Tag Archives: Edward Payne

Lecture: Edward Payne (The Auckland Project), ‘In the Shadow of Louis-Philippe: Building a Spanish Gallery in County Durham,’ Visual Cultures Forum, Queen Mary University of London, 22 March 2018


The Backhouse Bank in Bishop Auckland, soon to re-open as the Spanish Gallery

On 22 March 2018 at 6 pm ARTES Committee Member Edward Payne will lecture on ‘In the Shadow of Louis-Philippe: Building a Spanish Gallery in County Durham,’ at the Visual Cultures Forum of Queen Mary University of London. The lecture will offer a glimpse behind the scenes of an exciting project in the North East of England. It will provide an introduction to the origins of an unusual endeavour—building a Spanish art gallery a stone’s throw away from a bishop’s palace—as well as a sneak preview of the gallery’s contents, including recent acquisitions and plans for potential loans and narratives.

To reserve a place, please click here.


Symposium: El Greco to Goya: Spanish Masterpieces from The Bowes Museum

20424015_10155128772606865_9178298814727747987_oBowes Symposium programme1024_1

Please click here to book a ticket

Opens today: ‘Zurbarán: Jacob and his Twelve Sons, Paintings from Auckland Castle’


de Zurbaran, Francisco, 1598-1664; Levi III

Levi from the Auckland Castle Series

Zurbarán: Jacob and his Twelve Sons, Paintings from Auckland Castle, Meadows Museum, Dallas, USA, September 17, 2017 – January 7, 2018 

Francisco de Zurbarán was born in Fuente de Cantos, in Western Spain, but spent most of his working life in Seville. Like Ribera, Zurbarán is also considered a Caravaggista (a follower of the Italian painter Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio, active 1571-1610) particularly for his exceptional use of chiaroscuro.

These 13 paintings (12 by Zurbarán and one a direct copy of the work by Zurbarán) are a visual narrative of Jacob’s deathbed act of bestowing a blessing on each son, foretelling their destinies and those of their tribes. Although each painting holds its own as an exceptional portrait, seeing the works together provides a unique experience for viewers, transporting them across history to make them a witness to that moment. At the Meadows, the paintings will be displayed together in one gallery.

It is not known who originally commissioned the series, but they were auctioned from the collection of a Jewish merchant named Benjamin Mendez in 1756. Richard Trevor, Bishop of Durham, acquired the paintings for Auckland Castle, seeing in the public presentation of these works an opportunity to make a statement about the need for social, political and religious understanding and tolerance between Christians and Jews in Great Britain.

While in the USA, the paintings will also undergo in-depth technical study for the first time at the Kimbell Art Museum. This will include the use of infrared reflectography, ultra-violet light, x-radiography and pigment analysis. The goals of this work are twofold: first, to gain a better understanding of Zurbarán’s artistic process by exploring this unique series of related works; and second, to identify any additional needs for their ongoing conservation and care after they return to the U.K.

Accompanying the exhibition and conservation research will be an illustrated catalogue containing scholarly essays exploring the series from various historical, religious and artistic perspectives. Dr. Mark A. Roglán, Director, Meadows Museum, is the scientific director of the project and has helped to gather contributions by Claire Barry, Director of Conservation, Kimbell Art Museum; Professor John Barton, Oriel and Laing Professor of the Interpretation of Holy Scripture, Emeritus at Oxford University; Dr. Jonathan Brown, Carroll and Milton Petrie Professor of Fine Arts at New York University; Dr. Christopher Ferguson, Curatorial, Conservation and Exhibitions Director, Auckland Castle; Dr. Susan Grace Galassi, Senior Curator, The Frick Collection; Akemi Herráez Vossbrink, PhD Candidate at the University of Cambridge; Alexandra Letvin, PhD Candidate at Johns Hopkins University; and Dr. Edward Payne, Senior Curator, Spanish Art, Auckland Castle. This exhibition and study have been co- organized by the Meadows Museum, SMU; The Frick Collection; and Auckland Castle; in association with the Kimbell Art Museum. A generous gift from The Meadows Foundation has made this exhibition and study possible, with additional support from the Centro de Estudios Europa Hispánica and the Center for Spain in America.