Archive for “Museo del Prado”

Egusquiza and Wagner’s “Parsifal” at the Museo del Prado

Madrid, 30 October 2013, Art Media Agency (AMA).

The Museo Nacional del Prado in Madrid is celebrating the 200th anniversary of the birth of composer Richard Wagner (1813-1883), with an exhibition dedicated to works based on his last opera, Parsifal. Pieces on display are produced by Cantabrian painter Rogelio de Egusquiza (1845-1915), as part of an exhibition entitled “El Mal se desvanece. Egusquiza y el Parsifal de Wagner en el Museo del Prado” (Evil vanishes. Egusquiza and Wagner’s Parsifal at the Museo del Prado), to run from 5 November 2013 until 29 June 2014.

Egusquiza was a fervent admirer of the composer, who was originally from Leipzig. The museum is to present a selection of the artist’s paintings, drawings and prints collected by the artist, exhibited at the Prado for the first time. Donated to the museum by the artist in 1902, the works are an example of European Symbolism, and respond to the intensity and heroism of Wagner’s works.

As a painter, sculptor and engraver, Spanish-born Egusquiza was a disciple of Francisco Mendoza. He moved to Paris to join the École des Beaux-Arts in 1860 and, by 1876, after numerous trips, had developed a passion for Richard Wagner and his work. In 1879, he went to Munich to assist in a performance of Der Ring des Nibelungen (The Ring of Nibelung). Upon his return to Paris, he joined a group of Symbolist artists and Wagnerian enthusiasts, beginning a series of works in which he used art as a vehicle to explore mysticism and the sacred.

Miguel Ángel Blanco’s “Natural Histories” at the Prado

Madrid, 11 October 2013, Art Media Agency (AMA).

Between the 19 November 2013 and the 27 April 2014, the Museo del Prado is to present “Historias Naturales. Un proyecto de Miguel Ángel Blanco”. Centred around natural history, the exhibition features a project created by the Spanish artist, who was born in 1958.

The Museo del Prado first opened its doors to the public as the Museo Nacional de Pinturas y Esculturas on 19 November 1819. Commissioned by Charles II I in 1785, the neo-classical building, designed by Juan de Villanueva, was originally home to a natural history collection. On the 194th anniversary of the museum’s foundation, and to mark the 200th anniversary of Villanueva’s death, Blanco’s project pays tribute to the history of the Prado and its little-known origins as a Natural History Museum.

Born in Madrid, Miguel Ángel Blanco is one of most prominent Spanish artists to have produced works which directly engaged with nature as a theme. Focusing on the museum’s past as a centre for natural history, the artist’s 21 installations, located in the gallery’s permanent collections, seek to fuse art with nature. Pièces selected by Blanco have been sourced from Spanish natural history collections, held at institutions such as the Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales, the Real Jardín Botánico and the Museo de la Farmacia Histórica; displayed alongside the sculptural works of the Prado, these pieces aim to promote a dialogue, “performing” to produce a new “scientific-artistic” genre of exhibition.

First Juan Fernandez El Labrador exhibition at Prado

Madrid, 13 March 2013, Art Media Agency (AMA).

The Museo del Prado is presenting for the first time an exhibition devoted to painter Juan Fernandez El Labrador, who worked in Madrid between 1630 and 1636. El Labrador is one of the last famous painters of his kind, and in the history of Spanish Baroque painting.

His works will be reunited for the first time. Featuring eleven of the thirteen paintings attributed to El Labrador, this exhibition will help discover this somehow forgotten painter, very little – if at all – exhibited in Spain.

The exhibition will be organised in two sections that will unveil the evolution of the artist’s compositions. Nicknamed “El Labrador” (the Ploughman), the artist was thus named due to his rural origins. Although it is known that he was born in Extremadura, nothing is known pertaining to his birthdate or artistic career. The humble guise of his paintings, both simple and realistic, drove British ambassador Sir Arthur Hopton, Charles I as well as Anne of Austria, Queen of France, to collect his works and establish his fame as a painter in the 17th century.

Museo del Prado presents its most recent dicovery of ancient French painting

Madrid, 11 March 2013, Art Media Agency (AMA).

