The Prado will be presenting in Australia a portrait of the Museum through the great masters in its collections
The Museo del Prado has entered into a collaborative agreement with Art Exhibitions Australia (AEA), a non-profit-making body responsible for the organisation of major exhibitions in Australian museums, and with the Queensland Art Gallery in Brisbane. As a result of this agreement, signed in the presence of Ángeles González Sinde, the Spanish Minister of Culture, the Prado will next year present the exhibition 'Portrait of Spain. Masterpieces from the Prado at the Queensland Art Gallery. The Prado' will thus be continuing with its programme of international exhibitions, for which it receives the special support of ACCIONA, a Benefactor Member of the Museum
Wednesday 11 May 2011
Plácido Arango, the President of the Royal Board of Trustees of the Museum, Harold Mitchell and Carol Henry President and Chief executive of Art Exhibitions Australia, in the presence of the Minister of Culture, Ángeles González Sinde, accompanied by Zorica McCarthy, the Australian Ambassador to Spain, Juan Ignacio Entrecanales, the Vice President of ACCIONA, Miguel Zugaza, the Director of the Museo del Prado, and Tony Ellwood, the Director of the Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane (QAG), today signed the formal collaborative agreement for the organisation of the exhibition Portrait of Spain: Masterpieces from the Prado at the Queensland Art Gallery. It will open in the summer of 2012 at the QAG, which is the most visited museum in Australia. This is the first exhibition that the Prado will hold in that country and is part of its “International Prado” programme that has already involved the presentation of exhibitions in Japan and China in previous years, as well as the one currently to be seen at the State Hermitage Museum, Saint Petersburg, Russia.
With this new exhibition, organised under the scholarly direction of Javier Portús, Head of the Department of Spanish Painting up to 1700 at the Prado, the Museum will present for the first time in Australia a survey of the history of Spain and Spanish art from the 16th century to the early 20th century through a group of works comprising 80 paintings and around 20 works on paper.
Within the Museum’s “International Prado” exhibition programme, this new event will allow the Prado to present itself to Australian society as special ambassador for Spain thanks to the initiative of the AEA, which has also been the guiding force behind important exhibitions held in other European institutions such as the Tate Gallery, London, the Musée du Louvre, the Musée Picasso and the Musée d’Orsay, Paris, and the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam in addition to important US institutions such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the MoMA, both in New York.
Portrait of Spain. Masterpieces from the Prado will present around 100 works with the aim of encouraging a reflection on the evolution of painting in Spain over the course of more than three centuries and on the internal and external factors that influenced it.
To explain this development, the exhibition will be presented in chronological order, focusing on three major periods with clearly defined political, social and artistic characteristics: an initial section covering the years 1550 to 1770, which coincides in political terms with the Ancien Régime and in cultural terms with the so-called Spanish Golden Age. This will be followed by a section spanning the last quarter of the 18th century and the first half of the 19th century, which was a “critical” period with important shifts in mindsets, political organisation and forms of social relations. Finally, there will be a section on the last fifty years of the 19th century, the period that saw the birth of modern Spain.