Category Archives: Exhibition

New and noteworthy exhibition openings in Spain, October 2020

El Greco (1541-1614). Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane or Christ on the Mount of Olives (c. 1600). Colección Pittas.

Obras maestras de la colección Valdés, Museo de Bellas Artes, Bilbao, 7 October 2020 – 1 February 2021.

The first exhibition devoted to the art collection of the Bilbao businessman Félix Fernández-Valdés (1895- 1976), 4 of whose paintings entered the Prado’s collection after his death and others are now distributed around other public and private collections in Spain. The exhibition shows 79 works out of a total of over 400, ranging from the medieval period to the 20th century and include paintings by El Greco, Luis de Morales, Anton van Dyck, José de Ribera, Francisco de Zurbarán, Bartolomé Esteban Murillo, Juan de Valdés Leal, Carreño, Francisco de Goya, Eduardo Rosales, Mariano Fortuny, Darío de Regoyos, Joaquín Sorolla, Ignacio Zuloaga, Julio Romero de Torres, Daniel Vázquez Díaz, José Gutiérrez Solana. The exhibition reconstructs one of the most important private collections of the second half of the 20th century, and one which was not only rich in ‘Golden Age’ Spanish paintings, but also medieval Spanish art, with a significant triptych by Bernardo Serra, a panel by Fernando Gallego and the triptych from Quejana (in Álava), and works from the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Gaudí & trencadís Museo Nacional de Cerámica, Valencia, 2 October 2020 – 31 January 2021.

An exhibition sponsored by the World Monuments Fund which investigates the origin, development and techniques used by the Catalan architect Gaudí to create his signature trencadís, a form of mosaic with which many of his architectural forms were covered. The display shows 53 works, 33 of which are original (four from the Valencian museum) and 20 are reproductions made for didactic purpose, by the conservator Montse Agüero. The exhibition divides into two parts, the first explored the links between the trencadís and ancient mosaic techniques whether as practised by Romans or Venetians, in stone or ceramics. The second section analyses the development of the technique within Gaudí’s work from the Torre Güell, the first building in which he used trencadís, and has a special display about the use of the technique in Valencia itself, especially on its railway station Estación del Norte and on the facades of the houses in the suburb of Cabanyal. A five-minute video in which one of the craftsmen working on the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona explains in Catalan (with Castilian subtitles) how the workshop creates the trencadis for the cathedral spires, is found at https://youtu.be/hSbDvnV9A98

Upcoming Exhibition – Mariana Castillo Deball: Between making and knowing something at Modern Art Oxford (2 October 2020 – 3 January 2021)

View of the artist’s studio, 2020. Image courtesy Mariana Castillo Deball via Modern Art Oxford

Through a collage-like installation featuring pottery, photography and textiles, Mexican-born artist Mariana Castillo Deball works to uncover stories and individuals often hidden in traditional museum displays.

For more information and to book a free ticket, please click here.

Text and image from Modern Art Oxford

Museums online: content from the National Gallery of Ireland, the Museo del Prado, the Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga, and Google Arts and Culture

Virtual tour of ‘Murillo: The Prodigal Son Restored’ at the National Gallery of Ireland

Photo © National Gallery of Ireland. Bartolomé Esteban Murillo (1617-1682), The Departure of the Prodigal Son, 1660s.

The Gallery is scheduled to reopen on July 20th, but until then you can visit virtually. The online version features a 360 degree image of the exhibition with the possibility to zoom in on the paintings and read the accompanying labels and text panels.

‘Discovering the Collection’ video series from the Museo del Prado

The museum’s director, conservators, curators, archivists, and other experts present 5-10 minute talks focused on key aspects of the permanent collection, including individual works and entire areas, such as the rare books from the museum’s library (in Spanish).

‘Despite the Distance’ video series from the Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga in Lisbon

The director, researchers, and the heads of various departments have recorded short talks from inside the museum during the lockdown to share details about the history and conservation of various works in the collection (in Portuguese).

Google Arts and Culture virtual collections

This site features virtual museum visits from around the world, which you can navigate with a map or alphabetically,such as the Muesu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya in Barcelona or the Museo Nacional de Arte in Mexico City. It is also worth exploring the other features of the site, including high definition images, narrated talks about individual works, virtual tours of famous sites, and much more.