Museo del Pardo in Madrid acquired in 2012 an ancient French board painting, dated from the 15th century, titled L’Agonie dans le Jardin, that is currently exhibited at the 58A space in the Villanueva building.

The painting’s sponsor was Louis I, Duke of Orléans (1405-1407/8). It is a major discovery since there are a few French paintings from that period and none of them is preserved in such a good condition and is not of such historic importance.

The quality of the performance as well as the materials used for its creation, an oak tree from the Baltic region, a big quantity of lapis lazuli or even its composition, make L’Agonie dans le Jardin a masterpiece of 15th century French painting.

The work was analysed with the use X-rays that revealed its bottom was repainted with a gouache covering the work underneath that suggests that the sponsor was protected by Saint Agnes; indeed nettle leaves, being an integral part of the emblem, painted on the sleaves, allowed the identification of Louis I. This work is the only one depicting the Duke of Orléans, Regent of France due to the mental illness of his brother Charles VI, and is very important for the history of France.

The museum proceeds with the restoration of the painting in order to remove the gouache part covering the Duke’s face and to clean the surface. Works are led by Maria Antonia Lopez de Asiain with the support of the Iberdrola Foundation. After restoration, the paitning will regain its original chromatic scale.

The identification of the painting’s sponsor suggests that it was painted by Colart de Laon (1377-1411), a painter and man-servant of the Duke of Orléans from 1331 to his death in 1407 and then his son’s, Charles of Orléans. While there were no records of the painter’s artworks, the research confirmed that Colart de Laon was one of the most important painters of the 15th century in France and produced numerous works for the Duke of Orléans.

The Prado unveils the face of Louis I d’Orléans

Madrid, 12 February 2013, Art Media Agency (AMA).

The Museo del Prado just identified a painting depicting Louis I d’Orléans. La oración en el huerto con el donante Luis I de Orleans (The Agony in the Garden with the Donor Louis I d’Orléans), produced between 1405 and 1408, stands out as one of the major discoveries in French primitive painting.

Very few paintings of this period have been preserved in such a good state. There is no other comparable work. Curator Pilar Silva Maroto explained the incorporation of innovative techniques used in illumination, as well as the oval-shaped aureoles, indicate a great author, who was ahead of his time.

Colart de Laon, Louis I d’Orléans’ valet and personal painter, is presumably the author of the painting. The work, currently on display in the 58A room of the Prado, was purchased for €850,000 to its previous owner. Il is the only painting known of Louis I d’Orléans, brother of King Charles VI, whose face was known only through a few engravings and illuminations.

Philanthropy rescues the Prado

Madrid, 4 February 2013, Art Media Agency (AMA).

The Museo del Prado just received its greatest endowment in ten years. Indeed, a lot of Spanish paintings and sculptures, dated from the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, was offered to the museum by a Barcelona donor.

The Spanish Prime Minister, Mariani Rajoy, presided over a ceremony in order to celebrate the event. Among the works that will henceforth adorn the museum’s walls, we might mention The Virgin of Tobed as well as a painting attributed to Jaume Serra, emblematic of Catalan Italo-Gothic art.

The severe recession currently hitting Spain has caused budgetary restraints in all ministries, and especially the Ministry of Culture. This endowment is therefore a true godsend for the institution and will enable it to continue attracting numerous visitors. Indeed, in 2012 the Madrid museum welcomed 2,8m people.

Jose Pedro Perez Llorca, chairman of the board of directors, explained : “This is not a time when the State can afford to spend much, so this donation is very generous. […] This endowment enriches the museum in an extraordinary fashion, and this is an important part of our country’s image.”

The museum will formally thank the donor by naming one room of the institution after him.

The Museo del Prado travels to the United States

Houston, 9 January 2013, Art Media Agency (AMA).

The Museo del Prado opens 16 December in Houston the exhibition titled “Retrato de España. Obras maestras del Prado/Portrait of Spain. Masterpieces from the Prado.” This is the first time that works from the Prado travel to the United States. The exhibition embraces four centuries and is on view at the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, Texas, until 31 March 2013.

