(Versailles, 1749 - Paris, 1825)
Elevation project of the chinoiserie cabinet of the Casa de Campo de El Escorial of the Príncipe Nuestro Señor
Ink and colored gouache on laid paper
340 × 440 mm
The Casita del Príncipe or Casita de Abajo is a small palace commissioned by Carlos III to Juan de Villanueva, near the Monastery of El Escorial and the Casita del Infante or Casita de Arriba. Built in two phases, the first between 1771 and 1773, and the second between 1781 and 1783, it was designed as a recreational pavilion for the Prince of Asturias, Charles of Bourbon, the future Charles IV. In 1786, Jean-Démosthène Dugourc, one of the best decorating architects of Louis XVI’s France, presented his project for the Court of Madrid for the two most important houses of the Prince of Asturias, El Pardo and El Escorial, a project in which he designed not only the upholstery and furniture but also the fixed, architectural decoration. This watercolor, which presents the elevation of the west wall with a paneled room decorated with Tianlong, text and furniture imitating bamboo, among other things, is part of the series of designs for the Egyptian room, an Etruscan gallery and, in this case, a Chinese cabinet.