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The Prado is presenting a survey of the artistic culture of Latin America which reached Spain in the Early Modern age

Return Journey. Art of the Americas in Spain, sponsored by Fundación AXA, recounts a little known phenomenon: the fact that following the conquest of Latin America and until its independence, more works of art arrived in Spain from that continent than from Flanders or Italy and that the movement of works was not one-directional, from Spain to Latin America, as is generally suggested. These thousands of objects, many of them created by indigenous or mestizo artists, often make use of materials, subjects and techniques unknown in Spain, while their creation reflects a range of intentions: reaffirmation of the dominance of the imperial power or the identitary aspirations of the Creole elites, as well as documentary, devotional and aesthetic reasons. The exhibition, which also benefits from the collaboration of the Committee for Viceregal Art of the Fundación Amigos del Museo del Prado, features more than 100 works from Latin America which have been housed in Spanish cultural and religious institutions for centuries: objects that have become part of both Spain’s everyday experience and its historical and cultural heritage, even though all trace of their origins has sometimes been lost. A number of the exhibits were formerly in the Spanish royal collections, displayed in the same palaces that housed canvases by Rubens and Velázquez, a reality that has not previously been acknowledged by the Museo del Prado. The present exhibition aims to remedy this and to offer a richer and more complex vision of the circulation and reception of artistic objects in Spain in the Early Modern age. The exhibition, which can be seen until 13 February in Rooms A and B of the Jerónimos Building, allows visitors to discover the culture of the South American viceroyalties, with a particular focus on the symbolic and iconographic values of these objects and those attributed to them by the societies to which they were sent. 63 national and 3 international lenders have contributed to the organisation of this exhibition through the loan of 95 of the 107 works on display, created in Peru, Colombia, Mexico and elsewhere. Of these exhibits, 26 have been specially restored for the exhibition. Furthermore, the fact that 25 of Spain’s provinces have loaned works indicates the geographical scope of the exhibition.


The Museo Nacional del Prado is presenting the latest research on Leonardo’s closest circle

Leonardo and the copy of the Mona Lisa. New approaches to the artist’s studio practices is the first monographic exhibition in Spain to study the copies and versions made in Leonardo’s studio during his lifetime, works that were based on the master’s prototypes and authorised by him. On display at the Museo Nacional del Prado until 23 January in Room D of the Jerónimos Building, this event is benefiting from the collaboration of the City Council of Madrid. The exhibition includes a significant group of works, most executed in Leonardo’s studio. Together with the graphic material and infrared reflectograms also on display, they help to illustrate the master’s ideas, how his pupils assimilated them and the practices employed by the latter in order to produce paintings. Since the technical study and restoration of the painting (catalogued with inventory number 504 in the Museo Nacional del Prado) showed that it is the earliest known copy of the Mona Lisa and one of the most revealing testaments to Leonardo’s studio practices, further research has made it possible to attribute the copy of Saint Anne in the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, and the Ganay version of the Salvator Mundi to the same painter.


The art of storytelling in Andalusian Baroque painting arrives at the Museo Nacional del Prado

Until 23 January 2022 in Room C of the Jerónimos Building and with the collaboration of the Comunidad de Madrid, the Museo Nacional del Prado is exhibiting three important narrative series produced for private clients in Andalusia in the mid-17th century: the two on the parable of the Prodigal Son and the Story of Joseph by Murillo and Antonio del Castillo, both of which have survived complete and are now in the National Gallery of Dublin and the Museo del Prado, respectively; and the series on the Life of Saint Ambrose by Juan de Valdés Leal. The exhibition also features other paintings which originally belonged to series of this type that were split up and dispersed over time. Through these works visitors to the exhibition will be able to appreciate both the importance of serial creations in Andalusian painting of the period and the role played in the development of the latter by private collectors and patrons. 33 works from the Museo Nacional del Prado, the National Gallery of Ireland in Dublin and institutions such as the Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando, the Museo de Bellas Artes de Asturias, the Museo de Bellas Artes de Sevilla and the Biblioteca Nacional de España document the high levels of artistic merit achieved by the artists who cultivated this typology.


The Museo Nacional del Prado is celebrating the 40th anniversary of its Friends Association

Forty years of friendship. Donations to the Fundación Amigos del Museo del Prado is the title of the exhibition on display until 16 January 2022 in Room 9 of the Villanueva Building. It pays tribute to the tens of thousands of Friends who have offered their support to the Museum and whose example will undoubtedly encourage further donations. For the first time, the exhibition brings together the donations of art made by the Fundación Amigos del Museo del Prado thanks to the generosity of its members. These are 36 works by a significant roll-call of artists, including three of the great masters of Spanish art who have become universal figures: Diego Velázquez, Francisco de Goya and Pablo Picasso, all of them furthermore closely connected to the Museo del Prado. Since it was founded in December 1980 the Fundación Amigos del Museo del Prado has not only contributed to expanding and enriching the Museum’s holdings but has also promoted greater knowledge of its collections through a comprehensive programme of activities. From the time it was created until now, more than 80,000 participants have benefited from the Fundación’s courses, it has awarded 1,568 grants, has benefited from the participation of 650 lecturers and its international projects have seen more than 58,000 visitors. Since the time of the signing of the agreement between the two institutions in 2009 the Fundación has contributed around 30 million Euros to the Museum.


The Prado is exhibiting Bust of a Woman by Picasso

Dating from 1943, this work is an outstanding example of Picasso’s response to the violence of World War II. Donated to American Friends of the Prado Museum through the generosity of Aramont Art Collection, the painting is now on display in the gallery devoted to El Greco, together with The Buffoon Calabacillas by Velázquez, two of the artists who most influenced Picasso’s work.


The Museo Nacional del Prado recovers Velázquez original composition for The Spinners

One of the great masterpieces of European art, The Spinners by Velázquez, is presented with a new frame that hides the later 18th century additions to the canvas from view and allows the visitor to contemplate the composition as conceived by Velazquez. The work is integrated into an innovative installation specially designed for the masterpiece and incorporates new technical features for conservation. The recovery of Velazquez’s composition marks the first action of the “Reframing the Prado” project which aims to develop new solutions and adequate framing features for the best presentation of the Prado’s collection. “Reframing the Prado” is supported by American Friends of the Prado Museum thanks to the generous sponsorship of the American Express Foundation.