CEEH Centro de Estudios Europa Hispánica

Ceán Bermúdez. Historiador del arte y coleccionista ilustrado


Elena Mª. Santiago Páez (ed.)


544 pages; 276 color illustrations; hardcover; 22 x 27,5 cm


Spanish; published by the CEEH and the Biblioteca Nacional de España; 2016





Juan Agustín Ceán Bermúdez (1749–1829) is a key name in Spanish art historiography. His life and writings were closely linked to those of other Enlightenment figures of the period such as Jovellanos, for whom he worked for many years, and Goya, whose company he frequented. He owned numerous works by the latter, including many of the drawings after Velázquez from which the Aragonese artist subsequently made prints.

Taking as a basis unpublished sources and a new examination of those that are already known, this study paints a new and thorough portrait of a man who was much more complex and important than previously believed. In five articles, a catalogue of more than 150 works and a full chronology, various specialists analyse two aspects of Ceán’s legacy: as an art historian (as he laid the scientific foundations for his discipline in pioneering works and fundamental writings on architecture, archaeology, painting, collecting, engraving and drawing) and as a collector of drawings and prints.

This volume is the catalogue of the exhibition with the same title on show at the Biblioteca Nacional de España.

Elena M.ª Santiago Páez, who holds a doctorate from the Complutense University, is librarian emeritus at the Biblioteca Nacional de España (BNE), where she was previously in charge of the geography and maps section (1966–82) and the department of drawings and engravings (1983–2004). The many exhibitions she has curated include “Ydioma universal”, Goya en la B.N. (with J. Wilson, 1996); El gabinete de Ceán Bermúdez (1997); Del Amor y la Muerte. Dibujos y grabados de la B.N. (2001); and La luz de la sombra. Grabados de Rembrandt (with G. Lambert, 2004–5).