The exhibition traces the history of Spain and Spanish art from the 16th to the 19th century, through 80 paintings and 20 works on paper by the most important artists of European painting, mainly Spanish, but also foreign masters who worked for the Spanish court. Through three main sections, the exhibition aims to tell this tour of Spanish painting highlighting its political, social and artistic development.

The exhibition occupies the rooms of the second floor of the MFAH’s Audrey Jones Beck building. The four centuries embraced by the exhibition are represented by artists such as El Greco, Ribera, Zurbarán, Velázquez, Murillo, Paret, Van der Hamen, Meléndez, Goya, Vicente López, Federico de Madrazo, Rosales, Fortuny or Sorolla, besides Titian and Rubens and the themes they cultivated so that the visitors can see how there was a stylistic evolution and how over time thematic interests have changed.


Martin Rico exhibits at the Meadows Museum in Texas

Dallas, 2 January 2013, Art Media Agency (AMA).

A Prado partnership with the Meadows Museum will exhibit for the spring, in Dallas, Texas, the first retrospective on landscape painter Martín Rico (1833-1908). The exhibition titled “Impressions of Europe: 19th-Century Vistas by Martín Rico” will begin on 10 March and will run through 7 July 2013. The exhibition highlights the breadth of Rico’s career with 106 artworks, including paintings, drawings, and sketchbooks, depicting urban and natural landscapes of Switzerland, France, Germany, Italy, and his native Spain.

As a pioneer in the development of landscape painting in Europe, Martín Rico was hugely influential in the rise of new approaches to landscape paintings. He is indeed known as one of Spain’s greatest landscape masters, known for his ability to capture a unique luminosity in the various European landscapes. Rico championed the technique of painting en plein air, famously painting while stationed in gondolas throughout the Venetian canals. Widely recognised by key American collectors in the 19th and early 20th centuries, including Andrew Carnegie, Henry Clay Frick, William H. Stewart, and Henry Walters.

The exhibition is the fourth one organised through the Meadows partnership with the Prado, an unprecedented collaboration between a university art museum and a major international art institution. Since 2009, the partnership has included the exchange of scholars, research, artworks, and exhibitions.

Museo del Prado receives less subvention than Castellón airport

Madrid, 12 November 2012, Art Media Agency (AMA).

Museo del Prado, one of the leading museums in Spain and Europe, receives less donations from Spanish Ministry of Finance (Presupuestos Generales del Estado) than Castellon airport, infrastructure which, until present, have not yet seen any plane taking off. In fact, Museo del Prado, in 2013 will have to deal with 30% decrease of its initial budget (11.5m euros), whereas the airport will receive 17m euros.

Prado’s director Miguel Zugaza, confirmed it to be a real “shock” and informed administration and society that it is necessary to support the most important public institutions, such as Prado – an immense art gallery, to let them work in the best conditions possible. Facing the questions and anxieties expressed by media, concerning economical situation of cultural institutions, he indicated that lots of structural elements should be re-analysed in order to increase the museum’s participation in its own budget, which is now reaching 60%.

In 2011, the museum had already some financial problems to cope with; while numerous museums in the United States and Europe consider the reduction of their cultural offer, Museo del Prado wants to be opened longer hours. In order to face the reduction of private donations and state subventions, Prado decided to work 7 days a week.



Martín Rico and Van Dyck soon at the Prado

Madrid, 3 October 2012. Art Media Agency (AMA).

The new season of the Prado Museum in Madrid opens at the end of October with an exhibition titled “The Landscape Artist Martín Rico (1833-1908)”, and will continue in November with “Young Van Dyck”, first exhibition of the Flemish painter in Spain.

From 30 October 2012 to 10 February 2013, the exhibition “El paisajista Martín Rico (1833-1908)” (The Landscape Artist), organised in collaboration with the Dallas Meadows Museum, will present one of the most emblematic figures of Spanish artistic landscape in the second half of the 19th century. Rico indeed introduced realistic landscape in Spain. Throughout his work an evolution can be appreciated, from realism towards a kind of Impressionism. The influence of Turner and Ruysdael led him to depict more and more humanised landscapes. His relationship with Mario Fortuny increased this change; his paintings became more radiant and impressionist. The Washerwomen is one of his major works.

