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 Antonio Carnicero  (1748 - 1814)

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Lived/Active: Spain      Known for: figure painting, genre

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Ad Code: 3
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from Auction House Records.
An amphitheatre with figures watching a bull fight; and A capriccio of a square with figures watching a hot air balloon (2)
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
Biography from Christie's London, King Street:
Please note: Artists not classified as American in our database may have limited biographical data compared to the extensive information about American artists.

Born in Salamanca, Antonio Carnicero received his initial artistic training under his father Alejandro, a sculptor, before winning a scholarship at the age of twelve to attend the Academy of San Luca in Rome.  On returning to Spain in 1796, he was appointed court painter to King Carlos III, a post later taken up by Francisco de Goya.

Towards the end of his life he was embroiled in political intrigue when the young Prince Asturias Fernando VII, whom he had tutored in drawing as a boy, went on to overthrow his father in the conspiracy of the Escorial in 1806.  Arrested on November 7, 1807, Carnicero spent ten days in prison before being released.  Like Goya, Carnicero was forced to work for Joseph Bonaparte in order to keep his position as court painter, and later removed from office on the grounds that he had apparently served the king abroad.  He died on August 21, 1814, just days before the amnesty declared by Ferdinand VII.

A renowned portraitist of Madrid's royalty and nobility, Carnicero was also inspired by the popular gatherings in the city’s vast parks and plazas, creating early and definitive works in the popular costumbrista style.  These elegant works were a product of the French taste for eighteenth-century civic scenes, imported to Spain with the Bourbons, and demonstrate the same immaculate attention to details of costume and manners, which had earlier been applied in his drawings for the series Spain and the Indies (Trajes de España e Indias, 1777).

Carnicero spent years, beginning in 1775, working in the execution of tapestry cartoons for the Royal Household.  He was also a set designer for the Theatre de la Cruz and the Teatro del Principe. 

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