Tag Archives: Madrid

Featured Exhibition: ‘Frente a Frente. Dos visiones fotográficas de la Guerra Civil. Constantino Suárez y Florentino López “Floro”‘, Museo Nacional de Antropología, Madrid, until 29 September 2019

At the start of the civil war, Constantino Suárez was a 37-year old professional photographer. 36-year-old Florentino López, known as Floro, owned a shop selling groceries, typewriters, and phtographic material. The two never met, yet between July 1936 and October 1937 both portrayed the conflict from the perspective of their different cities—Gijón y Oviedo—and sides—Suárez was active on the republican front, while López lived in a besieged city always controlled by the Nationalist rebels. Entitled ‘Frente a Frente’, a play of words on the ambiguity between ‘el frente’, the front, and ‘la frente’, the forhead, this exhibition at the Museo Nacional de Antropología presents photographs in the collection of the Museum of the Asturian People (Gijón), focusing on the similarity of subject rather than on differences in politics and outcome.

Eighty years have passed since the end of Spain’s most recent Civil War (1936–1939), but its traumatic legacy continues to cast a long shadow over the lives of generations of Spaniards. The dictatorship of Francisco Franco kept the wounds of the conflict open and raw. In the wars that raged across Europe from the 1930s onwards, the armies on the battlefield fought alongside the civilian population, which unfortunately took centre stage as the greatest victim of the violent conflicts. This exhibition shows different aspects of life during wartime in Asturias, among both civilians and combatants, between July 1936 and October 1937, when the fall of Gijón marked the definitive defeat of the Republican Northern Front. The images captured by these two photographers are similar in ways that transcend their attachment to the two opposing sides in the war. Both depicted the same society caught up in conflict. What they found was something in common: the same destruction, the same pain, the same suffering, but also the same wish to have life go on despite it all.

Click here for an article on the exhibition, published on 23 July in El País.

Click here for the exhibition website and here for a booklet.

Advertisements

Opens Today: Balenciaga and Spanish Painting, Museo Nacional Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid, until 22 September 2019

Francisco de Zurbarán
Saint Casilda, ca. 1635
Oil on canvas. 171 x 107 cm
© Museo Nacional Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid

In the summer of 2019 the museum is presenting an exhibition that connects the work of Cristóbal Balenciaga, the most admired and influential fashion designer of all time, with the tradition of 16th– to 20th-century Spanish painting.

References to Spanish art and culture are a recurring presence in Balenciaga’s work. The simple, minimalist lines of religious habits or the architectural volume of their cloth are to be found in many of his designs. The billowing train of a flamenco dancer’s dress echoed in the flounces on some dresses, the glinting reflections on a bullfighter’s suit, brilliantly conveyed in the sequin embroidery on a bolero jacket, and the aesthetic of Habsburg court dress echoed in black velvets embellished with jet trim in some creations are just a few examples. Balenciaga constantly studied the history of art and made use of these influences, expressed through his own powerful and unique style, throughout his career, including his most avant-garde period, reviving historic garments and reinterpreting them in a strikingly modern manner.

The exhibition, curated by Eloy Martínez de la Pera, will include a carefully-selected group of paintings loaned from private Spanish collections and public museums, including the Museo Nacional del Prado and the museums of Fine Arts of Seville, Valencia and Bilbao. They will be accompanied by a group of important creations by Balenciaga, some of them never previously exhibited, loaned from national and international museums including the Museo Balenciaga in Guetaria, the Museo del Traje in Madrid and other international institutions and private collections.

Click here for more information.

Closing Soon: ‘Olga Picasso’, Museo Picasso Málaga, until 2 June

Pablo Picasso, Olga Pensive (winter 1923), Musée national Picasso-Paris (c) RMN-Grand Palais (Musée national Picasso-Paris)/Mathieu Rabeau, Sucesión Pablo Picasso, VEGAP, Madrid, 2018

The Museo Picasso Málaga presents Picasso’s first wife Olga Khokhlova and her story in the first show of its 2019 exhibition calendar. The exhibition Olga Picasso was inspired by the letters and photographs found in the travel trunk of the Russian dancer, Bernard Ruiz-Picasso’s grandmother. The exhibition focuses on the years of Olga’s relationship with Picasso. It offers context on the creation of some of Picasso’s greatest works, connecting them with a personal story that developed alongside another, political and social, story.

