Now on display at the Museo Nacional de Escultura in Valladolid the museum’s newly acquired group of 19 individual polychrome sculptures by the Seville-born Luisa Roldán (1652-1706), forming the unusual subject of the Cavalcade of the Kings. These small-scale cedar-wood painted and gilded figures were acquired in December 2017 after being export-stopped and are the first examples of La Roldana’s work to enter the Valladolid museum. Amongst the mixed-race cavalcade, which is presumed to have formed the cortege for a much larger, but now dismantled, group, there is a fourth king, the King of Tharsis, the mythical Hispanic region cited in the Bible. The group is believed to have been carved before the sculptress moved to the Madrid court in 1689. A video clip showing some of the figures can be viewed here.
This autumn, Dulwich Picture Gallery will present the first exhibition in the UK dedicated to the Spanish Baroque painter, draughtsman and printmaker Jusepe de Ribera (1591–1652). Born in Játiva, Valencia, Ribera emigrated to Italy as a young artist. Proud of his Spanish heritage, he eventually settled in Naples, then a Spanish territory, but never again returned to Spain. A hybrid figure, Ribera had a significant influence on the art of both countries in the seventeenth century.
Introducing this artist to a UK audience, the exhibition will focus on some of Ribera’s most powerful images featuring saints and sinners, flaying and flogging. Ribera’s images of pain have often been described as shocking and even grotesque in their realism. In a common historiographical trope, the artist himself has been labelled as sadistic and violent. Challenging this long-standing interpretation, Ribera: Art of Violence will reveal the complex artistic, religious and cultural discourses underpinning the artist’s violent imagery in paint and on paper. This exploration will be anchored by a number of major loans from North American and European collections, with some works travelling to the UK for the first time.
A scholarly catalogue will accompany the exhibition, showcasing the new research which has informed the display.
Ribera: Art of Violence is co-curated by ARTES committee member Dr Edward Payne (Head Curator of Spanish Art, The Auckland Project), author of a PhD thesis on the theme of violence in Ribera’s art (2012) and contributor to the catalogue raisonné of Ribera’s drawings (2016), and Dr Xavier Bray (Director, The Wallace Collection), former Arturo and Holly Melosi Chief Curator at Dulwich Picture Gallery, and curator of the National Gallery’s exhibitions The Sacred Made Real: Spanish Painting and Sculpture 1600–1700 (2009) and Goya: The Portraits (2015).
Three important new acquisitions are temporarily on display at the Prado Museum in Madrid:
Saint John the Baptist in a Landscape, an oil on copper by Juan Bautista Maíno (1581–1649), strongly influenced by the artist’s Roman period.
The copper plate for a print portraying an auto da fé in Madrid’s Plaza Mayor, engraved by in 1680 by Flemish artist Gregorio Fosman, one of the outstanding printmakers of the seventeenth century. The print is related to Francisco Rizi’s famous painting of the same subject, also in the Prado.
Luis Paret’s A celestina [procuress] and the lovers, a work of 1784, inspired by the famous play La Celestina by Francisco de Rojas (1499), which foreshadows the satire of interpersonal relationships characteristic of Goya’s Caprichos
The National Gallery, London, has recently acquired Still Life with Lemons, Lilies, Carnations, Roses and a Lemon Blossom in a Wicker Basket, the first work by Juan de Zurbarán to enter a public collection in the UK. On display at the Gallery since 25 April 2018, the work was painted in about 1643–49 by the son of leading Golden Age artist Francisco de Zurbarán. Long overshadowed by his father, Juan was a skilled still life painter documented in Seville between 1620 and 1649. Works by his hand are extremely rare as his career was cut short at 29 by the plague which halved the city’s population.
El País reports that the Colón Towers, two high-rise buildings in the vicinity of Madrid’s Plaza de Colón and Biblioteca Nacional, may soon become listed. Designed by Antonio Lamela (December 1, 1926–April 1, 2017), the towers’ suspended structure was innovative at the time of their construction, between 1967 and 1976. In the 1990s new fire regulations resulted in the construction of an art nouveau roof, known as ‘el enchufe’ (‘the plug’), which links the towers and provides access to an emergency staircase.
According to the Asociación para la Protección de las Torres Colón, which is campaigning for the recognition of the towers’ architectural importance, ‘su valor arquitectónico, del que su sistema estructural es parte indiscutible y esencial, además de su proyección nacional e internacional, merece ser reconocido como parte del patrimonio arquitectónico madrileño.’
Co-organised by Tate Modern and the Musée Picasso, Paris, the exhibition Picasso 1932 – Love, Fame, Tragedy at Tate Modern chronicles an intensely creative year in the life of this artist. Focusing on representing his lover Marie-Thérèse Walter, he produced some of his most innovative compositions.
Surprisingly, this will be the Tate’s first ever solo exhibition dedicated to Picasso. Featuring paintings, drawings, and archive documents, the exhibition will reveal the man behind the myth, allowing visitors to discover the full complexity of this famous artist and of his exceptional life.
Pablo Picasso’s Femme au béret et à la robe quadrillée (Marie-Thérèse Walter) (1937) will be the star of Sotheby’s evening sale tomorrow. It is one of Picasso’s last paintings of his muse Marie-Thérèse Walter, whom he represented countless times in the 1930s. Several paintings of Marie-Thérèse will feature in the exhibition Picasso 1932: Love, Fame, Tragedy, opening on 8 March 2018 at Tate Modern, London. While works in the exhibition chronicle the romantic highpoint of their relationship, the painting auctioned by Sotheby’s marks its end. Indeed, the dark shadow surrounding Marie-Thérèse’s face may evoke Picasso’s growing passion for Dora Maar, his lover between 1935 and 1943.