La Loteria Nacional ( The National Lottery, Buying the Tickets )

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John Phillip
Born Aberdeen, 1817-1867

La Loteria Nacional: Buying the Tickets, 1861/67

Oil on canvas
Purchased with grants from the National Fund for Acquisitions and The Art Fund, 1982
Museum Number 8-1982

John Phillip was sent to Spain for his health by his doctor in 1851. Much taken with the brilliant sunshine, colourful costumes and the vivacity of its people, he returned in 1857 and 1860-61. So influential was the country and its artists, particularly Velasquez, to his art that he became known as 'Spanish Phillip'.

This painting was begun in Seville in 1861 and was found almost completely finished in Phillip's studio in Rome after his death in 1867. With it was its companion piece, La Loteria Nacional: Reading the Numbers, now in Aberdeen Art Gallery. When it was exhibited in London the Art Journal reviewer wrote, 'Priests, aquadors, toreadors, muleteers and street Arabs are all interested in the lottery, for it is a mania that infects even the hidden recesses of the community.'

Amongst the crowd buying Lottery tickets is a priest - although the Church disapproved of gambling. Ironically an innocent little girl reverentially kisses the hem of his gown

La Loteria Nacional ( The National Lottery, Buying the Tickets )
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