British Spanish Society Christmas Party! *THURSDAY 10th DECEMBER* 7-9pm @ Instituto Cervantes
A symposium on Spanish Art will take place from 23-25 October in Co Durham, highlighting collections in the area and launching a book on treasures of Spanish Art in Country Durham. The three-day event will include exclusive access to view Zurbarán’s Jacob and his Twelve Sons and a conference dinner at Auckland Castle.
Below is a provisional programme for the event (the pdf is available here: Spanish Art Symposium Programme – Co Durham – 23-25 Oct 2014
To book a place, or for further information, please contact:
Groups and Events Co-ordinator
The Bowes Museum
Thursday 23 October 2014
Auckland Castle, Market Place, Bishop Auckland, County Durham, DL14 7NR
Friday 24 October 2014
The Bowes Museum, Barnard Castle, County Durham, DL12 8NP
Saturday 25 October 2014
Palace Green, Durham University, Durham, County Durham, DH1 3RN
Jointly organised by Auckland Castle, The Bowes Museum, and Durham University, this three-day symposium aims to highlight the outstanding collections of Spanish art held in County Durham. Internationally renowned academics and museum professionals will present a wide range of papers that will place these significant collections within their artistic, cultural, and historic context. The symposium will also be an opportunity to consider the reception of seventeenth-century Spanish art in Britain, marking the bicentenary of the arrival of Velázquez’s The Rokeby Venus in Teesdale (now in the National Gallery, London).
County Durham has historically been a hot spot for the collection and display of Spanish art, which fascinated influential figures such as Bishop Richard Trevor, John and Joséphine Bowes, and Frank Hall Standish. Today the results of this interest are to be found in the collections at The Bowes Museum and Auckland Castle, which together represent the most significant UK holdings of Spanish Golden Age art outside of London.
The symposium heralds a wider, long-term vision shared by Auckland Castle, The Bowes Museum, and Durham University, to establish County Durham as a centre for the study of Spanish art in the UK, and as a world-class visitor destination.
El Greco (1541-1641), The Tears of St Peter, 1580-1589, oil on canvas, The Bowes Museum
23 October 2014
09.30 – 10.00 Registration
10.00 – 10.30
Jonathan Ruffer, Chairman of the Auckland Castle Trust
10.30 – 11.30
Zurbarán and Britain (Title TBC)
Gabriele Finaldi, Associate Director of Curatorship and Research, the Museo del Prado, Madrid
11.30 – 12.00 Coffee Break
12.00 – 13.00
Francisco de Zurbarán’s representations of Saint Francis in the National Gallery
Letizia Treves, Curator of Italian and Spanish Paintings 1600-1800, The National Gallery, London
13.00 – 14.30 Lunch – Tours of proposed Spanish Art Gallery site in Bishop Auckland Market Place
14.30 – 15.30
The Sons of Jacob: the first dysfunctional family why did Zurbarán paint them?
Alastair Laing, former Curator of Pictures and Sculpture, The National Trust
Thomas Gainsborough’s response to the work of Spanish masters
Anthony Mould, Fine Art Agent and Dealer specialising in British Art
15.30 – 16.00 Refreshments
16.00 – 17.00
The Museo del Prado and the visual construction of the history of Spanish painting in the nineteenth century
Javier Portús, Senior Curator of Spanish Painting, Museo del Prado, Madrid
17.00 – 17.45 Concluding Remarks
18.00 – 19.00 Drinks Reception and Book Launch
19.00 – 22.00 Conference Dinner
Francisco de Zurbarán (1598-1664), Levi, 1640-45, oil on canvas, Auckland Castle, Bishop Auckland, Co Durham
24 October 2014
The Bowes Museum
09.30 – 09.45
Welcome and Introduction
Adrian Jenkins, Director of The Bowes Museum
09.45 – 10.25
Art collecting as a language of friendship and affinity between England and Spain
during the seventeenth century
Toby Osborne, Senior Lecturer in History, Durham University
10.25 – 11.05
Spanish masters and the spoils of war: the circulation of Spanish art in the era of Napoleon
Tom Stammers, Lecturer in History, Durham University
11.05 – 11.30 Coffee Break
11.30 – 12.10
Preliminary thoughts on materiality and spirituality in the works of Francisco de Zurbarán
Cordula van Whye, Lecturer in History of Art, University of York
12.10 – 12.50
Madrid’s monastic, artistic, and cultural heritage before the Confiscation of 1835. Report by the Royal Academy of Fine Arts of San Fernando
Itziar Aranna, Research Fellow, Academia de San Fernando,
12.50 – 14.00 Lunch – optional tours of the Museum
14.00 – 14.30
Frank Hall Standish (1799-1840), Collector of Durham, Duxbury and Seville
Howard Coutts, Keeper of Ceramics, The Bowes Museum
14.30 – 15.00
Frank Hall Standish and his paintings acquisitions in Seville
Xanthe Brooke, Senior Curator (Continental European Fine Art), Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool
15.00 – 15.40
John Bowes and the sale of the Quinto Collection: an opportunity or a question of taste?
