The greatest Spanish draftsmen from the seventeenth through the nineteenth century — Ribera, Murillo, and Goya, among them — created works of dazzling idiosyncrasy. These diverse drawings, which may be broadly characterized as possessing a specifically "Spanish manner," were the subject of an exclusive exhibition at The Frick Collection in the fall of 2010. The presentation featured more than fifty of the finest Spanish drawings from public and private collections in the Northeast, among them The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Hispanic Society of America, The Morgan Library & Museum, the Princeton University Art Museum, and the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Opening the show were rare sheets by the early seventeenth-century masters Francisco Pacheco and Vicente Carducho, followed by a number of spectacular red chalk drawings by the celebrated draftsman Jusepe de Ribera. The exhibition continued with rapid sketches and painting-like wash drawings from the rich oeuvre of the Andalusian master Bartolomé Esteban Murillo, along with lively drawings by Francisco de Herrera the Elder and his son and the Madrid court artist Juan Carreño de Miranda, among others.
The second part of the exhibition presented twenty-two sheets by the great draftsman Francisco de Goya, whose drawings are rarely studied in the illuminating context of the Spanish draftsmen who came before him. These works, mostly drawings from his private albums, attested to the continuity between his thematic interests and those of his Spanish forebears, as well as to Goya's own enormously fertile imagination. The exhibition was organized by Jonathan Brown, Carroll and Milton Petrie Professor of Fine Arts, New York University; Lisa A. Banner, independent scholar; and Susan Grace Galassi, Senior Curator at The Frick Collection. It was accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue with entries by the show's organizers and by Reva Wolf, Professor of Art History, State University of New York at New Paltz, and author of Goya and the Satirical Print in England and on the Continent, 1730–1850, and by Andrew Schulz, Associate Professor of Art History and Department Head at the University of Oregon and author of Goya's Caprichos: Aesthetics, Perception, and the Body.