Featured Exhibition: Murillo: The Prodigal Son Restored, Hugh Lane Room, National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin, until 30 August 2020

Six remarkable paintings by one of the most celebrated painters of the Spanish Golden Age, Bartolomé Esteban Murillo (1617–1682), have been conserved and researched at the National Gallery of Ireland. They depict the parable of the Prodigal Son. Fascinating details uncovered during the conservation project and a number of related prints will be displayed alongside the series, revealing the secrets of the artistic process of this master storyteller.

Click here for more information.

Generously supported by the Blavatnik Family Foundation

Curators| Muirne Lydon and Dr Aoife Brady

‘Picasso and Paper’: An Exhibition at the RA and a Programme of Events Organised by the Instituto Cervantes London

Picasso didn’t just draw on paper – he tore it, burnt it, and made it three-dimensional. From studies for ‘Guernica’ to a 4.8-metre-wide collage, this major exhibition, open until 13 April 2020 at the Royal Academy, brings together more than 300 works on paper spanning the artist’s 80-year career. Click here for more information.

In conjunction with the exhibition, the Instituto Cervantes has organised a programme of talks and concerts paying homage to the famous Spanish artist.

Closing Soon: ‘Goya, génie d’avant-garde, le maître et son école’, Agen, France, until 10 February 2020

The City of Agen and its Fine Arts Museum, located between Bordeaux and Toulouse in the South-west of France, will present, over the winter of 2019–2020, an outstanding exhibition with a fresh and unexpected view on Francisco de Goya y Lucientes (1746–1828) and his work.


Through a selection of works in several media (paintings, drawings, engravings), the exhibition will demonstrate the essential characteristics that remain constant in Goya’s work and reveal the role played by his collaborators in his studio.


The Museum’s scientific team is assisted in this project by one of the specialists of Goya’s work, Juliet Wilson-Bareau, and the event has received personal support from the French Minister of Culture.


Nearly 90 works loaned by museums and private collections around the world (France, Germany, Hungary, Spain, Switzerland, UK, USA) will be on display in the Jacobins’ Church (Église des Jacobins), an Agen architectural jewel and an emblematic place for the Museum’s temporary exhibitions.


Click here for an exhibition leaflet, and here for practical information.

Featured Exhibition: ‘Montañés, maestro de maestros’, Museo de Bellas Artes, Seville, until 15 March 2020

Juan Martínez Montañés (Alcalá la Real, 1568–Seville, 1649) marked a milestone in Spanish Baroque sculpture and a timeless model in the Sevillian school. This exhibition provides an insight into a select repre­sentation of 44 sculptures and reliefs by the brilliant artist, of a total of 58 works on display. Divided into three sections, the itinerary presents an exceptional repertoire of works that bear witness to the ambition of the major commissions he undertook, the sublime quality of his devotional images and the novelty of his iconographic models. The first section features works from his most outstanding groups or altarpieces, such as those from San Isidoro del Campo and the convent of San Leandro. The second one offers key examples of his magnificent religious imagery, such as Saint Christopher and Saint Jerome, and the third one highlights his most significant contributions to Sevillian Baroque iconography, as exemplified by the Infant Jesus from the Cathedral Side­ Chapel, ‘La Cieguecita’ (Little Blind One), and the Christ of Clemency.

The connections with the artistic and intellectual world of the day reveal the collaboration between Montañés and other artists, also represented here by paintings that formed part of altarpieces or were the pictorial ex­pression of the new iconographies which the sculptor helped to establish. Many of the works on display have undergone con­servation and restoration works specifically for the exhibition, enabling us to appreciate the extraordinary quality and beauty of the grand masterís work in all its glory. Thanks to the generous collaboration of the Archbishopric of Seville, the exhibition also includes works which the general public rarely have the op­portunity to admire, either because they are located high up on altarpieces or hidden away in convents and monasteries.

Featured Exhibition: Art on Display. Formas de expor 1949-69, Gulbenkian Museum, Lisbon, until 2 March 2020

Central case for the Islamic East section of the Calouste Gulbenkian Museum, 196?, Gulbenkian Archives, GV A2-00336

Marking the 50th anniversary of the Gulbenkian Museum, this exhibition takes as its starting point the display solutions found for the opening of the Museum in 1969. It also recreates different exhibition design ideas created by Franco Albini and Franca Helg, Carlo Scarpa, Lina Bo Bardi, Aldo van Eyck and Alison and Peter Smithson in other countries.

