Tag Archives: Velázquez

Spanish Masters from the Hermitage (Amsterdam)

2016-02-SpMastersHermitage

Spanish Masters from the Hermitage:
The World of El Greco, Ribera, Zurbarán, Velázquez, Murillo & Goya

The Hermitage, Amsterdam, 28 November 2015 – 29 May 2016

More than sixty paintings and a rich collection of graphic works and applied arts masterpieces are on show.

 

Focus-Abengoa Foundation: Online Collections

2015-08-Focus-Abengoa

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.

 

 

Velázquez portraits exhibition at the Prado

Velazquez, Juan Martínez Montañés, Prado

Velazquez, Juan Martínez Montañés, Prado

Tues 8 Oct 2013 – Sat 9 Feb 2014, The Prado, Madrid. Velázquez y la familia de Felipe IV 1650-1680 (the English catalogue is titled, Velázquez, Las Meninas and the Late Royal Portraits).  Jerónimos Building, Room C, El Museo del Prado, Ruiz de Alarcón, 23, 28014 Madrid. www.museodelprado.es . Curated by Javier Portús, Chief Curator of Spanish Painting at the Museo del Prado.

In chronological terms, the exhibition opens in 1650 during Velázquez’s second period in Rome, at which date he had already spent more than a year outside Spain. In Rome, the artist painted around a dozen portraits of individuals associated with the papal court, of which four of the surviving six are included in the exhibition.

They constitute a separate chapter within the artist’s oeuvre and one in which he markedly extended his expressive registers in order to brilliantly convey the personalities and concerns of these sitters.

Portrait of Pope Innocent X

Portrait of Pope Innocent X

The exhibition opens with the Portrait of Innocent X from Apsley House, London. A version of the celebrated portrait in the Doria Pamphilj Gallery, Velázquez brought it back with him to Madrid. It will now be exhibited in Spain for the first time.

Also on display in this gallery are the portraits of Cardinal Camillo Massimo (The Bankes Collection, National Trust, UK), Cardinal Camillo Astalli Pamphilj (Hispanic Society of America, New York), and Ferdinando Brandani (Museo del Prado), chief clerk to the papal secretariat, the latter a new identification of a work previously known as “the Pope’s Barber”.

While Velázquez was in Rome, Mariana of Austria had married Philip IV and the city welcomed the arrival of the new Queen in late 1649. The second section in the exhibition focuses on the artist’s return to the capital in 1651 after much insisting on the King’s part. It presents comparisons between some of the Roman portraits and those Velázquez executed for the court after his return. Philip IV (Museo del Prado), The Infanta María Teresa (Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York) and Queen Mariana of Austria (Museo del Prado) reveal how the painter once again deployed the hieratic distance evident in his earlier royal portraits as opposed to the expressivity of the Roman period.

This return to the court constitutes the core of the exhibition, comprising the royal portraits that Velázquez produced from his arrival in Madrid until his death in 1660. Together they form a separate chapter in his career due to their technical and iconographic uniqueness and exceptionally high quality.

The Infanta Margarita in blue and gold

The Infanta Margarita in blue and gold

At this period the world of women and children makes its appearance in the artist’s work and is the subject of the third room, which includes The Infanta María Teresa, Prince Felipe Próspero and The Infanta Margarita in blue and gold, all loaned from the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna. During this period Velázquez’s colour became denser and more rich and varied, while the compositions included spatial references arising from the settings. Particularly outstanding within this group is Las Meninas, which will not be hung in the exhibition (remaining in its habitual location in the Museum) but which is a key element in this group given that it represents a remarkable defence of the genre of portrait painting. Its complexity makes its comparable to the most erudite type of “history painting” and it can be seen as the finest example of the level of sophistication achieved by the Spanish court at a high point of cultural creativity. In addition, Las Meninas also represents a profound exercise of social and professional affirmation on Velázquez’s part through the inclusion of his self-portrait.

The demand for images following the new Queen’s arrival and the birth of infants and princes meant that Velázquez was obliged to produce more portraits, to which he responded by setting up an active studio that is represented in this exhibition by various studio versions of originals by the artist, created under his supervision. They include The Infanta Margarita and Queen Mariana of Austria (both Musée du Louvre, Paris). The exhibition concludes with examples of court portraiture by Velázquez’s successors Martínez del Mazo and Carreño. Both artists looked to their predecessor’s solutions in order to move royal iconography towards a more complex, Baroque style and to create a particularly Spanish typology for the court portrait that differs from other European schools in its inclusion of particular rooms in the royal palaces as the settings for these works.

The catalogue

The accompanying catalogue –Spanish and English editions – includes three essays: the principal one by the exhibition’s curator Javier Portús; another on painting at the Spanish court after the death of Velázquez by Miguel Morán Turina of the Universidad Complutense, Madrid; and a third that analyses aspects of the court in Vienna by Andrea Sommer-Mathis of the Austrian Academy of Sciences.