Véronique Gérard Powell, Senior Lecturer (Honorary) University of Paris-Sorbonne
15.40 – 16.15 Tea Break
16.15 – 16.45 Closing Remarks
17.00 – 18.00 Tours of Picture Gallery and Exhibition
18.00 – 22.00 Drinks Reception and Conference Dinner
25 October 2014
09.30 ‒ 09.45 Arrival and Coffee
09.45 ‒ 10.15
Sugar and spice and all things nice: José Antolínez and the Immaculate Virgin of the Bowes Museum
Lesley K. Twomey, Reader in Medieval and Golden Age Iberian Art, University of Northumbria
10.15 ‒ 10.45
Sacred skin: the martyrdom of St Bartholomew in Spanish Golden Age art
Andy Beresford, Professor of Spanish, Durham University
10.45 ‒ 11.10 Coffee Break
11.10 ‒ 11.40
The art of Seville and the collection of a scholar: Stirling Maxwell and the Fiestas de Sevilla
Hilary Macartney, Lecturer in Hispanic Art, University of Glasgow
11.40 ‒ 12.10
In the wake of Colonna and Mitelli: Quadratura in the Court of the Last Habsburg
Jeremy Robbins, Forbes Chair of Spanish, University of Edinburgh
12.10 ‒ 12.40
Spanish art and the Catholic Revival in Britain
Stefano Cracolici, Reader in Italian, Durham University
12.40 ‒ 13.30 Lunch
13.30 ‒ 14.30 Round Table Discussion
‘Engaging public interest in Spanish religious art’
14.45 ‒ 15.30 Optional Tour of Durham Castle Collection
A sculpture by Pedro de Mena (b. Granada 1628 – d. Malaga 1688) of the Mater Dolorosa or Virgin of Sorrows has gone on display at The Fitzwilliam in Cambridge in a drive to help publicise the Museum’s funding-raising appeal for the acquisition of the work.
Tim Knox Director of the Museum, who has kindly entertained a group of ARTES members at his home, commented to the BBC , “Much of Mena’s work was destroyed during the Spanish Civil War and there is not a single autograph piece by Mena in a UK museum. The Mater Dolorosa [Virgin of Sorrows] would be a fantastic addition to our small but significant collection of… wood sculpture.”
This polychrome wood bust of the Virgin is an outstanding and rare example of the sculptor’s work. Very few pieces by de Mena are to be found anywhere except in the churches, monasteries and convents for which they were originally commissioned. This particular work was most probably made for private devotional purposes and would have been part of a pair with an Ecce Homo.
The Fitzwilliam has already raised nearly £60,000 towards the purchase of this work but it still needs to secure a further £25,000 before the end of this coming month (September 2014). If you would like to give something to help, please go to the online donation site Just Giving or contact Sue Rhodes, Development Officer by email at Sue Rhodes or call 01223 332939.
ARTES is visiting Malta from 5-10 November 2014. This visit is being organised by Marjorie Trusted of the V&A (ARTES Hon Vice-President) and Giuseppe Schembri Bonaci of the University of Malta (ARTES member). The programme is detailed below and includes a symposium on Spanish Baroque Art in Malta being hosted by the Spanish Embassy.
