ARTISTS, MUSEUMS & GALLERIES
Frere Hortensio Felix Paravicino, El Greco
THE SPANISH PORTRAIT
From El Greco to Picasso
October sees the opening at the Museo del Prado of the major exhibition:
The Spanish Portrait: From El Greco to Picasso, sponsored by BBVA.
Featuring 84 paintings, some of which have never been shown before in
Spain and are rarely loaned, it is the first exhibition to offer a
complete overview of the Spanish portrait from its origins up to the
early twentieth-century avant-garde.
the course of three and a half months and through a selection of 84
works, the exhibition devoted to the Spanish portrait will present a
survey of the development of this genre in Spanish art from the late
fifteenth century to the early decades of the twentieth century. The
exhibition is an unprecedented one, in that it is the first to cover 500
years of Spanish art from the viewpoint of the portrait. It features an
outstanding group of works by all the leading names of in this field,
including El Greco, Ribera, Murillo, Velázquez, Zurbarán, Goya, Miró
and Picasso, the latter represented for the first time inside the Prado.
All previous investigations of this subject, whether books or
exhibitions, have focused on narrower time scales and have been less
ambitious in scope. For this reason The Spanish Portrait. From El Greco
to Picasso offers the first opportunity to present the stylistic
evolution of the Spanish portrait, the different social implications of
the genre in Spain, the self-image formulated by the various sitters,
the image they wished to convey to posterity, and the various devices
and representational strategies used by artists of each period.
Autorretrato Picasso 1901
than half the works in the exhibition are loans from the most important
collections of Spanish portraits. Among them are a large number of
masterpieces, including Fray Hortensio Félix Paravicino by El Greco
(Boston, Museum of Fine Arts), Alonso Verdugo de Albornoz, by Francisco
Zurbarán (Berlin, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Gemäldegalerie), The
Infanta Margarita in a Blue Dress, and Infante Felipe Próspero, by Velázquez
(Vienna, Kunsthistorisches Museum), Portrait of Don Justino Neve, by
Murillo (London, National Gallery), Self-Portrait by Luis Meléndez
(Paris, Musée du Louvre), the two full-length portraits of the Duchess
of Alba by Goya (Madrid, Fundación Casa de Alba and New York, The
Hispanic Society of America), to be exhibited together for the first
time, Self-portrait with Doctor Arrieta, by Goya (The Minneapolis
Institute of Arts), The Family of the Infante don Luis, by Goya (Parma,
Fundazioni Magnani-Rocca), Gertrude Stein, by Picasso (New York,
Metropolitan Museum of Art), Self-Portrait, by Picasso (Paris, Musée
Picasso), and Self-Portrait by Miró) (Paris, Musée Picasso).
the works loaned from abroad, three (two by Velázquez and one by Goya
– The Infanta Margarita in a Blue Dress, Portrait of a Girl, and the
Duchess of Alba) have never been exhibited before in Spain, while it is
also the first time that the Hispanic Society have lent the latter two
collection of the Museo del Prado includes some of the most important
examples of sixteenth- to nineteenth-century Spanish portraits to be
found in any collection world-wide, and its own contribution to the
exhibition thus includes major works such as the Knight with his Hand on
his Breast by El Greco, Las Meninas, which has not been included in any
temporary exhibition since the Velázquez exhibition in 1990, the
Portrait of a Man known as the Pope’s Barber, also by Velázquez, The
Countess of Chinchón, and The Family of Charles IV by Goya.
exhibition, curated by Javier Portús, will take place in the Central
Gallery and Room 12 of the Museum. An accompanying catalogue will be
published which, given the innovative nature of the exhibition, is
expected to be a new reference-point for future studies of this subject.
It includes contributions by Javier Portús, Pilar Silva, Miguel Falomir,
Leticia Ruiz, José Álvarez, Alfonso Pérez Sánchez, Gabriele Finaldi,
Manuel Mena, Nigel Glendinning, José Luis Díez and Javier Barón.
As was the case with its major exhibitions last year, the Museo del Prado will be offering an advance ticket purchase system with specific bookings for day and time. This system will be running from October.