Images of children in Spanish Romantic art on view at the Prado Museum in Madrid

The Museo del Prado is showing a group of eight works painted between 1842 and 1855 which have been selected from the numerous portraits of children in its collection dating from the reign of Isabel II with the aim of emphasising two of the most important centres for Romantic art in Spain: Madrid and Seville. The display of this selection will also allow for the first public presentation of an almost unknown work by Esquivel that has recently been added to the Museum’s collection. These portraits reveal different interpretations of childhood, a theme that became particularly popular among Romantic painters in a reflection of their clients’ new interests. The idea of childhood as a period of life with its own merits rather than a mere preliminary to adulthood emerged in the Enlightenment and achieved its maximum expression with Romanticism, given that childhood embodied qualities highly appreciated by that moveme

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