Tag Archives: 17th century

Happy Birthday Murillo! Some Events in Seville

murillo_st_justa_and_st_rufina_2

Bartolomé Esteban Murillo 
Oil on canvas
200 x 176 cm
c. 1666
Museo de Bellas Artes, Seville

Baptised on 1 January 1618, Bartolomé Esteban Murillo (d. 1682) became the leading painter of late seventeenth-century Seville. He completed several religious commissions, especially compelling and innovative representations of the Immaculate Conception. He was also an outstanding portraitist, as revealed in the exhibition Murillo: The Self-Portraitson view at The Frick Collection in New York until February 4. The painter also excelled in genre pictures of children, a production which made him extremely famous among foreign connoisseurs and collectors, especially in England and France in the eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century.

As noted in a contemporary document, Murillo had ‘all his life been a parishioner of la Magdalena [in Seville] without any notable absence’. His oeuvre and memory are closely connected to this city in the South of Spain, then a flourishing emporium for trade with Latin America.

Unsurprisingly, this year the city will celebrate Murillo’s 400th birthday with a number of large-scale cultural events and exhibition. Information on many of these can be found on a dedicated website, Murillo y Sevilla. Here are some highlights:

Murillo y los Capuchinos de Sevilla. Reconstrucción (Murillo and the Capuchins of Seville. Reconstruction), exhibition curated by Maria del Valme Muñoz at the Museo de Bellas Artes. Until 1 April 2018.

Murillo y su estela en Sevilla (Murillo and His Followers in Seville), exhibition curated by Benito Navarrete at the Espacio Santa Clara. Until 8 April 2018.

Murillo IV centenario (Murillo’s 4th centenary), exhibition curated by María Valme Muñoz e Ignacio Cano at the Museo de Bellas Artes. 29 November 2018–17 March 2019.

International Conference Murillo ante su centenario: perspectivas historiográficas y culturales (Murillo at 400: historiographical and cultural perspectives), 19–22 March 2018, Universidad de Sevilla.

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Velázquez at Kingston Lacy: Lecture by Dr Gabriele Finaldi, 21 July

Philip IV hunting Wild Boar (La Tela Real)
Diego Velázquez, Philip IV hunting Wild Boar (La Tela Real), probably 1632-7, oil on canvas, 182 x 302 cm. The National Gallery, London, inventory no. NG197

A unique landscape by artist Diego Velázquez, painted for King Philip IV of Spain, is on loan from the National Gallery in London for the first time, and is exhibited at the National Trust’s Kingston Lacy in Dorset.
La Tela Real takes pride of place in the dining room, while Kingston Lacy’s The Judgement of Solomon by Sebastiano del Piombo is on loan to the National Gallery, where it joined a major exhibition charting Sebastiano’s extraordinary friendship with Michelangelo, master of the Italian High Renaissance.

La Tela Real is a landscape scene depicting a type of boar hunt, staged by the Spanish kings on feast days and to honour special guests. The quarry was hunted within a canvas (tela) enclosure (so giving the name La Tela Real, i.e. ‘The Royal Enclosure’). Owing to the tremendous expense and labour involved, only the king could afford such a spectacle.
Identifiable figures include Philip IV, in the right mid-ground, meeting the charge of the boar. Immediately to his left is the powerful Count-Duke of Olivares (first minister to the king) and beyond him most likely the Infante Don Carlos, Philip’s brother. The king’s first wife, Isabella of Bourbon, watches the events from the comfort and safety of one of the carriages inside the enclosure.

La Tela Real is exceptional amongst Velázquez’s body of work. An extremely rare and individual landscape, it was designed around 1636-8 for The Torre de la Parada, Philip IV’s hunting lodge near Madrid. At Kingston Lacey it will be possible to enjoy an intimate encounter with this artwork, similar to that enjoyed by the king and his court in its original private, royal setting.

Moreover, it will be possible to enjoy the painting together with Kingston Lacy’s remarkable collection of Spanish paintings, assembled by William John Bankes and proudly displayed in his opulent ‘Spanish Room’. The finest works include Velázquez’s portrait of Cardinal Camillo Massimi, and a near-contemporary copy of the artist’s Las Meninas, one of the most enigmatic and famous images in the history of Western art.

To reveal the story of La Tela Real and the fascinating associations with Kingston Lacy’s own outstanding collections, Dr Gabriele Finaldi, Director of the National Gallery,  will give a lecture  looking at Velázquez as an artist along with the history surrounding Philip IV of Spain and the art of boar hunting.

The lecture will take place on 21 July. Tickets are £12 per person, with a welcome drink from 6.30pm, time to explore the state rooms at Kingston Lacy, before the lectures start at 7pm.

Tickets must be booked in advance on 0344 249 1895 or online.
Visitors can see La Tela Real on display until September. The house at Kingston Lacy opens via a timed ticket system. Tickets can be booked online.