This exhibition takes the museography of the Calouste Gulbenkian Museum as its starting point, marking its 50th anniversary.

The Italian designer Franco Albini advised the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation on the most contemporary examples of good museum design. The museum, which opened in 1969, was strongly influenced by his background in contemporary Italian design, notably that of Carlo Scarpa.

The exhibition recreates some of the period’s classic solutions to the display of art, contrasting the stasis and fixity of 1950s’ design with some of the more playful and immersive designs, by Aldo van Eyck and the Smithsons, which had already emerged by the time the Museum opened.

This exhibition allows the viewer to experience these different ways of looking at and being with art. It is accompanied by archival photographs and drawings, revealing  display solutions conceived for the Museum.

The exhibition is an associate project of the Lisbon Architecture Triennale 2019. In 2020, it will also be held at the Het Nieuwe Instituut, Rotterdam.

Curators: Penelope Curtis (Calouste Gulbenkian Museum) and Dirk van den Heuvel (Jaap Bakema Study Centre/Het Nieuwe Instituut)

In association with: Het Nieuwe Instituut, Rotterdam

Click here for more information

Opens Today: Alonso Berruguete: First Sculptor of Renaissance Spain, NGA, Washington DC, until 17 February 2020

Alonso Berruguete: First Sculptor of Renaissance Spain will be the first major exhibition held outside Spain to celebrate the expressive art of the most important sculptor active on the Iberian Peninsula during the first half of the 16th century, Alonso Berruguete. The exhibition will present an impressive range of more than 40 works from across his career, including examples of his earliest paintings from his time in Italy, where he trained. His abilities as draftsman will also be celebrated with the largest group of his drawings ever to be assembled. The primary focus will be on his painted sculptures in wood, which generally decorated large altarpieces, or retablos. The Museo Nacional de Escultura in Valladolid, Spain, will be lending a substantial group of some of his very best figures. A section of one of his altarpieces will be loosely reconstructed in the exhibition to convey an idea of how his sculptures were originally seen.

The exhibition is curated by C. D. Dickerson III, curator and head of sculpture and decorative arts, National Gallery of Art, Washington.

A fully illustrated catalog accompanying the exhibition will be the first general book on Berruguete published in English and will feature essays by Dickerson as well as Manuel Arias Martínez, deputy director, Museo Nacional de Escultura, Valladolid, and Mark McDonald, curator of Italian, Spanish, Mexican, and early French prints and illustrated books, The Metropolitan Museum of Art. The exhibition was organized by the National Gallery of Art, Washington, and the Meadows Museum, SMU, Dallas.

It will travel to the Meadows Museum, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, from March 29 to July 26, 2020.

Click here for more information.

New Exhibition and CEEH Publication: VALENTÍN CARDERERA Y SOLANO, Biblioteca Nacional de España, Madrid, September 27, 2019 – January 12, 2020

VALENTÍN CARDERERA Y SOLANO (Huesca, 1796 – Madrid, 1880) was a painter, scholar, communicator, collector and traveller. His life was marked by his efforts to safeguard Spain’s historical heritage and he journeyed around much of the Spanish mainland to bear witness in his drawings and watercolours to significant monuments, many at risk of disappearance as a result of the modernising drive ushered in by the new liberal order. Member of the Romantic generation and friends with the Madrazo family, Carderera was also in contact with some other figures like Richard Ford and Prosper Mérimée, with whom he shared the same nostalgia for the past and the need to define his position in the complex debate between tradition and progress.

The exhibition—featuring more than a hundred pieces including paintings, drawings, engravings, manuscripts, books, maps and objects—pays tribute to Carderera’s work and the significant legacy he left in the Biblioteca Nacional de España. In 1867 the Spanish State adquired his collection of drawings and prints: more than 45.000 pieces which enriched the department of Fine Arts with engravings of Mantegna, Dürer and Rembrandt, among others, along with one of the very few drawings attributed to Velázquez. Click here for more information.

The exhibition opens on 27 September in the Biblioteca Nacional de España’s Sala Hipóstila. It was curated by José María Lanzarote Guiral and organised by the Biblioteca Nacional de España and Centro de Estudios Europa Hispánica.

It is accompanied by a an exhibition catalogue which reconstructs Carderera’s intense life in six thematic sections, published by CEEH. Until 25 September, the catalogue can be purchased from the CEEH website at special discount price. Click here for more information.