For the first time in the USA, the Museo del Prado is presenting four centuries of Spanish history through the great masters from its collections

From left to right: Miguel Zugaza, Director of the Museo del Prado, Ramón Gil-Casares, Spanish embassador in the USA, Gary Tinterow, Director of MFAH, Cristóbal Valdés, Consul in Houston and Gabriele Finaldi, Associate Director of Curatorship and Research at the Museo del Prado

From left to right: Miguel Zugaza, Director of the Museo del Prado, Ramón Gil-Casares, Spanish embassador in the USA, Gary Tinterow, Director of MFAH, Cristóbal Valdés, Consul in Houston and Gabriele Finaldi, Associate Director of Curatorship and Research at the Museo del Prado

    The Museo del Prado is presenting Portrait of Spain. Masterpieces from the Prado in Houston, in an exhibition that continues the Museum’s programme of international exhibitions designed to highlight its collections abroad. Sponsored by BBVA Compass, this exhibition includes one hundred works by the artists best represented in the Prado’s collections, among them El Greco, Velázquez, Ribera, Goya and Sorolla. This is the first time that works from the Prado have travelled to the USA. The exhibition, which spans four centuries, can be seen at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (MFAH), one of the country’s most important museums, from 16 December 2012 to 31 March 2013.

    Thursday 13 December 2012

    Following its display at the Queensland Art Gallery (21 Julyto 4 November 2012), one of Australia’s leading museums, Portrait of Spain. Masterpieces from the Prado was presented today at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, thanks to the sponsorship of BBVA Compass. Attending the presentation at the museum were Manolo Sánchez, president of BBVA Compass, Miguel Zugaza, director of the Museo del Prado, Gabriele Finaldi, associate director of curatorship, and Javier Portús, chief curator of Spanish painting at the Prado and curator of the exhibition.

    Portrait of Spain opens to the public on 16 December and will offer the US public the first comprehensive survey of Spanish art and history from the 16th to the 19th centuries through a group of works comprising 80 paintings and twenty-two works on paper by the leading representatives of European art, primarily Spanish masters such as Goya and Velázquez but also foreign artists working for the Spanish court such as Rubens and Titian.

    Portrait of Spain, exhibited in the second-floor galleries of the Audrey Jones Beck Building at the MFAH, will be installed according to themes within three distinct eras of Spanish history: 1550 to 1770; 1770 to 1850; and 1850 to 1900. Masterpieces by the leading painters of the day from each of the four centuries include works by Francisco de Goya, El Greco, Bartolomé Esteban Murillo, Jusepe de Ribera and Diego Velázquez. Artists who worked for the royal court and directly influenced the development of painting in Spain are also well represented, with superb paintings by Peter Paul Rubens, Giovanni Domenico Tiepolo and Titian.

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