The Day - Bilbao Fine Arts Museum

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The Day

Laplaza y Muncig, Roberto

Bilbao, 1842-Madrid, 1930/01/08

Charcoal crayon

36,1 x 30,6 cm

R. Laplaza


19th century. Third quarter


Acquired in 2007

Although he was a particularly prolific painter of portraits and of a range of themes including historical, religious, mythological and popular scenes, plus still life paintings and allegories, where Laplaza really excelled was in his decorative painting. In the 1880s and 1890s he executed a number of works (and helped to restore them) at the church of San Francisco el Grande in Madrid, where he also designed the stained-glass windows, and the concert of angels for the dome of St Anthony's chapel. He also decorated the palaces of, among others, the Marquis de Campo, the Count and Countess of Casa Valencia, the Marchioness of Casariego and the Marquis of Riscal.

This sketch for Day is linked to his decorative work, being produced as part of the decoration for the palace of Eduardo de Carondelet y Donato, 2nd Duke of Bailén and Marquis of Portugalete. In his palace on the Alcalá Street, this leading patron of the arts built up a notable art collection, with works by Murillo, Goya, Fortuny, Palmaroli and Pradilla, as well as by Laplaza. As part of his contribution to the project, Laplaza made two decorations that included the allegories of Night and Day, the sketches for which, except for slight details, in terms of composition and line may be considered final. Day is related to the classical iconography of Dawn, with the morning star crowning her forehead, and with the iconography of Day, a young woman with a light veil with which she conceals the night and the stars. (Javier Novo)

Selected bibliography

  • Adquisiciones 02/07 [Cat. exp.]. Bilbao, Museo de Bellas Artes de Bilbao, 2007. pp. 40-41, n° cat. 11.