Nov 16
The Museo del Prado presents the exhibition Velázquez and the family of Philip IV PDF Печат Е-поща
Неделя, 06 Октомври 2013г. 14:07ч.

Portrait of Philip IV (1652/1653) from Diego Velázquez. Снимка: © Stefanie/artnovini.comMADRID. The Museo del Prado presents the exhibition Velázquez and the family of Philip IV (8 October - 9 February 2014) sponsored by Fundación AXA which will offer for the first time an analysis of the artist’s activities as a portraitist during the last eleven years of his career in the service of the Spanish monarchy, and of the continuation of his endeavours in the work of his successors, his son-in-law Juan Bautista Martínez del Mazo (c.1612-1667) and Juan Carreño de Miranda (1614-1685), during the 1660s and 1670s.

Twenty nine works will present the most important group of portraits executed at the Spanish court during this period, during which Velázquez (Diego Rodríguez de Silva y Velázquez; 1599-1660) painted Las Meninas, one of his greatest masterpieces. In addition, the copy of it by Martínez del Mazo, now in Kingston Lacy (The National Trust, UK), will be exhibited for the first time in Spain, among other works. The exhibition will also aim to encourage reflection on one of the most distinctive periods of Velázquez’s career and of the reign of Philip IV (Felipe IV de Austria (o Habsburgo); 1605-1665), who can perhaps be considered the most knowledgeable of all monarchs with regard to painting.

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.

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 (Maria Anna; 1634-1696) 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.

Diego Velázquez’s masterpiece The Infanta Margarita in a Blue Dress (ca. 1659) in Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien. Снимка: © Stefanie/* * *

Why Velázquez

Author: Javier Portus, curator of the exhibition and Head of the Department of Spanish Painting (up to 1700) of the Museo del Prado

Firstly, it is important to note that this is not a general exhibition on Velázquez as it focuses on a very specific moment in his career as a court portraitist, namely his last eleven years. From the point of view of his models, compositions and use and variety of colour this is a highly distinctive period characterised by its beauty and exceptional quality. The exhibition also looks at Velázquez’s artistic legacy and how his presence was not just limited to the works created by his own hand but continued through studio products and through the endeavours of his successors, particularly Mazo and Carreño.

From the perspective of the Museo del Prado, since the time of its foundation in 1819 Velázquez has been one of the axes around which its collections have been organised. Investigating his work and contributing to its dissemination has always been one of the Museum’s responsibilities. In the case of the present exhibition, the aim is also to introduce visitors to two of the periods in his career that are least well represented in the collections: the second trip to Italy and the female and child portraits that he executed on his return to Madrid.

Within the more general context of Spain, Velázquez is one of the reference points for our collective memory. Over the centuries we have frequently used his works to reflect on ourselves and our history, in the manner of a mirror. Over time, this has resulted in an accumulation of different readings and connotations that enrich the original meanings of the works. Exhibitions such as this one aim to continue to nourish that intellectual source and to encourage reflection on ourselves, given that this event is not just about Velázquez, Mazo and Carreño but also about the royal family and how these artists were able to reflect a particularly complex moment of our past.

The infants... Снимка: © artnovini.comThe exhibition’s point of reference is Las Meninas, which means that it revolves around one of the most modern” of all Old Master paintings and one that has been of most interest to contemporary thinking. Since Picasso produced his series based on it in 1957 and Foucault published his essay in 1966, the painting has been the starting point for raising crucial questions on the laws and limits of representation, the role of the viewer, the tension between reality and illusion and the formulas to define identity. A number of these issues are also present in other works in the exhibition, which are part of the same context as the one in which Las Meninas was created.

From the 17th century in Spain and the 19th century in Europe and America, Velázquez has been one of the Old Masters most frequently reassessed by new generations of artists in a process that continues up to the present day. As a result of this process, Velázquez is a living reference point. In the case of the works in this exhibition, paintings such as Las Meninas or the portraits of the Infanta Margarita and Queen Mariana of Austria have had an extraordinary iconic value for Spanish and foreign artists, indicating the extent to which they are images with the capacity to continue generating responses from viewers. This exhibition offers an unprecedented concentration of Marianas, Margaritas and María Teresas, a gathering that we hope will prove a powerful stimulus.

In addition to being a page in the history of painting, the exhibition is a family chronicle; through these portraits visitors will make direct contact with the story of a family group, whose lives and destinies were markedly conditioned by issues of lineage and identity.

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Visitor information:

Dates: 8 October 2013 - 9 February 2014

Opening hours
Monday to Saturday from 10am to 8pm. Sunday and holidays from 10am to 7pm.

Ticket price
Monday to Saturday from 10am to 6pm. Sunday and holidays from 10am to 5pm.
General: 14 EUR; General + Guide: 23 EUR; Reduced: 7 EUR; Free: 0 €. More information…

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