Then, from 20 November 2012 to 3 March 2013, the exhibition “El joven Van Dyck” (Young Van Dyck) will present to the public Van Dyck youth works, realised from 1613 (he was 14 then) to 1621. Ninety pieces, combining paintings and drawings, will allow the visitors to comprehend the artist’s artistical evolution.

The Prado Museum in Madrid is one of the largest and most considerable in the world. It mainly presents European paintings (Flemish, Spanish, French, Italian and German) from the 14th century to the beginning of the 19th century, gathered by the Habsburgs and Bourbons.

Last works by Raphael on display at the Louvre

Paris, 3 September 2012, Art Media Agency (AMA).

From 11 October to January 2013, the Louvre, in partnership with the Museo del Prado, taking opportunity of an historical exhibition, is putting on display the last works from Raphael, the Italian Renaissance painter.

These are masterpieces which have never been displayed in France: paintings, drawings, and tapestry works recounting the artistic careers of the painter and two of his main students, between 1513 and 1524, from the beginning of the Pontificate of Pope Leo X.

That time was the culminating point of Raphael’s stylistic evolution which underlined the peak of the Italian Renaissance. Visitors can find his exceptional easel compositions: from large altar paintings to holy families without forgetting the portraits; these paintings illustrating the artist’s will to achieve a new narrative strength and emphasising on these models’ psychology.

However, Raphael did not act alone: he supervised a workshop where around fifty people helped him carrying out the buyer’s commissions. Giulio Romano and Gianfrancesco Penni, his main assistants, worked independently from the workshop. This entirely new confrontation between skills and learning will enable the spectator a better look at the basis of the artist’s work.

The Google Art Project

Paris, 31 May 2012, Art Media Agency (AMA).

Last April, Google launched the second version of its Art Project platform. More than 150 museums from 40 countries have worked with Google to make more 30,000 artworks available in high-definition.
AMA met Anne-Gabrielle Dauba-Pantanacce, Head of Communications at Google France and spokesperson for the Google Art Project, to find out more about this platform and Google’s art projects.

Art Media Agency: Could you tell us how the Google Art Project started?
Anne-Gabrielle Dauba-Pantanacce: It all started with an employee from the Spanish marketing team, Clara Rivera. During the famous 20 % of time that each Google employee may focus on pursuing more personal projects, she convinced the Prado to let Google help them publicise masterpieces from the museum on the Internet. Passionate about the museum, she was frustrated that the audience for its pieces was necessarily limited. After great success internally, it was decided that the project should be expanded by including more works and more institutions. The Art Project is now a truly universal platform, centralising digitisations from all participating institutions. The Prado was the first step.

AMA: Were there other major institutions that helped you start up the Google Art Project?
AGDP: The Palace of Versailles was one of the first 17 institutions from the v1 and with whom we had previously worked, capturing the gardens for Street View. All the Palace staff have been very open and enthusiastic. They are very proud of the work done and have announced that the Art Project has increased their traffic by 25 to 50 %. We became their third largest source of visitors.

AMA: Can you give us figures?
AGDP: We have received over 20 million individual visitors, creating 200,000 personal galleries on the v1 alone. We now have 151 partner institutions from 40 countries. Over 30,000 artworks are accessible in high resolution, including 46 digitised by Google itself at an ultra-high resolution (7 billion pixels per artwork). A team of four work full time at Google on the development of the technical platform, and many more, although part-time, on cementing partnerships with galleries.

AMA: What are the financial aspects of these partnerships?
AGDP: There is strictly no financial component to these partnerships, neither for Google nor for the institutions. Google is simply a technical partner and deals only with the management of the platform (not including the 46 works mentioned previously); all digitisation and data input is undertaken by the institutions themselves.

AMA: Can we expect new museums to join the Google Art Project in a near future?
AGDP: Of course. We have only just released the second version of the platform a few months back, yet we are already in discussions with new institutions. It is, however, difficult to be more specific at the moment, given the truly international aspects of the matter, and therefore the number of people involved internally, as well as the time required to establish such partnerships.

