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Painting Title A Picnic at a Country Inn
Alternative Title A 'Merienda' at a Country Inn; Gentlefolk Picnicing in a Village
Ofl Title Escena popular en la Calle
Collection York Art Gallery
Artist Attributed to Paret y Alcázar, Luis (Spanish painter, 1746-1799)
Date Earliest about 1772
Date Latest about 1773

A view of party of travellers and their servants having a meal. A row of buildings runs down the right, with three people sitting around a selection of foods in the centre foreground. Behind them their servants see to the horses, carriages and a tent. The painting used to have a pendant depicting aristocratic figures in an interior – the pair was separated at the auction in New York in 1999. The inscription can be translated as ‘Costumes of the common people of Spain', although some of the depicted figures seem to represent the upper class.

Luis Paret y Alcázar is, with Francisco José de Goya y Lucientes, one of the most important Spanish painters of the second half of the 18th century. He studied at the Academia Real de San Fernando in Madrid and in Rome; his paintings of the 1760s and 1770s gave him the title of ‘Spanish Watteau'. In 1775 Paret was exiled to Puerto Rico due to his involvement in the court scandal of Infante Don Louis de Bourbon. Paret came back to Spain in 1779 and settled in Bilbao. YORAG : 2001.42 is an excellent example of the genre scenes he painted up to his exile in 1775, and it was dated by J. Luna to c. 1772-1773, as it seems to be close to Paret y Alcázar's other works of that time.

Current Accession Number YORAG : 2001.42
Inscription front ll 'TRAGES DE LA PLE / BE DE ESPANA'
Subject everyday life; figure; landscape; animal (horse)
Measurements 44.8 x 55.3 cm
Material oil on canvas
Acquisition Details Purchased from Colnaghi & Co. London,with the assistance of the National Art Collections Fund, the Resource/Victoria and Albert Museum Purchase Grant Fund and the Friends of York Art Gallery 2001.
Provenance General Maxime Wegand (1867-1965); Christie, Manson & Woods, London, 10 December 1993, lot 104, with the pendant; Christie's, New York, 29 January 1999, lot 188, purchased by Colnaghi.
Principal Exhibitions Luis Paret y Alcazar 1746-1799, Museo de Bellas Artes, Bilbao, 1991, no. 1.
Publications Luna, J.J., Luis Paret y Alcazar 1746-1799, Bilbao, 1991, cat. 1, pp. 167-169; National Art Collections Fund Review, 2001, p. 125; Oil Paintings in Public Ownership. North Yorkshire, London, 2006, p. 320.
Rights Owner York Museums Trust (York Art Gallery)
Author Dr Magdalena Łanuszka



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