Olga Khokhlova (Nezhin, Ukraine, 1891– Cannes, France, 1955) was the daughter of a colonel in the Russian Imperial Army. In 1911 she joined the prestigious and innovative Ballet Russes company, which was at that time highly successful in Europe under the direction of Serguei Diaghilev. She first met Pablo Picasso in Rome in the spring of 1917, when the artist was designing the sets and costumes for the ballet Parade. They were married in Paris, on 12th July 1918, and their first and only child, Paul, was born in February 1921. The couple separated in 1935, although they remained married until Olga’s death in Cannes, in 1955.

The Russian ballerina’s travel trunk, which her son received when he inherited the chateau of Boisgeloup—currently owned by the Fundación Almine y Bernard Ruiz-Picasso para el Arte (FABA)—contained previously unseen letters and photographs. For many years, the drawers harboured Kodak envelopes full of photos that told the story of Bernard’s grandparents, their life together, their travels, Picasso’s ateliers and more. In other compartments lay hundreds of letters in French and Russian, tied with little pink or blue silk ribbons. Olga’s trunk, engraved with her initials, also held her dance attire, ballet shoes, tutus, programmes and such personal objects as a Crucifix and a Russian Orthodox Bible. The contents of the trunk, which was the only personal belonging Olga kept after her separation from Picasso, revealed new aspects of the artist’s work during their relationship.

Approximately 350 items will be shown in the exhibition, including paintings, works on paper, photographs, letters, documents and films. It has been jointly curated by Émilia Philippot, conservator of the Musée national Picasso-Paris; Joachim Pissarro, professor of art history and director of Hunter College Art Gallery (New York); and Bernard Ruiz-Picasso, co-chair of the Fundación Almine y Bernard Ruiz-Picasso para el Arte, FABA, president of the Executive Board of Museo Picasso Málaga and member of its Board of Trustees. The exhibition has been adapted for Museo Picasso Málaga by José Lebrero, the museum’s artistic director, and Sofía Díaz, its exhibitions coordinator.

Click here for more information.

The exhibition will travel from Málaga to Madrid, where it will be on show at the CaixaForum from 19 June to 22 September 2019. Click here for details.

Specialist Workshop: “Golden Age Art and Globalization in Madrid’s Museums”, Madrid, Spain, September 2–12, 2019

Specialist Workshop “Golden Age Art and Globalization in Madrid’s Museums”
Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Spain, September 2–12 2019
Deadline for applications: Jun 2, 2019

Many of the objects that are admired today in Spain’s major museums arrived here in the Early Modern period. Collections of art,  
artifacts, and objects—everythig from paintings and sculptures to armor, textiles, feathers, books, exotic shells and even animal horns transmitted a variety of meanings, many of which are lost to the average museum visitor today.

Understanding these objects (their origins, how they arrived and how they were seen) introduces students to a deeper appreciation of how Spanish history and identity has been and is created in relationship with the rest of the world, and especially with Spanish-speaking  America and Asia.  The course will explore these issues using ten selected objects that will provide a view of early globalization focusing on questions raised by the objects themselves.  One of the topics to analyze will be the relationship of art to diplomacy, seeking to shed light on the value of paintings of distant places, peoples and animals as “proof” or “document” in the age before photography, or the place of “the others” (non-Europeans) in the history of Spanish and European societies in general, both in the past and in today’s globalized and multicultural world.  Attention will also be paid to questions such as commerce, consumption, religion, and  gender in a world of travelling objects and persons, always with an emphasis on elucidating how these travels created new meanings for objects in new contexts.

This course has a practical, object-based character, with practically all of the sessions taking place in museums, libraries and other collections in Madrid and its surroundings.  Presentations and discussions will take place in fromt of the objects themselves.  This experience will help students to work with objects and to be aware of the material aspects of globalization, further from what is expressed in academic texts and articles. It is expected too that all will feel  something of the fascination and intrigue experienced by contemporaries who saw these things for the first time.

For further details and inscriptions:  
http://formacioncontinua.uam.es/33421/detail/golden-age-art-and-globalization-in-madrids-museums.html

For enquiries, please contact:
mcruz.decarlos@uam.es / elena.alcala@uam.es / isabel.cervera@uam.es

Madrid’s Palacio de Liria to Become a Museum

Francisco de Goya y Lucientes (Spanish, 1746-1828), The Duchess of Alba in White, 1795. Oil on canvas. Colección Duques de Alba


As reported by El País and other Spanish newspapers, the Liria Palace, residence of the Dukes of Alba and home to Spain’s most important private collection, is being transformed into a museum and will soon open to the public every day of the week.

Touring from Madrid to Dallas, the recent exhibition Treasures from the House of Alba: 500 Years of Art and Collecting (Meadows Museum, 2015–16) has familiarised the public with masterpieces from this unparalleled collection. Yet the opening of a museum in the Liria Palace will allow visitors to experience the artworks in the spaces for which they were commissioned and collected.

Unlike such nearby collections as the Cerralbo o Lázaro Galdiano, the palace will continue to function as a residence. Works will be displayed according to the wishes of the last duchess of Alba, Cayetana Fitz-James Stuart y de Silva (1926–2014), who oversaw the partial opening of the palace to the public in 1975.

The museum’s opening date has not yet been announced.

New Publications from the CEEH

El camarín del desengaño. Juan de Espina, coleccionista y curioso del siglo XVII, by Pedro Reula Baquero, 2019

Juan de Espina Velasco (1583−1642), a nobleman of Madrid and cleric of minor orders, has gone down in history – initially as the unwitting protagonist of two eighteenth-century magical plays by the dramatist José de Cañizares and subsequently, in the twentieth century, as the enigmatic and jealous owner of the Leonoardo da Vinci manuscripts now in the Biblioteca Nacional de España. His early fame as a necromancer comes from rumours that circulated in his own day about the entertaining scientific activities he organised in his home in the form of natural magic shows, where, making use of a certain amount of technology, he put the audience’s credulity to the test. He also set out to bring back the lost genre of enharmonic music, which ordered the music scale perfectly and mathematically and with which the ancient musicians were said to work wonders on men’s nature and state of mind. In addition to the Leonardo codices, his home housed an exquisite collection of books, paintings, precious metalwork and ivory pieces – objects classified as naturalia and artificialia, which made up what we would now call a cabinet of curiosities, commonly known in Spain as a camarín.

Click here to save 10% on this book until April 15 (Pre-sale coupon code: ESPINA)

Nacer en palacio. El ritual del nacimiento en la corte de los Austrias by María Cruz de Carlos Varona, 2018

Motherhood, which stands at a disciplinary crossroads, has become a historiographic subject in its own right. It has gone from being viewed as an exclusively biological circumstance to being considered a key social factor in shaping the historical identity of the queens of Spain. This book analyses the ‘ritual’ surrounding the birth of royal offspring at the Spanish court between the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries and the role played by queens, ladies-in-waiting and midwives in a cultural system based on a series of rites performed before and after childbirth.


El coleccionismo de pintura en Madrid durante el siglo XIX by Pedro J. Martínez Plaza, 2018

This book examines the private collecting of painting in Madrid during the nineteenth century and the mercantile structure that underpinned it. The author analyses more than 140 private collections and studies the presence, development and running of shops, fairs, markets, estate sales, antique dealers and art galleries, many of them hitherto unknown, as well as surveying the role of the foreign collectors and artists and restorers who acted as advisors, intermediaries, sellers, promoters and agents.

Click here to visit the CEEH website

A Guest from Lima: ‘Marriages of Martín de Loyola to Beatriz Ñusta and Juan de Borja to Lorenza Ñusta de Loyola’ at the Museo Nacional del Prado, until 28 April 2019

Marriages of Martín de Loyola to Beatriz Ñusta and Juan de Borja to Lorenza Ñusta de Loyola
Anonymous artist from Cusco
Oil on canvas, 175,2 x 168,3 cm
1718
Lima, Museo Pedro de Osma. Fundación Pedro y Angélica de Osma Gildemeister

The Prado’s ‘Invited Work’ is a large painting on canvas showing the double Marriages of Martin de Loyola to Beatriz Ñusta and Juan de Borja to Lorenza Ñusta de Loyola painted in 1718 by an anonymous artist from Cusco. On loan from the Museo Pedro de Osma in Lima, it will be on display in Madrid until 28 April 2019. The scene depicted brings together two weddings that actually occurred at different times and places with the purpose of showing the blood ties between the Inca dynasty and descendants of two of the founders of the Society of Jesus, Saint Ignatius Loyola and Saint Francis Borja. The symbolic aim being to represent the conquest of southern America as a harmonious union between Spanish vanquishers and the vanquished. 

Click here for more information about this display.