Wednesday 5 November
Evening: 5.30 pm – Talk by Fr Dun Edgar Vella
The Baroque Neapolitan Crib in Malta
Followed by drinks reception and dinner
Thursday 6 November
Day Spanish Art on Malta Symposium at the Spanish Embassy
See link below for the provisional schedule:
Spanish Art on Malta Symposium – Thurs 6 Nov 2014
Evening Reception at the Spanish Embassy
Friday 7 November
Day Visit to St John’s Co-Cathedral with Professor Keith Sciberras
Followed by tour of Valletta (including the Wignacourt Museum)
Lunch With transport to Mdina
Afternoon Visit to Mdina Cathedral Museum with Fr. Dun Edgar Vella
& to St Paul’s Church, Rabat
Evening Santa Caterina Church, Valletta & Lecture by Peter Vassallo
The Sojourn of Ángel de Saavedra, Duque de Rivas, in Malta (1825-30)
& the Composition of Al faro de Malta and El moro expósito
Saturday 8 November
Day Visit to Gozo to see churches & private collections with Mark Sagona
Sunday 9 November
Day Three cities tour
Lunch at Vittoriosa Quay
Afternoon Visit to National Museum of Fine Arts
& St Paul’s Shipwreck Church
Monday 10 November
A celebration of the music and art of Toledo in the 16th century will held at the Church of St James – London’s ‘Spanish Church’ – in the West End on Tuesday 16th September. The event is the being organised by the BritishSpanish Society.
At the time of El Greco, Toledo was a major centre for sacred music and for centuries Spanish sacred music was known as Canto toledano. It still houses one of the richest libraries of sacred music in Spain as well as an outstanding collection of Flemish Renaissance music.
Music will be performed by the Coro Cervantes, the UK’s only chamber choir dedicated to Hispanic and Latin American classical music. Exploring these connections between music and art will be the choir’s musical director Carlos Fernández Aransay and Chief Curator of the Dulwich Picture Gallery and longtime supporter of ARTES, Xavier Bray.
Xavier has curated or co-curated all the major exhibitions of Spanish Golden Age art in London over the past 10 years: El Greco (National Gallery, 2004), Velázquez (National Gallery, 2006) and Murillo (Dulwich Picture Gallery, 2013); and is currently working on an exhibition of Goya’s portraits for the National Gallery in October 2015. In 2009 he conceived and curated the groundbreaking exhibition The Sacred Made Real: Spanish Painting and Sculpture 1600-1700 (2009), which was instrumental in bringing audiences in the UK and beyond to a greater understanding and appreciation of sacred Spanish art. The legacy of this exhibition continues. This summer Sotheby’s London held its first selling exhibition devoted exclusively to sacred paintings and sculpture; seventeen of the twenty-six works were Spanish. This exhibition, Contemplation of the Divine was masterminded by Alexander Kader, Senior Director & Head of Sculpture & Works of Art and ARTES member James Macdonald, Senior Director & Head of Private Sales, Old Master Paintings, both of whom were kind enough to take ARTES members on a private tour.
For more information see: ARTES post 24 Aug 2014, Fitzwilliam Museum Cambridge on Fundraising Drive to purchase a Pedro de Mena Mater Dolorosa. Particularly for the historic reception of Spanish art in the UK: Spanish Art in Britain and Ireland, 1750-1920. Studies in Reception in Memory of Enriqueta Harris Frankfort, edited by Nigel Glendinning & Hilary Macartney, Tamesis, 2011.
Tickets: £22 for non-members of the British Spanish Society, available from their Events Secretary or the Society’s website, www.britishspanishsociety.org. Membership of the Society is open to all (£25) and an application form can be found on the website. Tickets for members are £17.
Date Tuesday 16 September 2014 at 6.30pm, followed by a reception
Venue The Church of St James, Spanish Place, 22 George St, London W1U 3QY (near to the Wallace Collection). NB: Bond Street tube is not fully operational. Please check before using.
ARTES is delighted to announce the winners of the 2014 ARTES Coll & Cortés scholarships. Out of a very strong field the following awards were made:
This was awarded to Kathryn Santner, a PhD candidate at the University of Cambridge, to support her study of the paintings in the Convent of Santa Catalina de Sena, in Arequipa, Peru.
