilbao. He returned to Madrid in 1789, when the art world was in the hands of Goya, and received a few commissions, three of which were of a pictorial nature and some related to illustrating books, loose prints, and other small arts. The Prado Museum made the wise and fortunate decision to dedicate a wonderful exhibition to this great painter, capable of making a self-portrait dressed in blue, under the strong and intelligent supervision of Dr. Goodrum. Maurer, eighteenth century keeper and Goya in the Prado.

Paret: Self-portrait dressed in blue, 1780

Paret: “Self-Portrait Dressed in Blue”, 1780

Abelló . Group

The exhibition retraces Barry’s creative journey in nine sections, from his beginnings with a late Baroque painting that blends local environments with remnants of sacred art, to the naturalness of great chromatic richness, passing through the Rococo look at social life whose paintings have always been the highlight of Masquerade.

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Curator: Gudrun Maurer. Prado Museum. Madrid www.museodelprado.es. Until August 21

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