Opening on 25 March, the exhibition From El Greco to Goya: Masterpieces from the Museo del Prado, organised by the Prado, the Museo de Arte de Ponce (MAP) and Acción Cultural Española (AC/E), with the sponsorship of the Compañía de Turismo of Puerto Rico, Banco Santander de Puerto Rico and Goya, Puerto Rico, will offer visitors the chance to see an outstanding selection of 24 works from the Prado’s collection by artists such as El Greco, Van Dyck, Ribera, Murillo, Rubens, Velázquez and Goya.

The Cardinal Infante Fernando de Austria, Anthony van Dyck, Oil on canvas, 107 x 106 cm, Ca. 1634, Madrid, Museo Nacional del Prado


Goya: Light and Shade is the first exhibition in a new series based on works from the Prado’s permanent collection. It is the result of a collaborative agreement signed by Obra Social “la Caixa” and the Museum in July last year through which the Catalan savings bank will become a Benefactor Sponsor of the Museum. The exhibition will be on display at the CaixaForum in Barcelona until 24 June. The exhibition includes almost 100 works presented chronologically and grouped into the principal phases that define Goya’s career. It has been conceived and directed by Manuela Mena and José Manuel Matilla, Chief Curator of Goya and 18th-century Painting and Head of the Department of Prints and Drawings at the Prado, respectively. For the first time in more than thirty years the exhibition will present local residents and visitors to Catalonia with a comprehensive and important selection of works by Goya from the Prado, which possesses the most important holdings of his paintings in

Press conference: Goya. Light and Shade


Mikhail Piotrovsky, Director of the State Hermitage Museum, today confirmed his authorisation for the extension of the exhibition The Hermitage in the Prado, co-organised with Acción Cultural Española (AC/E) and sponsored by Fundación BBVA. During a visit to Madrid this week, Mr Piotrovsky generously agreed to the Prado’s proposal, which will allow many more visitors to see the exhibition in the light of the continuing demand for tickets and the fact that an increased number of visitors is expected during Easter Week.



The painting is on display from today until 13 March in Room 49 of the Museum before it travels to the Louvre for inclusion in a temporary exhibition. The principal conclusion of the recent restoration and study of the work lies in its identification as a work by Leonardo’s studio, painted at the same time as the original. Comparison of technical documentation on the two works, the copy and the original, has revealed the successive phases in the creation of Leonardo’s Gioconda (Musée du Louvre) and has allowed for a better understanding of that painting

La Gioconda, Leonardo da Vinci's atelier, ca.1503-16. Oil on walnut pane


At the meeting of the Prado’s Royal Board of Trustees held yesterday and attended by the Minister of Education, Culture and Sport, José Ignacio Wert, the Board was given important news relating to the Museum’s activities in the field of restoration, which are sponsored by Fundación Iberdrola. This is the discovery that the copy of Leonardo da Vinci’s painting the Mona Lisa, the original of which is in the Louvre, was painted by a pupil or follower of the artist at around the same time as the original. The importance of this discovery, which was made during the study and restoration of the painting at the Prado for its inclusion in the exhibition at the Louvre on Leonardo that opens on 29 March, lies

Detail of the copy of the Mona Lisa in the collection of the Museo del Prado during the final phase of restoration


The Prado is temporarily exhibiting a new selection of its 19th-century paintings in the Museum’s “collections presentation gallery”. This space has been designed to show rotating displays of works from that century not normally on display and selected from among its extensive holdings in virtue of their interest and quality. Thanks to the decision to create this temporary exhibition space, the Museum has now been able to display an outstanding group of religious compositions by Spanish artists working in Rome in the mid-19th century, a period when religious painting in Europe was inspired by the recent archaeological discoveries of the tombs of the early Christian martyrs in the catacombs.



The Spanish telephone company led by César Alierta today renewed its commitment to continue as a Benefactor of the Prado’s Visitor Attention Programme during the first event at the institution attended by the new Minister of Education, Culture and Sport, José Ignacio Wert. Mr Wert’s presence was intended to emphasise his awareness of the importance of the support given to the world of culture by civil society. In addition, the Minister was present on the first day of the Museum’s new 7-days-a-week opening hours.

Plácido Arango, President of the Museum’s Royal Board of Trustees; José Ignacio Wert, the Minister of Education, Sport and Culture and César Alierta, President of Telefónica


The Museo del Prado ended 2011 with a total of 2,911,767 visitors, plus the exceptional 863,957 visitors who attended the two exhibitions within its International Prado programme, held in Saint Petersburg (The Prado in the Hermitage, 25 February to 29 May 2011) and in Tokyo (Goya. Light and Shade, 22 October 2011 to 29 January 2012).



This unique painting by Pieter Bruegel the Elder, acquired by the Museo del Prado in late 2010 through exceptional funding from the Spanish Ministry of Culture, is now on display at the Museum following a lengthy and complex process of restoration. After the attribution to the artist was fully confirmed during the preliminary study undertaken in the Museum's restoration studios prior to its acquisition, The Wine of Saint Martin's Day underwent the most challenging and complex part of its restoration. This procedure was funded by Fundación Iberdrola in its capacity as Protector Member of the Museum's restoration programme. In order to highlight the importance of this acquisition as well as the delicate restoration carried out in order to stabilise the painting and recover its original textures and colours, the Prado is now presenting it separately in a special



These two celebrated paintings by the great Sevilian master are now on display in the Museum’s Basilical Gallery (which houses Las Meninas) with all their painterly qualities fully restored and without the 18th-century additions that distorted the compositions and negatively affected a visual comprehension of the series of which they were originally part together with the three other famous equestrian portraits by the artist, also on display in this gallery. In addition, the sculpture of The sleeping Ariadne (2nd century AD), which is a Roman variant of a 2nd century BC Greek sculpture, is once again on display following its restoration and the remodelling of the unique space known as the “Ariadne Rotunda” in which it has traditionally been shown

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