The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 United States Monday, August 19, 2019

Exhibition offers a glimpse into the variety and opulence of Spanish still life paintings
Diego Velázquez, Christ in the House of Martha and Mary, Ca. 1618, Oil on canvas, 60x103.5 cm © National Gallery, London.

BRUSSELS.- Eighty works by Spanish masters are arranged in a chronological overview, from the 1600s to the present-day. The still life paintings of great and universally acknowledged artists, such as Cotán, Velázquez, Goya, Picasso, Miró and Dalí are shown alongside works by their predecessors and contemporaries, providing the most comprehensive picture possible of this genre and its evolutions.

The still life has been known since time immemorial, but only flourished from the seventeenth century onwards, coming into its own as a separate genre. Spanish still life holds a particular position in the European context. While the connection with the Flemish and Italian models is unmistakeable, the early Spanish specialists of the still life developed a visual language of their own. The plain and simple style of the seventeenth-century ‘bodegones’ represents a peak in the genre’s history.

Despite its popularity among patrons and at the royal courts, still life painting remained a relatively unappreciated genre. Critics regarded it as an academic exercise in composition, colour and texture, of interest solely for its decorative qualities. And yet it is a fascinating area in the history of art. The huge variety of objects portrayed, such as tables decorated with foods, fruits or game, florals, vanitas paintings, trompe l’oeils, and even cooking scenes – often have symbolic meaning and teem with moralising messages. Still life also experienced a fascinating evolution: from its huge growth and expansion in the lavish Baroque years of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries to its avant-garde revival in the early twentieth century. Cubist experiments by artists such as Picasso raised this traditional genre to a new level and made it relevant again.

It has been almost 20 years since the last exhibition of Spanish still life (Bilbao Fine Arts Museum,1999). This retrospective gives the first ever overview of the four-hundred year evolution of Spain's most beautiful still life paintings and is based on four thematic and chronological clusters per century. The eye-catcher at the exhibition's start in the seventeenth century is a piece by Sánchez Cotán, who is considered the “founding father” of the genre and influenced several generations to come. From the first seventeenth-century bodegones the exhibition shifts its attention to the personal interpretations of artists such as Velázquez, Zurbarán and Goya, before going on to the formal experiments of Picasso, Dalí and Miró and works by contemporary Spanish artists such as Barceló and López. The exhibition focuses on a lesser-known aspect of their work, casting another light on the oeuvres of these prominent Spanish artists by showcasing them in the still life context.

Ángel Aterido, who holds a PhD in art history and is an expert on Spanish still life painting, selected the pieces for the exhibition. A good 70% are from private and public Spanish collections (such as Museo Nacional del Prado, Museo Reina Sofía, Royal Academy of Arts Madrid, Museo Nacional d’Art de Catalunye…). Many are on loan from the Prado, which has one of the largest and best collections of Spanish still life paintings in the world. The remainder are on loan from other great museums around the world, such as the National Gallery London, the Fitzwilliam Museum Cambridge, the Louvre Paris, Pompidou Paris, Uffizi Firenze, Museo Nacional de Arte Antiga Lisboa, MOMA NY, San Diego Museum of Art… Spanish Still Life presents a unique opportunity to discover all of these exceptional artworks at a single location. After its first showing in the Centre for Fine Arts Brussels the exhibition will travel to the Musei Reali di Torino.

Following on from the Spanish Still Life exhibition, BOZAR presents a programme of 17th century Spanish music. First, a concert by contratenor Carlos Mena and the Capilla de Música Santa María, in the Henry Le Boeuf hall on 7 March, and then a performance by Eduardo Egüez, on baroque guitar and lute on 11 April.

Today's News

February 22, 2018

Exhibition offers a glimpse into the variety and opulence of Spanish still life paintings

US Supreme Court rejects seizure of Iran artefacts from Chicago museum

Monumental matador by Picasso, unseen since 1973, to make auction debut

Marsupial in wolfs clothing: More secrets discovered about the extinct Tasmanian tiger

CIFO and Spanish Ministry of Education, Culture, and Sport announce creation of new art museum in Madrid

Exhibition of Michelangelo Pistoletto's most recent series of mirror paintings opens at Simon Lee Gallery

Spectacular set of German Expressionist prints given to Colby Museum

Michael Hoppen Gallery exhibits a rare collection of vintage silver prints by Daido Moriyama

James Cohan opens an exhibition of two major works by Bill Viola

Mythical guitar-maker Gibson fighting for survival

"Money and Medals: Mapping the UK's numismatic collections" opens at the British Museum

Nineteenth-century Louisiana album reaches $93K at Swann Galleries

Large-scale sculptures and works on paper by Robert Grosvenor on view at Paula Cooper Gallery

National Gallery of Canada resumes state-of-the-art restoration of the Canada Pavilion at the Venice Biennale

Britain's 'Mr. Motorcycle' George Beale appointed Director of H&H Classics

P.P.O.W to represent Joe Houston

Norman Rockwell Museum appoints Ellen Spear as new Chief Philanthropy Officer

The Locks Gallery opens exhibition of works by Lynda Benglis

Rare World War II/Nazi militaria and antique rifles pushed Milestone auction to $750,000

Cosmic Kusama offered at Bonhams Post-War & Contemporary Sale in London

Cal Poly university art gallery opens "The Young Series" by Amy Touchette

The Lyman Allyn Art Museum presents The Coral Reef Project

Delhi's 'lost' Mughal garden reopens as public park

Immersive video installation by John Akomfrah on view at Museo Nacional Thyssen-Bornemisza

Most Popular Last Seven Days

1.- Conservation reveals Wellington Collection work was painted by Titian's Workshop

2.- New dinosaur discovered after lying misidentified in university's vaults for over 30 years

3.- Unseen Texas Chainsaw Massacre outtakes and stills sold for a combined $26,880

4.- National gallery reveals conserved Italian altarpiece by Giovanni Martini da Udine

5.- London's Tate Modern evacuated after child falls, teen arrested

6.- Bavarian State Minister of the Arts restitutes nine works of art

7.- Boy thrown from London's Tate Modern is French tourist visiting UK

8.- Child thrown from London gallery has broken spine, legs and arm

9.- £10 million Turner masterpiece may leave British shores

10.- Tourists banned from sitting on Rome's Spanish Steps

Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .


Ignacio Villarreal
(1941 - 2019)
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez

Royalville Communications, Inc
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
to a Mexican poet.

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful