Washington Irving and his fascination for Andalusia, 1828 – 1829

From December 13th to March 3rd, 2024.

Museum Casa de los Tiros. C/ Pavaneras, 19. Granada

The exhibition “Washington Irving and his fascination for Andalusia, from 1828 to 1829” explores the life of Washington Irving, an American writer, man of letters, and diplomat who developed a deep captivation for Spain, especially Andalusia.

Born in New York in 1783 into a family with business ties to Scotland and England, Washington Irving embarked on numerous trips to Europe from a young age. He spent a total of eight years in Spain at various stages of his life. Between 1828 and 1829 he travelled around and lived in Andalusia. The exhibition at the Casa de los Tiros Museum in Granada focuses specifically on his time in Andalusia between 1828 and 1829.

In this exhibition, featuring over 140 pieces, visitors have the opportunity to explore the personal, historical, and social journey of this universal writer who was deeply captivated by Andalusia and its history.

Many of the works he wrote on this subject are on display in the exhibition. The exhibition showcases a variety of Irving’s works on this theme, including first editions of his renowned Tales of the Alhambra in English and Spanish, as well as partial and complete first editions, including the writer’s last revised edition in 1851. Additionally, notable works such as The Life and Voyages of Christopher Columbus and The Chronicle of the Conquest of Granada are shown, with meticulous contextualization provided through thoughtful exhibition discourse.

Of special significance are several Washington Irving’s handwritten letters, being displayed for the first time in Granada, as they are part of the collection of the Public Foundation El legado andalusí.

This exhibition goes beyond showing Irving’s own works, as it also provides a comprehensive display of his historical, personal, and literary context. Visitors can explore the places he visited during his travels, particularly those related with Andalusia, through engravings, lithographs, drawings, and paintings by renowned artists such as Villamil, Laborde, G. Vivian, W. Gail, J. Taylor, J. Pennell, Girault de Prangey, David Roberts, Luis Muriel, among others, in addition to valuable bibliographic editions.

This exhibition, coordinated, curated and designed by the Public Foundation El legado andalusí in special collaboration with the Casa de los Tiros Museum, offers visitors a unique opportunity to get closer to that captivating and Romantic Andalusia that fascinated the early foreign travellers of the 19th century. Led by the influential writings of Washington Irving, whose work played a crucial role in promoting Andalusia’s historical and cultural heritage.

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