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Still Life Exhibition From the Prado Museum Opens at Caja Inmaculada in Zaragoza
The Spanish Still Life in the Prado features 60 paintings by the leading artists working in this genre in Spain, including Van der Hamen, Arellano, Meléndez and Goya. Photo: EFE / Javier Cebollada.
ZARAGOZA.- Following the success of the first phase of Travelling Prado, a programme that brought a major group of portraits to 600,000 people Caja Inmaculada is opening its headquarters in Zaragoza with a new travelling exhibition from the Museo del Prado, devoted to the still life.

The Autonomous Region of Aragón thus becomes the starting-point for the second phase in the Travelling Prado programme. The first part of this programme involved the presentation of two exhibitions, The Spanish Portrait in the Prado: from El Greco to Goya, and The Spanish Portrait in the Prado: from El Greco to Sorolla, each shown in six different locations around Spain. These exhibitions received a total of 582,020 visitors, a figure that demonstrates the success of an initiative that was first launched in March 2006.

The Spanish Still Life in the Prado features 60 paintings by the leading artists working in this genre in Spain, including Van der Hamen, Arellano, Meléndez and Goya. It launches the next series of travelling exhibitions to be organised by the Museum, which will bring a carefully chosen selection of works from its collections to the various Autonomous Regions of Spain.

September 2008. The Spanish Still Life in the Prado (Zaragoza, 25 September to 30 November 2008) is a major exhibition in terms of the outstanding quality of the works, the importance of the artists involved and the broad chronological scope that runs from the early 17th century to the mid-19th century. This is the first exhibition in the second phase of the Travelling Prado programme, scheduled to run from 2008 to 2012.

Thanks to the collaboration of Caja Inmaculada, the Aragonese public will be the first to enjoy the present exhibition, entirely consisting of works from the collection of the Museo del Prado, an institution that houses the finest and most comprehensive holdings of Spanish still-life paintings in the world. The exhibition offers an exceptional opportunity to follow a survey of the fascinating world of Spanish still-life painting of the 17th, 18th, and first half of the 19th centuries. Visitors to the exhibition will appreciate the brilliance and mastery with which Spanish painters depicted the elements that made up these scenes of daily life.

Still-life painting contributed to establishing one of the numerous facets of the historical image of Spain due to the focus of the artists involved on everyday themes and objects such as foodstuffs, kitchen implements and common household items, as well as certain forms of social relations, cooking, kitchens and interior decoration. In addition, works of this kind were particularly important due to the symbolic elements contained within many of them, be they allegories or hidden messages that ranged from a religious type to an expression of material prosperity.

Curated by Juan J. Luna, Head of the Department of 18th-Century Painting at the Museo del Prado, the exhibition includes the work of 27 different artists, including some of the most important names within Spanish still-life painting: Van der Hamen, Ramírez, Fernández “el Labrador”, Zurbarán, Hiepes, Camprobín, Pereda, Ponce, Arellano, Meléndez, Paret y Alcázar, Castillo, Goya, Espinós, Parra and Lucas. The notable quality and variety of the chosen works is partly due to the recent acquisition by the Museum of forty Spanish still-life paintings from a private collection, many of which are included in this exhibition.

In line with the strategy of the Travelling Prado programme, The Still Life in the Prado will function as a complement and extension to two exhibitions that were recently held at the Prado in its principal building in Madrid, namely Luis Mélendez. Still Lifes and The Real and the Fictive. Spanish Still Lifes from the Naseiro Collection acquired by the Prado.



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