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The Museo del Prado will be rearranging its permanent collection in 2021 Wednesday, January 20, 2021

The Museum’s activities programme will focus on the introduction of new narratives based on the Prado’s own collections.

Mythological Passions and Marinus launch the temporary exhibition programme

Colonial art is the subject of one of the most important exhibitions this year: Return Journey, an event that welcomes South American art to the Museum for the first time since its foundation

Finally, the travelling exhibition programme will continue with The Prado on the Street, Touching the Prado, and Art and Myth

The Museo del Prado will be rearranging its permanent collection in 2021

Detail. Diana and Actaeon. Titian.© The National Gallery, London.

“The positive reception of Reunited confirms that this is the moment to once again focus on the permanent collection, its importance and its potential with regard to its presentation”, according to Miguel Falomir, Director of the Museo Nacional del Prado, who has expressed his thanks to all the Museum’s staff for their efforts as well as to its collaborators and sponsors for their generosity which will make these projects possible.

The permanent collection

During 2021 the 18th-century European painting galleries will be reorganised, bringing Room 23 into use and applying the new criteria used in the Goya and Spanish painting galleries where examples of works from other European countries are included in the display. In addition, the 19th-century collection will be presented in a totally different manner, while other modifications intended to be carried out last year will now implemented.

New gallery on the History of the Museo del Prado and its buildings

This project, sponsored by Samsung, consists of the design and installation of a new permanent display on the history of the Museo Nacional del Prado, to be located in Rooms 100, 101 and 102 of the Villanueva Building (where the Dauphin’s Treasure was previously displayed). This new presentation will provide visitors with information on key concepts regarding the building’s construction, its evolution and enlargement and the different ways the works have been displayed and installed over time, as well as on the museum’s public image and day-to-day life through the display of a range of objects (non-artistic collections and items associated with the Museum), organised into thematic sections.

Museographical updating of the sculpture collection in the Ionic Gallery

The Ionic Gallery in the Villanueva Building will be returned to use with the aim of improving the presentation of works and of ensuring their optimum conservation and preservation. This new space for classical sculpture will show 51 works not previously on display, sponsored by American Friends of the Prado Museum.

Temporary exhibitions

Mythological Passions (2 March to 4 July 2021) is co-organised with the National Gallery, London, the National Galleries of Scotland, Edinburgh, and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston, with the sole sponsorship of Fundación BBVA. It will offer a unique and unrepeatable display of nearly 30 works, including 16 exceptionally important loans, comprising mythological scenes on the themes of love and desire inspired by the great writers of classical antiquity (from Homer to Euripedes, Plato, Ovid, Philostratus the Elder and others). Reunited in Spain for the first time since the 16th century will be the six mythological compositions based on classical Greek poetry known as the poesie which Titian painted for Philip II between 1551 and 1652. They are considered among the artist’s most important works, not just due to their artistic quality but also for the way Titian gave visual form to literary narratives.

Return Journey. Ibero-american art in Spain (5 October 2021 to 13 February 2022), which benefits from the collaboration of the Committee on Viceregal Art and the sponsorship of Fundación AXA, will open up the Museo del Prado to “new geographies” in its 2021 exhibition programme. The return journey that gives the exhibition its title is a term that allows for an appreciation of the artistic contribution made by the New World to Spain and by extension to Europe. The aim of this exhibition is to draw attention to the rich artistic heritage from South America that is housed in cultural institutions, religious buildings and private collections, particularly in Spain.

In addition to these events, other exhibitions at the Museum this year will focus on the work of Marinus van Reymerswale (9 March to 13 June 2021), sponsored by Mitsubishi Corporation and with the collaboration of the Fundación Amigos del Museo del Prado and American Friends of the Prado Museum; Murillo’s ‘Prodigal Son’ and the art of narrative in Andalusian Baroque painting (21 September 2021 to 23 January 2022), an exhibition based on the exceptional series of that title by the Sevillian painter Murillo, which was the first depiction of that biblical episode to be painted in Spain; and Leonardo and the copy of the ‘Mona Lisa’. New approaches to his workshop practices (28 September 2021 to 30 January 2022), a small exhibition that focuses on this little known gem in the Museum’s collection and analyses the working practices of Leonardo’s studio.

The 2021 exhibition programme is completed with initiatives such as the exhibition on the Carmen Sánchez Bequest, to be held in May, intended as a homage to this benefactor of the Museum and introducing visitors to a selection of the acquisitions that have been made thanks to her generosity; the exhibition to be held in September entitled 40th Anniversary of the Fundación Amigos del Museo del Prado, which brings together a selection of works from the Prado’s collection that were acquired with donations made by the Fundación; The Invited Work. Goya’s preliminary studies for ‘The Preaching of Saint Bernard of Siena’, which will open in November with the collaboration of the Fundacón Tatiana Pérez de Guzmán el Bueno; and Reflections on the Cosmos in the Museo del Prado, a new approach to the permanent collection through a presentation of works curated by Montserrat Villa Martín, researcher at the Astrobiology Centre National/Institute for Aerospace Technology (CSIC/INTA).