ARTES Coll & Cortés Scholarships for PhD or post-doc students in Spain, Portugal or Latin America
This was awarded to Ana Hernández Ferreirós, a doctoral student at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid, for her research on the twelfth-century bibles of San Isidoro de Leon and San Millan de la Cogolla.
ARTES Coll & Cortés Travel Scholarships
These were awarded to Costanza Beltrami, a 3rd-year undergraduate student at the Courtauld Institute, for a research trip to Spain to visit buildings associated with the fifteenth-century architect Juan Guas. Another scholarship was awarded to Matilde Grimaldi, a PhD student at the Courtauld Institute, for a research trip to Tortosa to study the city’s twelfth-century cathedral (now largely destroyed), and its treasury.
ARTES extends its warmest congratulations to the 2014 scholars, and thanks Coll & Cortés once again for their generous support.
A Cup of Water and a Rose, c.1630, oil on canvas, 21 x 30 cms, National Gallery London
“Zurbarán,” first shown at the Palazzo dei Diamanti in Ferrara, and now showing at Bozar in Brussels until 25 May 2014, is the first show dedicated to the artist since the landmark publication of the first volume of Odile Delenda’s catalogue raisonné of the artist’s work in 2009, which identified 286 paintings as being by his own hand. Expertly curated by Ignacio Cano Rivero and Gabriele Finaldi, this skillfully selected and lucidly presented show of 49 pieces offers a comprehensive survey of Zurbarán’s career and is studded with masterpieces.
Zurbarán’s father was a textile merchant in the village of Fuente de Cantos in southern Spain, where the artist was born in 1598. Francisco was apprenticed to a now forgotten local painter in Seville from 1614 to 1617, during which time he met Velázquez, who became a lifelong friend. But whereas the latter forged a career in the courts of Madrid and Rome, becoming the leading portrait painter of his age, Zurbarán had a vocation for religious painting (and a deep knowledge of Spain’s mystical thought and literature).
Having moved to Llerena, in his native province of Badajoz, in 1622, the artist received a commission for 15 canvases for his birthplace. By the mid 1620s he was also sending cycles of works to Seville, where in 1629 he was invited by the city council to take up residence and where he would spend most of the rest of his life.
Although Zurbarán never set foot outside Spain, by the time he was training as a painter Caravaggio’s work was well known there. But whatever lessons Zurbarán learned from Caravaggio, his own paintings, not to mention his subject matter, remained distinct from the outset, not least in the intense spirituality with which he infused his images.
The exhibition continues roughly chronologically, but also according to themes: “First Major Commissions,” “Visions and Ecstasies,” “Still-lifes,” “The Mystical in the Everyday,” “Passion and Compassion,” “Works for the Court and the New World” and “Last Years: Madrid.”
Zurbarán’s vibrant still-lifes have been a key element in stimulating the rediscovery of this artist in modern times, though he did only a handful of independent works in this genre. Two of the most celebrated, “A Cup of Water and a Rose” from the National Gallery in London, and “Still-life” from the Prado in Madrid, are on display here. The pious message of these pieces tends to be overlooked by modern viewers. For Zurbarán’s contemporaries, the rose in the National Gallery picture, for instance, would have had clear associations with the Virgin Mary, and the white cup with purity and the Immaculate Conception.
These still-lifes were evidently popular in the artist’s own times, as he produced several versions of some of them. And beautifully executed still-life elements play an important emblematic part in many of his other paintings — from skulls, flowers and bowls of fruit to the brilliantly lit earthenware jug, bread, olives and radishes, representing the eucharist and Christ’s humility, in “Supper at Emmaus,” on loan from the Museo Nacional de San Carlos in Mexico City.
The artist’s studio in Seville produced a large number of canvases specifically for export to the New World. These were typically sold at the annual fair in Portobelo, Panama, and most ended up in Peru, where many can still be found. A high proportion of these pictures, executed by Zurbarán’s assistants, were of Biblical patriarchs.
By the time Zurbarán was in his 50s, Seville was suffering an economic crisis as a result of a diminution in trade with America and of the wars in Europe, further worsened by a plague in 1649, to which he lost his son Juan, a promising still-life painter. He also found himself challenged by a new generation of artists, above all Murillo.
