COMUNICACIÓN Y PRENSA
Drawn up by Juan Agustín Ceán Bermúdez and published by the Royal Academy of San Fernando
Madrid: Printed by Viuda de Ibarra, 1800
Juan Agustín Ceán Bermúdez was the first art historian in the true sense of the word. He was born into a poor family but enjoyed the patronage Gaspar Melchor de Jovellanos, a wellknown writer and politician from his home town of Gijon, who introduced him to many of 18th century Spain’s most enlightened thinkers.
He was a prolific author who wrote newspaper articles, essays, practical Fine Arts manuals, guidebooks, academic reports, translations of foreign authors and his biographies of Spanish artists.
The book we are recommending today is his great masterpiece. This Dictionary was drawn up by directly consulting the documentary sources in all kinds of archives and libraries, for which purpose he travelled the length and breadth of the Iberian Peninsula to see the artworks in situ, something unheard of at that time.
If any of our readers would like to know what this illustrious art historian looked like, they should take a look at the portraits by Francisco de Goya.
The Library of the Council of the Alhambra and Generalife has a copy of the Dictionary in 6 volumes.