AMA: Was there any reticence from the museums?
AGDP: As with any new project, there is always a period of adaptation and an inevitable fear of the unknown. But this fear quickly evaporated when presented with the amazing results. That is how we jumped from 17 to 151 museums between the first and second version of the site.

AMA: In your opinion, does experiencing the Google Art Project compliment or compete with museum attendance?
AGDP: We strongly feel that the Art Project truly complements a visit to a museum and cannot be a substitute for it in any manner. Some people use the platform to prepare for their visits so as to make the most of their time in the museums. For others, the Art Project is unfortunately the only possible access to some works (due to cost, location, time, conservation, etc.).Some pieces are simply not visible in the collections. Finally, we have discovered with great pride that the Art Project is also widely used in education.

AMA: Is there, at Google, any upcoming project more specifically tailored for the art market?
AGDP: At our level, the Cultural Institute, we only work on cultural outreach projects (free of any commercial or financial aspects). We are here to support projects promoting cultural content through the use of new technologies. We are representing the cultural CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) policy of the “Google” brand. To my knowledge, there are currently  no specific projects regarding the art market at Google.

Interview with Anne-Gabrielle Dauba-Pantanacce, Head of Communications, Google France.

Prado Museum open every day from January

Madrid, 8 November 2011, Art Media Agency (AMA).

In the search for better self-financing, faced with the budgetary restrictions, Prado museum decides to remain open seven days a week.

This concerns the galleries dedicated to temporary exhibitions from 8 November 2011, then from 16 January 2012 it will be valid for the rest of the museum. The museum will be open from 9 am to 8 pm, even on Mondays, which is traditionally the day when museums are closed. Three annual closure days are kept, 1 January, 1 May and 25 December. These new opening hours will allow the museum to welcome visitors 53 more days a year. Its director, Michel Zugaza, is proud of this change since his institution will thus become the most open to visitors in the world.

This well-thought-out decision was principally motivated by the financial crisis that touched Spain as well as other European countries. The Spanish government put in place, until 2013, a harsh and austerity plan affecting the cultural institutions with Prado in head.

The director continues with these words: “Through this change in the work organisation, we hope to be able to self-finance on 60% against 50% today”. A rise in the fares is to be put in place, the visitor will pay up to €10-12 according to the programming.

Francisco de Goya exhibition in Japan

Tokyo, 13 October 2011, Art Media Agency, (AMA).

National Museum of Western Art in Tokyo, in partnership with Prado museum, will host the exhibition “Goya : Light and Shade, Masterpieces from the Museo del Prado”, from 22 October to 29 January 2012.

The show will display over a hundred of Goya’s pieces, including 45 prints from the National Museum of Western Art collection and six others from Japanese institutions, Nagasaki Prefectural Art Museum and Fuji Art Museum. Museo del Prado attributed 25 paintings and 46 drawings and prints.

This selection of paintings, drawings and prints by Spanish master Francisco de Goya will present in a chronological way artist’s career. However, the demonstration will not constitute an exhaustive retrospective but intends to retrace the social, politic and artistic dimension in artist’s work. Its objective is to reveal social reality in artist’s career by presenting, at the same time, his esthetic techniques.

AS Goya was one of the most admired artists by Japanese public, this exhibition is expected to be really successful.

Museo de Arte de Ponce to propose exhibition of masterpieces from Museo del Prado

Ponce, 22 September 2011, Art Media Agency (AMA).

The Museo de Arte de Ponce in Puerto Rico has announced an up–coming exhibition of masterpieces from the Museo del Prado. Intitled “El Greco to Goya: Masterpieces from the Prado Museum”, the event will run from 25 March to 9 July 2012.

The show will present a selection of 25 paintings from the Spanish museum’s vast collections, including works by Francisco de Goya, Diego Vélasquez and Francisco de Zurbarán. It has been made possible through an exchange agreement between the two museums in 2008, the purpose being to bring Spanish culture to the Puerto Rico nation. The initiative has already served to organise an exhibition at the Prado museum in 2009, dedicated to Victorian paintings from the Museo de Arte de Ponce.

