Saturday, February 9, 2019

Art & Empire: The Golden Age of Spain




The San Diego Museum of Art presents the exhibition Art & Empire: The Golden Age of Spain, featuring more than 100 outstanding works by leading artists from Spain and its global territories during the pivotal years of around 1600 to 1750. On view May 18, 2019 through Sept. 2, 2019, the exhibition showcases a wide variety of exquisite paintings, sculpture, and decorative arts produced throughout the Spanish-speaking world. This exhibition is the first in the U.S. to examine the notion of “Golden Age” beyond the shores of the Iberian Peninsula by bringing together works from Spain’s European, American, and Asian realms.




Francisco de Zubarán, Virgin and Child with Saint John, 1658. Oil on canvas. Gift of Anne R., Amy and Irene Putnam. 1935.22 San Diego Museum of Art

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 Roxana Velásquez, Maruja Baldwin Executive Director of The San Diego Museum of Art. “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.”




Juan Sánchez Cotán, Still life with Quince, Cabbage, Melon, and Cucumber, ca. 1602 Oil on canvas. Gift of Anne R. and Amy Putnam. 1945.43 San Diego Museum of Art

Artists featured in the exhibition include Diego Velázquez, Peter Paul Rubens, Bartolomé Esteban Murillo, Francisco de Zurbarán, Jusepe de Ribera, El Greco, Juan de Valdés Leal, Juan Sánchez Cotán, and many more. This exhibition also marks the first time in the Museum’s history 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.


Sofonisba Anguissola, Portrait of a Spanish Prince (probably Philip II), ca. 1573. Oil on canvas. Gift of Anne R. and Amy Putnam. 1936.51. San Diego Museum of Art


Art & Empire: The Golden Age of Spain brings to life the extraordinary moment when Spain’s visual arts, architecture, literature, and music all reached unprecedented heights. More than 100 works of art are organized into five sections including The Courtly Image: Portraiture in the Hispanic World; The Birth of Naturalism; Art in the Service of Faith; Splendors of Daily Life; and Global Materials and Trade, and represent more than 10 countries, including Belgium, Italy, Mexico, Peru and the Philippines.

In addition to organizing the exhibition, Dr. Michael Brown, the Museum’s Curator of European Art, is editor and contributing author of the accompanying, fully illustrated publication, which features essays by renowned art historians including Jonathan Brown, the preeminent authority on Spanish art, as well as Benito Navarrete Prieto, Sofía Sanabrais, and Jorge Rivas Pérez.