The installation of the Bourbon monarchy in Madrid at the beginning of the 18th century provided a strong impetus for French artists to move there. They played an important role in shaping artistic taste during the first half of the century and profoundly influenced their Spanish contemporaries. However, towards the middle decades of the century the French dominance decreased owing to the arrival of Italian artists such as Corrado Giaquinto in 1753, Giambattista Tiepolo and his sons Lorenzo and Domenico in 1762 and a year earlier, the German painter, Anton Raphael Mengs.
The event that had the most profound consequences for artistic practice and the professional recognition of artists working in Spain was the founding of the Academy of San Fernando in Madrid in 1744 where drawing was a fundamental aspect of teaching and printmaking became widely practised. By the late 1700s Spanish artists were professionally trained and had a thorough knowledge of the latest artistic trends.