An exhibition of over 100 acclaimed works by artists from Spain and its colonies during the height of its empire opens Saturday at the San Diego Museum of Art.
The exhibition marks the first time since the California Pacific International Exposition in 1935 that all five of the Spanish masters represented on the museum’s building façade—Velázquez, Murillo, Zurbarán, Ribera and El Greco—will be shown together at the museum.
“Art & Empire: The Golden Age of Spain” is the first exhibition in the United States to expand the notion of the “golden age” to include the Hispanic world beyond the shores of the Iberian Peninsula. Such far-flung, Spanish-controlled centers as Antwerp, Naples, Mexico, Lima and the Philippines are represented by paintings, sculpture and decorative arts from the period 1600 to 1750.
The exhibition is organized into five sections: portraiture in the Hispanic world, the birth of naturalism in art, art in the service of faith, the splendors of daily life, and global materials and trade.
“’Art & Empire: The Golden Age of Spain‘ showcases the broad scope of the Spanish empire and helps bring context to some of the international treasures within the museum’s permanent collection,” said Executive Director Roxana Velásquez. “Our renowned collection of Spanish art is on view alongside important works from private collections and major institutions around the world.”
“This is an opportunity for San Diego and its visitors to see works by the most influential Spanish artists, including Diego Velázquez, whose work has transcended time and continues to inspire new generations of artists,” she said.
There will also be a wide variety of public programming to complement the exhibition, including a lecture on June 21 by Gabriele Finaldi, director of the National Gallery in London, several craft workshops, and a film series.
The museum in Balboa Park is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday; 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Friday; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday; and noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday. Admission to the special exhibition is $5 extra.
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