Two years on, the Museo de Arte de Ponce is soon to present masterpieces that illustrate a vast history of religious paintings, still-lifes, and portraits of Spanish royalty from the 17th to the early 19th century. Grouped into subject categories, the works reflect the culture of the time and provide analysis of Spanish political and social history.

Caixa Bank becomes official patron of Museo del Prado

Madrid, 26 August 2011, Art Media Agency (AMA).

The Spanish bank has supported the institution for a long time and has now become one of the official patrons of the museum in Madrid.

In July, the two institutions renewed their partnership. The Caixa Bank has committed to support the museum through donating $2.5 million over a four year period. The money will be used to finance an educational programme entitled “The Art of Education”. The partnership began two years ago and is destined to children and families. 200,000 people will benefit from this programme until its end in 2015.

The association of the two institutions has already been successful in the past. In 2010, the number of students visiting the museum has increased, confirming the success of the operation.

The Caixa is also present in Barcelona with its exhibition space, the CaixaForum, which is currently heralding “Portraits of the Belle Époque”, on view until 9 October.

Vatican Museums loan a Caravaggio to Museo del Prado

Madrid, 22 July 2011, Art Media Agency (AMA).

The Vatican Museums have loaned a painting by Caravaggio, The Entombment of Christ (1602 – 1604) to the Museo del Prado in Madrid. This loan will allow the museum to organise events revolving around this remarkable work of art.

An exhibition programme has been released and is entitled “Invited Work”, running until 18 September 2011. The painting will also feature in “Paintings of Christ in the Museo del Prado”, a travelling exhibition.

Pope Benedict XVI has loaned the work to the city in honour of the World Youth Day in Madrid. It is a highly exceptional gesture, as the painting has never been exhibited in Spain.

The work depicts the saints Nicodemus and John carrying the body of Christ in order to bury it. In the background of the painting, the Virgin Mary, Mary Magdalene and Mary of Clopas, distraught at the death of Jesus, are also represented. The painting has been conserved at the Vatican Museums since 1817.

Museo del Prado and Patrimonio Nacional to restore Flemish masterpiece

Madrid, 25 May 2011, Art Media Agency (AMA).

The Museo del Prado and Patrimonio Nacional, the board of directors of the Spanish National Heritage, have signed a collaborative agreement for the restoration of a work by Rogier van der Weyden.

The Dutch painter’s The Crucifixion is considered one of the most remarkable Flemish masterpieces and was acquired by King Philip II in the sixteenth century. With the exception of Deposition of Christ, the painting is the most precious Van der Weyden in Spain.

As Jan van Eyck’s successor, Rogier van der Weyden was one of the greatest Dutch painters of the fifteenth century. His extraordinary compositions, the elegance of the poses and positions and his dramatic mise en scene were an immense influence on his contemporaries.

The painting, completed circa 1460, first belonged to Scheut Charterhouse in Belgium and was then resold. It eventually became part of the Spanish royal collection in 1555. The canvas has been damaged due to frequent changes in location.

The restoration work will be undertaken by the Prado and experts from the Patromonio Nacional. A preliminary study will be carried out by both institutions in order to determine the correct procedure.

Deposition of Christ was restored by the Museo in 1993.

2010 attendance rate at Museo del Prado in Madrid

Madrid, 6 January 2011. AMA.

The Museo del Prado received 2,732,000 visitors in 2010, the third year in a row since its extension that it has welcomed more than 2,700,000 viewers. However, the number of visits decreased slightly in comparison with 2009 (2,764,155 visitors) and 2008 (2,759,029 visitors).

In 2010, 58% of the public visited the permanent collections and 42% came to see the temporary exhibitions. There are increasing groups of students visiting the museum, confirming the success of the Museo del Prado’s “art of education” program, launched in 2009. There was also a 20% increase in tourists.

Furthermore, in 2010 43% of the visitors were Spanish, 57% non-resident, 8.4% Italian, 7.9% American, 7.9% French and 4.1% were German.

2010 is also the year of the ‘Masterpieces of the Prado in Google Earth’ project, featuring audio tours and interactive videos available on Google Earth. The number of visitors on the museum’s website has increased by 80%.