- Museum number
The Last Supper, Christ and the apostles seated around a table
Pen and brown ink and brown wash, over black chalk; scaled for transfer
- Production date
- 1802-1804 (c.)
Height: 356 millimetres
Width: 247 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- Modified text from McDonald 2013
Luis Antonio Planes, José Cámaron (cat.nos 51-52) and José Vergara (1726-99) are regarded the most significant artists working in Valencia during the second half of the eighteenth century. Whereas many drawings by Cámaron and Vergara survive, those by Planes are fewer (A., Espinós Díaz, Museo de Bellas Artes de Valencia: Catálogo de dibujos II (Siglo XVII), I Madrid 1984, pp.137-49). This remarkably well-preserved study of the Last Supper demonstrates Planes’s facility as a draughtsman. It is preparatory for the high altar painting in the chapel of the Communion of the Colegiata de Rubielos de Mora (Teruel) from 1804. The drawing corresponds closely to the painting and its light squaring indicates that it was used to transfer the design.
Another study by Planes executed in oil on paper pasted to panel – originally thought to the work of Mariano Salvador Maella – was made after the drawing and is a working model for the painting ('La luz de las imagines', exh. cat., Segorbe 2001, no.207). The subtle differences between the three works reveals the careful planning that went into its design reflecting the importance of the commission. The door in the background of the drawing has been eliminated in both the oil study and the final painting, presumably to give deeper perspective to the scene. The triangular pediment above the doorway at right in both the drawing and the oil sketch is changed to a roundel in the painting. The most significant change however is Christ’s position. In the drawing he looks slightly above and to the right, whereas in the oil sketch and finished work he looks to the left creating a more harmonious rhythm.
The pictorial style reflects Planes' knowledge of Carlo Maratta and Corrado Giaquinto who had an enormous influence on artists working in Valencia during the eighteenth century. The erroneous attribution to Francisco Bayeu written on the drawing was added later. A drawing by Planes depicting the same subject in the Museo de Bellas Artes, Valencia, thought to date from around the same time lacks the fluency of the British Museum sheet (Espinós Díaz 1984, I, no.346).
From Phillipps MS. 34741. Not in Phillipps-Fenwick.
M. P. McDonald, 'Renaissance to Goya: Prints and drawings from Spain', exh.cat., British Museum, London 2012, pp.228-30; M. P. McDonald, 'El trazo español en el British Museum: Dibujos del Renacimiento a Goya', exh. cat., Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid 2013, cat.no.59.
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
2012/13 Sept-Jan, London, British Museum, ‘Renaissance to Goya: Prints and Drawings from Spain’
2013 March-June, Madrid, Museo Nacional del Prado, ‘El trazo español en el British Museum …’
2013, Aug-Nov, Sydney, AGNSW, 'Renaissance to Goya'
2013-4, Dec-Mar, Santa Fe, New Mexico Museum of Modern Art, 'Renaissance to Goya'
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number