Picasso’s Meninas. Richard Hamilton. 1973. Pen and black ink, grey ink wash, lead white, pencil and Conté crayon. 750 x 570 mm. Collection of the Artist

Las Meninas, Pablo Picasso. Blue pencil, Paper removed from a sketchbook. 1957. Barcelona, Museu Picasso, donated by Catherine Hutin, 2009

Las Meninas, Francisco de Goya. Pencil underdrawing. Red chalk and traces of black pencil on Dutch laid paper. ca. 1778. Madrid, Private Collection

Richard Hamilton’s Las Meninas

23 March - Extended until 4 July

Jerónimos Building – Room D

Until 30 May the Museo del Prado is offering a new viewpoint on Velázquez’s Las Meninas through this exhibition, which includes three of the most memorable interpretations of that great masterpiece, executed by Goya in 1778-1779, Picasso, and Richard Hamilton.

For the first time in an exhibition, visitors can see the creative process behind the print that Richard Hamilton, one of the founding figures of Pop Art, produced in 1973 for the portfolio Hommage à Picasso as a tribute to the artist on his 90th birthday. The exhibition includes five preliminary and preparatory drawings and six proofs that culminate in the definitive print, which is Hamilton’s tribute to Picasso through his reinterpretation of Velázquez’s masterpiece.

This group of works is accompanied by a drawing and three proofs of 1778-1779 by Goya. They reveal the rigorous process through which the artist achieved perfection in his again highly personal interpretation of Las Meninas. The selection is completed with the first sketch produced by Picasso in 1957 for his series on Las Meninas, here presented as the link between Velázquez, Goya and Hamilton.

The exhibition offers visitors the chance to learn more about the process of reflection, experimentation and creation undertaken by three great artists who maintained their own creative freedom when interpreting one of the masterpieces of Spanish art.

Exhibit list

Biography of Richard Hamilton (London, 24 February 1922)

A pioneering figure of British Pop Art, Hamilton studied at St Martin’s School of Art, the Royal Academy, and the Slade School. In 1952, together with the artists Eduardo Paolozzi, Peter and Alison Smithson, Nigel Henderson and Lawrence Alloway, he founded the Independent Group at the (ICA) Institute of Contemporary Art, London. In 1956 Hamilton participated in the exhibition This is Tomorrow with the collage Just what is it that makes Today’s Homes so Different, so Appealing?, a work considered to be a founding manifesto of British Pop Art and one that revealed the fundamental influences on Hamilton’s work that have continued to inspire him to the present day, namely his critique and analysis of mass society, the consumer industry, advertising and icons of art history.

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