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.
Hispanic identity has been shaped during the last century by a conscious selection of historical periods of its history. After the loss of the last colonies of the former Spanish Empire at the end of the 19th century, the nation had hit rock bottom in political terms. To counterbalance this decline, writers, poets, essayists and scholars from the so-called generation of ’98 aimed for the restoration of the cultural splendor of the Spanish Golden Age, a period of flourishing in the arts and literature that spans from Philip II’s reign until the death of Charles II in 1700, the last of the Habsburg monarchs. This wish has been constant through the 20th century and is also connected with the rise of neobaroque aesthetics and postmodernism. Baroque has become a multifaceted concept and, nowadays, is more a space of reflection than a chronological or formal label. The lecture will explore the continuity of baroque art in Spanish contemporary culture such as art, photography, cinema, pop music, comics, cartoons, internet memes, football or television series, where the fascination with Spanish Golden Age is not only a matter of style or aesthetics but also political and identitary. From inspiration to appropriation, from art galleries to politics, baroque art is a powerful tool in contemporary Spain.
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20 works of Spanish religious sculpture and painting are currently on display in the monumental wards of the ancient hospital of Bruges. It is a rare opportunity to become acquainted with some lesser-known aspects of Spain’s Golden Age. The highlight of the exhibition, in addition to paintings by famous Spanish masters like Murillo and Zurbaran, is a group of six hyper-realistic sculptures by the greatest sculptor of the Spanish Baroque, Pedro de Mena.
This project is in collaboration with the Luxemburg Musée National d’Histoire et d’Art and the exhibition will travel to this museum in 2020.
The exhibition is accompanied by a catalogue in English, with texts by Ruud Priem, Sibylla Goegebuer, Malgorzata Nowara, Gilles Zeimat, and Noël Geirnaert. Click here for more information on the exhibition and here for the catalogue.
La Escuela Española de Historia y Arqueología en Roma-CSIC y el Museo Nacional del Prado comienzan una colaboración científica para promover iniciativas dirigidas a jóvenes investigadores en los campos de la Historia, la Historia del Arte y las Ciencias Humanas. La primera de ellas es la organización de un Taller dedicado a las Geografías de la pintura barroca, un encuentro entre especialistas de este campo y jóvenes investigadores que tendrá lugar en la Escuela Española de Historia y Arqueología en Roma entre los días 10 y 12 de mayo de 2016.
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The Focus-Abengoa Foundation launches a new tool to digitally disseminate its art collections devoted to the Baroque.
In recent years, the assets of the Focus-Abengoa Foundation have increased notably with the creation of the Centro Velázquez in 2008 and the receipt of the legacy of Professor Alfonso E. Pérez Sánchez in 2011. In order to adapt to the new technologies and disseminate its art collections online, since 2012 the Foundation has been working on an action plan that will allow it to manage its art collections more easily and effectively, and thus to ease access to its resources for researchers and anyone interested in them.
Thanks to its new multimedia programme, it is now possible to access much of the Foundation’s artistic collections with a detailed description and cataloguing which substantially improves knowledge of these collections at the highest level. The Focus-Abengoa Foundation’s ultimate goal is to promote the advancement of knowledge, to revitalise the debate on the Baroque period and ultimately to support the growth of society.
The collections available online are:
– Room of Engravings
Made up of 327 prints from the 16th to 20th centuries, this is a collection specialised in the iconography of the city of Seville which dates back to 1982. It is a unique collection of its kind, as well as a reference tool for any scholar interested in the history of Seville. It is organised by four broad chronological sections: prints from the Baroque period, prints from the Enlightenment, Romantic and Costumbrist prints and finally contemporary prints.
– Centro Velázquez
Created after the Focus-Abengoa Foundation’s 2007 acquisition of the painting by Diego Velázquez (1599-1660) Saint Rufina, one of the purposes of the centre is to recreate the historical and artistic universe in which the Sevillian genius lived from his early days in the city until his establishment in the Court as the painter to the king in 1624. The permanent collection of the Centro Velázquez is made up of 15 works that from now on will be accessible via an online catalogue that provides detailed information on the provenance, bibliography and exhibitions of the works, in addition to medium-resolution photographs.
– Artistic heritage of the Hospital de los Venerables
The headquarters of the Focus-Abengoa Foundation, after it signed an agreement with the Archbishopric of Seville, is the Hospital de los Venerables, one of the most impressive complex of Sevillian Baroque art and a prime historical benchmark in Spain’s Golden Age, with works by artists like Bartolomé Esteban Murillo, Juan de Valdés Leal and Pedro Roldán. The inventory contains more than 400 works of art which encompass a broad timespan of five centuries, from the 16th to the 20th.