This is a good quality catalogue, and the hardback edition which I've bought is solid and printed on lovely thick paper. The brief introduction sets out the issues which probably result in there being so few classic Spanish drawings in collections or even existence, challenging the received idea that it is because Spanish painters simply didn't draw. For me Tatsakis makes her case that it's a more complex series of issues such as the relative value to collectors of Spanish drawings at key historic moments. The catalogue is quite short partly explained by this lack of drawings in Dutch collections (unlike the holding in museums like the British Museum and Louvre) and the quality of the drawings is high.
My only problem (for me a big one) is that only the first 32 of the 53 entries are in colour - an odd and inexplicable decision. The small number also means a third of the images you can see properly as the artists intended are by Goya and de Ribera (almost half if you count a further three by imitators of Goya). Although these two (along with Murillo) always dominate such collections, this proportion does feel unbalanced. However the images that are here and properly presented in colour are great - 5/6 Goyas and an interesting selection of drawings by his followers, 5 de Riberas, a Murillo and then a number of lesser known artists, some very fine to my eye (Orrente, for example, and a very elegant anonymous Mary with Christ and John, cat. 15).
There has been some interest in Spanish drawing recently and I've also bought the catalogues to the Frick exhibition (The Spanish Manner by Brown et al) and Princeton exhibition (Spanish Drawings by Lisa Banner). Both of these are more comprehensive and fully in colour. This short catalogue however has charm and if you can cope with being fobbed off with a number of black and white images then you will value this book.
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