The Prado Celebrates Its Birthday With A Tour Of Spain

06/25/2019 · By Iñigo Esteban
Museo Nacional del Prado
To celebrate its Bicentenary, the Prado Museum will tour several Spanish cities with a 12-work exhibition. © Museo Nacional del Prado

It’s not every day an institution turns 200, and the Museo del Prado is celebrating the way the occasion deserves. Since November last year, the exhibition 'Gira por España' has been inviting the public to enjoy the works of Goya, Velázquez, Rafael and Rubens and join the celebrations for Spain’s most emblematic museum’s bicentenary on different locations throughout the country. Specifically, 12 works by various Spanish and international artists are being taken to the rooms of different national galleries.

This year, the Canary Islands and Balearic Islands don’t stand for just sun and beach. The CAAM Art Centre in Las Palmas is exhibiting Georges de La Tour’s natural and unique style in June, with one of his most characteristic works, The Hurdy-Gurdy Player. The French artist’s urge to depict 17th-century street musicians is perfectly reflected in the oil painting which, after its feature at the Canarian museum until the end of June, will be moved to the Museu de Menorca (8 July – 4 August).

Other illustrious artists whose works are part of the birthday of Prado are Murillo and Rubens. Between 13 June and 14 July, the Museum of Fine Arts in Álava is host to the former’s The Immaculate Conception of El Escorial, a prime example of the painter’s religious works; and Ceres and Two Nymphs by the latter, representing the Antwerp school and the sensuality of 17th-century painting will be at the Museo de León (June 17 – July 14).

Goya is another of the great names the Prado wanted to travel around Spain for its 200th birthday

In fact, three cities will host two of the iconic portraits of Goya. Once the summer heat is over, art lovers in Ceuta (5 September – 6 October) and Murcia (22 October – 17 November) will be able to contemplate the well-known and thoughtful Isidoro Máiquez. The other Goya, the melancholy portrait of Gaspar Melchor de Jovellanos, will travel north to the Casa Natal de Jovellanos in the city of Gijón, and will be the final highlight of the tour (November 11 – December 8).

Tiziano will also be represented in two different cities after the summer. The Prado will offer Venus with an Organist and Cupid, instance of the female nude so recurrent in his work, to the visitors of the Museum of Navarra (September 23 – October 20) and the Museum of Teruel (October 30 – November 24).

At this point, several artists have participated in this particular birthday. Almería was host to the satirical The Jester Calabacillas by Velázquez, while Sorolla’s visited Castellón with his modernist Children on the Beach. One of Zurbarán’s most representative oil paintings, Saint Francis in Prayer went to Cuenca, La Rioja, and Badajoz. Additionally, El Greco’s Portrait of a Doctor is back at the Prado after having been shown in Melilla and Pontevedra.

Never before have the great masters of painting had such a busy schedule.