Two Masters of the Prado: Velázquez, El Greco and Modern Painting

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Instituto Cervantes London

15-19 Devereux Court

London

WC2R 3JJ

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On the occasion of the Prado Museum 200th anniversary, Instituto Cervantes London joins this commemoration by devoting the annual Glendinning Lecture, meant to honour great Hispanist Nigel Glendinning’s memory, to a lecture on how Velázquez and El Greco have influenced Modern Painting. The lecturer will be Javier Barón, Head of Nineteenth-Century Painting Department at the Prado.

From its opening in 1819, the Prado Museum provided through its collections the possibility to know and to study the works made by Spanish old masters, such as Murillo, Velázquez and El Greco. This was, precisely, the chronological order in which these masters influenced foreign painters.

During the Nineteenth century, Velázquez was the most appreciated Spanish master. The Prado owned the unique great collection of this artist in the world. So, many painters, amongst them Wilkie, Courbet, Manet, Renoir, Sargent, Chase and others came to Madrid to see his masterworks. Velázquez’s approach to the real life, as well as his large and loose brushstroke, were relevant for the naturalistic painters,

El Greco was especially appreciated after his first monographic exhibition, displayed in the Prado in 1902. His influence was already important in the mainstream renewal of painting spearheaded by Pablo Picasso and cubism in Paris. At the same time, El Greco was the major reference for Central European Expressionist. American artists also appreciated the suggestiveness of his painting when seeking to lay the foundation of their own modernity.

Javier Barón is Doctor in History of Art by the University of Oviedo, where he was graduated with honours back in 1989. Before joining Prado Museum, he was a professor of Art History at the University of Oviedo (1991-2002). In 2003, Barón was appointed as Head of Nineteenth-century Painting Department at Prado Museum, responsibility that he held until 2014, when he became Senior Curator. He is correspondent member of the Spanish Royal Academy of History, the Spanish Royal Academy of Fine Arts and the Royal Academy of Fine Arts of San Telmo, in Málaga, as well as member of the Royal Institute of Asturian Studies, Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres, member of the Board of Trustees of the Sorolla Museum and Member of the Madrid City Council Board of Valuation of Works of Art.
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Instituto Cervantes London

15-19 Devereux Court

London

WC2R 3JJ

United Kingdom

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