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  • Place of origin:

    Spain (photographed)
    Granada (photographed)

  • Date:

    25/05/1883 - 15/06/1883 (photographed)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown (photographer)
    Comisión instaladora de la Exposición de Arte Antiguo (commissioned)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    The photograph is an albumen print mounted on cardboard with handwritten marks related to the National Art Library classification.

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level F, case X, shelf 650

This documentary photograph is a view of the Exhibition of Old Art held in Granada, Spain, in 1883. The display comprises a miscellaneous group of historical objects provided by the Granadian public and private collectors. The event took place in the city Town Hall during a traditional local annual festival called Corpus Christi. This is a Catholic feast, but in Granada became also a civic time of celebration with exhibitions, parades, and many other kinds of events.
The photograph was commissioned by the organisers to document and publicize the display both locally and abroad. Thereby, they sent it together with six photos and an exhibition catalogue, to the National Art Library.
The photographs are still kept in their former box, together with similar views from other countries. In this way, the Library provided information about other museum initiatives abroad. The photographs and the catalogue are of interest in documenting the relationships between the V&A and art institutions from abroad, thus its international scope and its collaborative position from early on.

Physical description

One of seven photographs illustrating the 'Exposición de Arte Antiguo' held in the Town Hall of Granada, Spain, in 1883. View of a disjointed display of paintings, historical and decorative objects on loan from private collectors and convents from the city.

Place of Origin

Spain (photographed)
Granada (photographed)


25/05/1883 - 15/06/1883 (photographed)


Unknown (photographer)
Comisión instaladora de la Exposición de Arte Antiguo (commissioned)

Materials and Techniques

The photograph is an albumen print mounted on cardboard with handwritten marks related to the National Art Library classification.


Height: 33.3 cm mount, Width: 26 cm mount, Height: 22.1 cm photograph, Width: 16.2 cm photograph

Object history note

This group of seven photographs (museum numbers 84372, 84373, 84374, 84375, 84376, 84426, and 84425) illustrate the 'Exposición de Arte Antiguo' (Exhibition of Old Art) in Granada, held at the city Town Hall from 25/05/1883 to 15/06/1883. It was organised by the Diputación Provincial of Granada (a type of Spanish geographical region similar to the county) to celebrate the traditional local annual festival known as Corpus Christi. The objects were provided by both private and public collections, and the objects included in the exhibition included historical, artistic and decorative objects, made by a variety of techniques, and related to various historical periods. It is possible to identify most of the objects in this photograph because the exhibition catalogue provides a list.

Local contemporary newspaper as ‘El Defensor de Granada’ (24/05/1883, 26/05/1883), ‘El Diario de Granada’ (01/05/1883, 8/05/1883, 24/05/1883), ‘La lealtad’ (05/05/1883), and 'La Tribuna: Diario Político' (24/05/1883) quoted the venue, as well as the main Spanish cultural magazine at this time, ‘La Ilustración Española y Americana’ (08/09/1883), which considered the exhibition "an improvised overcrowding of remains" (p. 139). These photographs were probably given to the National Art Library by Pedro Marín de los Ríos, the President of the Comission for the installation of the exhibition (so called “Comisión instaladora”), together with the exhibition catalogue held by the National Art Library.

The way the photographs are still included in their former box, together with many other contemporary views from displays and galleries in European countries, demonstrates the initial use of these images for documentary and research purposes in the National Art Library. The photographs and the catalogue donation are interesting evidence of the relationships between art institutions from Granada, Spain, and the South Kensington Museum, thus the international scope and collaborative position during the first running decades in the V&A.

Descriptive line

Photograph, view of display at the Exhibition of Old Art in the Town Hall, Granada, 1883

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Catalogo de la Exposicion de Arte Antiguo. Granada: 1883


Photographic paper


Albumen print

Subjects depicted

Exhibitions; Religious art; Convents; Art; Body armour; Tapestry; Sword; Arms; Corpus Christi (feast)


Ceremonial objects; Ecclesiastical Art/Craft


Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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