The New Mexico Museum of Art is the only American venue for the exhibition Renaissance to Goya: Prints and Drawings from Spain that is literally rewriting the book on Spanish art. After the British Museum in London, the Prado in Madrid and the Art Gallery of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia the exhibition opens December 14, 2013 in Santa Fe and runs through March 9, 2014, ARTFIXDaily said.
It was long assumed that, uniquely among their contemporaries in other countries, Spanish artists did not draw and produced little in printmaking. That misconception has been shattered by Mark McDonald, Curator at the British Museum, who has trawled the depths of that institution’s great reserves of graphic art.
In 132 drawings and prints, many of which have never been on display before, visitors are offered a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to gain insight into four centuries of Spain’s visual culture and history. Among the artists included are Velazquez, Murillo, Zurbáran, Ribera and above all Goya whose full range is represented in 26 works.
The exhibition begins with some of the foreign artists who worked in Spain, such as the Italians Pellegrino Tibaldi and Frederico Zuccaro. These rare and precious pieces of paper bear witness to the internationalism of the 16th century and to the 17th century development of independent artistic centers in Madrid and Granada, Seville and Cordoba, and Valencia/Naples that brought about the “golden age” of Spanish art, the elegant years of the Bourbon court, and finally the horrors of the Napoleonic Peninsula War.
Renaissance to Goya moves through the centuries ending with Goya and his contemporaries, including them Tiepolo family who arrived in Madrid in the 1760s and whose etchings revolutionized printmaking in Madrid. The selections of Goya’s work demonstrate the huge range of his graphic ability and the subjects that absorbed him. Much has been written of Goya’s “lone genius” but this exhibition will explore how his art should be seen in the context of the unprecedented scientific, social, and artistic developments that were taking place in Spain the rest of Europe during the 18th and early 19th centuries.