Lot 184
  • 184

Vicente Lopez y Portaña

20,000 - 30,000 GBP
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  • Vicente Lopez y Portaña
  • The Virgin of the Immaculate Conception
  • oil on canvas, in the original gilt wood frame


Lassala collection, Valencia.


Valencia, Centro Escolar y Mercantil, Vicente López. Su Vida, Su Arte, Su Tiempo, 1926, no. 5;
Barcelona, Palacio Nacional, El Arte en España. Exposición Internacional de Barcelona, 1929, room XXXVIII, no. 26.


L. Morales y Marín, Vicente López, Zaragoza 1980, p. 121, cat. no. 407;
J.-L. Díez, Vicente López (1772–1850), 2 vols, Madrid 1999, vol. II, p. 26, cat. no. P-58, reproduced p. 532.

Catalogue Note

This is an outstanding example of a religious painting by Vicente López, one of the most esteemed painters of nineteenth-century Spain, painted relatively early in his career in about 17951800, when his style was strongly influenced by the highly academic and classicizing tradition within Spanish painting established by the court painter Anton Raphael Mengs (1728–1779). José Luis Díez dates this work to about 17951800 on stylistic grounds.1 A preparatory sketch for the painting is in the Museo Lázaro Galdiano;2 and a related drawing is believed to have been formerly in the collection of Mariano Quintanilla.3

The Virgin of the Immaculate Conception can be traced back to the Lassala Collection, an important private collection in Valencia. This was not the only devotional work by the artist in their possession. Díez lists four paintings in the Lassala collection, of which The Genealogy of Christ (1799–1800) is close in date to the present painting.4 The Virgin of the Immaculate Conception is datable to around the same period as one of López’s most impressive commissions also to treat a Marian subject, The Virgin of Mercy, originally painted for a convent and now housed in the Museo de Bellas Artes in Valencia.5 Designed as an altarpiece and executed on a large scale, the latter follows a similar structure to this painting, although the presence of supplicants based on real types gives the work a more baroque feel than the more classically restrained Virgin of the Immaculate Conception

There is an autograph reduced version of this composition in a private collection in Alicante, thought by Díez to be of slightly later date than this painting, around 1796–1800.6 The Virgin of the Immaculate Conception is a subject to which López would return throughout his career but never again on this scale and with such flair.

1. Albeit that an inscription on the stretcher reads: July 8.18.1800, Díez considers The Virgin of the Immaculate Conception to be somewhat earlier, and therefore, given its early date, a work of impressive maturity.
2. Inv. no. 6867; recognised as such by Díez; see Díez 1999, vol. II, p. 27, no. P-60, reproduced on p. 532. 
3. Díez 1999, vol. II, p. 315, no. D-109.
4. Díez 1999, vol. II, p. 26, no. P. 57, reproduced p. 555.
5. Inv. no. 635; oil on canvas, 262 x 138 cm., Díez 1999, vol. II, p. 43, no. P-164, reproduced p. 576.
6. Oil on canvas, 157 x 97 cm.; Díez 1999, vol. II, pp. 26–27, no. P-59, reproduced p. 532.