Hermitage brings best of Spain to Netherlands
Hermitage, Amsterdam Showing until 29 May 2016
The World of El Greco, Ribera, Zurbarán, Velázquez, Murillo & Goya has opened at the Hermitage Amsterdam and runs until 29 May 2016.
Spanish Masters from the Hermitage includes more than 60 paintings and a rich collection of graphic works and applied arts masterpieces.
Never before has the Netherlands hosted such a comprehensive survey of Spanish art, with work that is hardly represented in Dutch museum collections. The exhibition features masterpieces such as The Apostles Peter and Paul (1587–92) by El Greco, Velázquez’s Portrait of the Count Duke of Olivares (c. 1638), Murillo’s Immaculate Conception (c. 1680) and Goya’s Portrait of the Actress Antonia rate (1810–11), in addition to paintings by their pupils and later painters, up to and including Picasso. Together they tell the story of the rise and glory of Spanish art in the Golden Age, which would continue to influence art into modern times.
The Golden Age of Spanish painting began in the late 16th century and flourished throughout the 17th century, coinciding with the Dutch Golden Age. While the Netherlands was revolting against Spanish rule, Spain was developing its own artistic signature.
The works of the great Spanish painters are exceptional for their exquisite convergence of the spiritual and the theatrical. Influenced by the Italians, painters like El Greco, Ribera and Zurbarán developed a singular Spanish style marked by strong contrasts of light and dark. Their works exude the temperament and pride of the Iberian Peninsula. Murillo and in particular Velázquez, a trendsetter, added their own signature to that style and reached new heights. Goya, an equally awe-inspiring talent, followed in their footsteps with his confrontational realism.
Spanish art is a unique chapter in art history and this compelling story will be illuminated by over 100 superior works from the Hermitage in St Petersburg, which has the largest and most diverse collection of Spanish art outside Spain.
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