In 1658 Zurbarán moved to Madrid, where he remained until his death in 1664. As the last two rooms of the Ferrara show reveal, his style and palette underwent radical changes there, particularly under the influence of Raphael, whose works were by then well represented in the Royal Collection.
The Embassy of Spain is kindly inviting ARTES members to a Lecture to be held at the Luis Vives hall at the Embassy in 39 Chesham Place, London SW1X 8SB on Wed 26 Feb 2014 at 6.30pm. Entitled Some Notes on Richard Hamilton & Pop Art in Spain 1960-1976, it will be given by Dr Teresa Millet of the Valencia Institute of Modern Art. If you would like to attend please either contact the Embassy direct on the email given above or contact Morlin at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please note photographic ID will be needed for entry.
07 January 2014
A portrait of Prince Don Diego (1575 – 1582), who died at the age of seven and was the son of King Philip II of Spain, has had a temporary export bar placed on it to provide a last chance to keep it in the UK. Unless a matching offer of £4,250,000 can be raised, the painting will be exported.
The portrait of Don Diego, son of King Philip II of Spain (1577) painted by Alonso Sánchez Coello, is a rare example of Spanish court portraiture of a child from this period, and is credited with having being an important precedent for Velázquez who was to paint many portraits of the Spanish Royal children during his time as court artist for King Philip IV.
Culture Minister Ed Vaizey took the decision to defer granting an export licence for the painting following a recommendation by the Reviewing Committee on the Export of Works of Art and Objects of Cultural Interest (RCEWA), administered by Arts Council England. The RCEWA made their recommendation on the grounds that it is of outstanding aesthetic importance, and that it is of outstanding significance for the study of Spanish court portraiture in the sixteenth century and the history of the Hapsburg monarchy.
Alonso Sánchez Coello was the most important Spanish portrait painter of the second half of the sixteenth century. He entered the service of members of the Spanish Royal family in 1552, working for the widowed Infanta Juana before being appointed official court artist by King Philip II in 1560. Although a prolific painter, there are relatively few surviving Coello portraits, mainly due to the fires in the palace of El Pardo (1604) and in the old Alcazar de Madrid (1734) which destroyed many of his works.
Painted in Coello’s customary meticulous style and in excellent condition, this portrait of the infant Don Diego is memorable for its combination of dignified formality befitting the heir to the Spanish throne, and a two-year old child’s natural inclination to play, as indicated by the hobby horse and the glimpse of garden beyond the balcony.
Culture Minister Ed Vaizey said:
“It would be a great shame if this remarkable work, one of very few surviving royal portraits by Coello, was to leave the UK permanently. There are very few Coello paintings in UK public collections, so I hope a matching offer to keep this work in the UK can be found.”
RCEWA Chairman Lord Inglewood said:
“This is an evocative and remarkable survival of Spanish Court portraiture, painted by a virtuoso artist at a time when England and Spain’s fortunes were closely interlinked, first by Mary Tudor’s marriage to Phillip II, and then by her half sister Elizabeth’s protestant England’s drawn out squabble with Roman Catholic Spain.”
The decision on the export licence application for the painting will be deferred for a period ending on 5 March 2014 inclusive. This period may be extended until 5 July 2014 inclusive if a serious intention to raise funds to purchase the painting is made at the recommended price of £4,250,000 (net of VAT.)
Notes to editors
1. Organisations or individuals interested in purchasing the painting should contact RCEWA on 0845 300 6200.
2. Details of the painting are as follows:
Portrait of Don Diego, son of King Philip of Spain II
Alonso Sánchez Coello
Oil on canvas
108cm x 88.2cm
3. The Reviewing Committee on the Export of Works of Art and Objects of Cultural Interest is an independent body, serviced by Arts Council England, which advises the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport on whether a cultural object, intended for export, is of national importance under specified criteria.
4. Arts Council England champions, develops and invests in artistic and cultural experiences that enrich people’s lives. Between 2010 and 2015, it will invest £1.9 billion of public money from government and an estimated £1.1 billion from the National Lottery to help create these experiences for as many people as possible across the country. http://www.artscouncil.org.uk