Alonso de Ercilla y Zúñiga

William Blake, 1757 - 1827

Alonso de Ercilla y Zúñiga

William Blake 1757 - 1827


Painting depicting right side profile perspective bust portrait of Spanish poet Alonso de Ercilla y Zúñiga, bearded and wearing high ruff, surrounded by a thick wreath of leaves. There is a feather headdress to the right of the painting and a quill to the left. The bust section is not coloured, whereas the wreath of leaves is dark green and ultramarine blue.

Display Label

Everything’s Inevitable Works from the collection of Manchester Art Gallery selected by Des Hughes 1 May 2012 – 2013 Manchester Art Gallery has invited sculptor Des Hughes to make a selection of works from our collection to show alongside a framed assemblage piece, In a Brown Study 2011 which will be a new acquisition. Des Hughes lives and works in Kington, Herefordshire. His Do You Think of Me Often is also a recent addition to the Whitworth Art Gallery collection. ‘When I first looked through the collection I planned to select works in a logical way by grouping work by certain themes that I had noticed. Because it is such a vast collection I was overwhelmed, a pleasurable experience in itself, but the idea of 'selecting ' works involves making sense, using a system. To search the collection thoroughly I felt that every work should have a fair audition based on this system. 'Beards', 'hair', 'holes', 'abstract sculpture in paintings made before abstract sculpture was invented' were just some of the themes that seemed to suggest themselves. By grouping works small and probably irrelevant details might connect random and distant painting and sculpture and become important, and in doing so reveal something to myself and others how I might use them in my sculpture. But every time I went through the collection completely different exhibitions would surface and particular works would keep distracting me from these schemes. I noticed that it was exactly the way in which I would view exhibitions, and in fact the way I view everything, scrolling through until a single anecdotal element lights up. Whatever and whenever it is, it suddenly feels vital and current and needs to be made. It connects with past works or particular material or technique, image or gesture and somehow becomes 'inevitable'. An element of every painting, sculpture and particularly the modest items of decorative arts in this selection has become a part of this raw material of future works. ‘ Des Hughes

Object Name

Alonso de Ercilla y Zúñiga

Creators Name

William Blake

Date Created

1800 (circa)


unframed: 41.8cm x 51.7cm
framed: 5.8cm x 60.5cm

accession number


Place of creation







© Manchester Art Gallery

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