hermitage museum foundation

The Taking of Seville Restoration


The Painting:

A stunning example of 17th-century Spanish art, this painting portrays an event from the Reconquista of Spain from the Moors. The restoration of such a highly artistic painting, lost for more than two centuries, will not only provide the Hermitage with yet another masterpiece, it will greatly enhance our understanding of the work of Carreñao de Miranda and all of Spanish art.

The History:

In 1814, Emperor Alexander I bought a large collection of Spanish paintings from Amsterdam banker William Coesvelt. The paintings were sent by ship to Saint Petersburg between 1814 and 1815. For most, the journey was uneventful; but for this painting and nine others, the trip ended in calamity. The ship transporting them sank in Vyborg Bay, near the Russian capital. While the artworks were recovered, all were heavily damaged and in need of restoration.

Because of its fragile condition, the painting has never been displayed and was only unrolled for examination in 2007, when it attribution to Carreñao de Miranda, one of Madrid’s leading painters of the late 1600s, was confirmed.


Join us in preserving and promoting one of the most important cultural treasures in the world by joining the Hermitage Museum Foundation. All donations are tax deductible under US law.

You can easily make a direct donation in the amount of your choosing.