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Spanish, Landscape with Figures

Key facts
Full title Landscape with Figures
Artist Spanish
Date made 17th century
Medium and support Oil on canvas
Dimensions 91.2 × 126 cm
Acquisition credit Bequeathed by Sir William H. Gregory, 1892
Inventory number NG1376
Location Not on display
Collection Main Collection
Previous owners
Landscape with Figures

This sketchily painted landscape is dotted with groups of figures in seventeenth-century Spanish dress. We are not certain where the scene is set, although it may be the forest of the Palace of El Pardo, north-west of Madrid. This palace had vast hunting grounds, which are probably those represented in Velázquez’s Philip IV hunting Wild Boar (La Tela Real), also in the Gallery’s collection. The five figures and a mule in the foreground were copied from this picture. There are two further groups of people in the middle distance and two men on horseback, one partly hidden among the trees. It is not obvious what connects these figures but their ornate costumes indicate their noble status.

This painting was thought to be by Velázquez when it was acquired by the Gallery in the 1860s for a modest sum similar to that paid for Velázquez’s early masterpiece Christ in the House of Martha and Mary.

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