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The Focus-Abengoa Foundation opens the Velázquez. Murillo. Seville exhibition in the second week of November 2016

07/07/2016

The exhibition is organized in collaboration with the Museo del Prado and will feature 19 paintings by the two great masters. It is curated by Gabriele Finaldi, director of the London National Gallery.

This event celebrates the 25 years that the Focus-Abengoa Foundation has been based in the Hospital de los Venerables.

In addition to the Prado and the Focus-Abengoa Foundation, art works have been loaned from The London National Gallery, The Louvre Museum, The Wellington Collection, Dulwich Picture Gallery, Kunsthistorisches Museum in Viena, The Museo de Bellas Artes in Orléans, The Frick Collection in New York City, The Dallas Meadows Museum in Dallas, The Nelson-Atkins Museum in Kansas and the Fondo Cultural Villar Mir.

Seville, July 7, 2016. Focus-Abengoa Foundation in celebrating the 25 years that it has been based in the Hospital de los Venerables (1991-2016), will present the Velázquez. Murillo. Seville Exhibition in the second week of November. It is organized in close collaboration with the Museo Nacional del Prado who will loan 5 paintings. Gabriele Finaldi, its commissioner and scientific director seeks, by means of the 19 paintings selected, to find the relationship and common ground between the two great masters sponsored by the city of Seville, in the development of the naturalistic language, as well as the iconographic models and the unique manner in which this painting style is addressed.

The exhibition marks the culmination, on the part of the Foundation, of a strict line that has been taken over the past years which has taken Baroque as the center of its activity in all its different facets (plastic art, music, seminars, library and the engraving collection), proving it to be an institution that is concerned about both researching into culture and promoting it. One of the Foundation’s main tasks has been  to oversee Seville’s artistic heritage, with the recovery of Santa Rufina by Velázquez, which resulted in the start of a more transcendent effort such as the creation of the Diego Velázquez Investigation Center in the Venerables, which displays paintings of the painter of Las Meninas, in addition to keeping works of art by Murillo, Zurbarán or Martínez Montañes, that endeavor to recreate the pictorial universe in the formative years of Velázquez in Seville.  

Work commenced on this exhibition project in 2014 under the scientific leadership of Gabriele Finaldi. The commissioner of the exhibition and director of The London National Gallery presents an innovative look at the relationship and affinities of Diego Velázquez (1599-1660) and Bartolomé Esteban Murillo (1617-1682), two painters educated a generation apart in an open-minded and enlightened Seville where painting enjoyed a great civil recognition.

The exhibition consists of 19 paintings; nine by Velázquez, dated between 1617-1619 and 1656 and, ten by Murillo, dated between1645-1680. Visitors will be able to reconnect with a pictorial intelligence and technical virtuosity of both masters. By means of a series of superb pairs and trios of art you will be able to observe the trail of the new iconographs of devotion or the innovative ways of representing daily life and the intimacy of the family, all elaborated by Velázquez and Murillo, that will serve to reach the very essence of the human soul and connect directly with the observer.

The Focus-Abengoa Foundation

The Focus-Abengoa Foundation was created in 1982 as a result of the cultural work begun in 1972 by Abengoa with the publication of the works Temas Sevillanos and Iconografía de Sevilla (Themes of Seville and Iconography of Seville). A collection of documents, books and engravings on the Kingdom of Seville and by Sevillian authors was created during the same period. This initial cultural work showed Abengoa’s directors the importance of the company’s involvement in activities that directly benefit society, beyond the firm’s core technology work, which led to the creation of the Seville Cultural Fund Foundation. Following the acquisition of Velázquez’s Santa Rufina by the Foundation in 2007, the Hospital de los Venerables, a 17th century monument and the headquarters of the Focus-Abengoa Foundation in Seville, has housed the Diego Velázquez Research Centre, a leading institution for studying and disseminating the Baroque era and the Sevillian period of this universally renowned artist. Attention to this crucial moment of the Golden Age is completed with the legacy of Professor Alfonso E. Pérez Sánchez, received by the Foundation in 2011. Consisting of his library, photo library, archive and collection of artworks, its cataloging is enabling to create a library specializing in Baroque art and culture. This entire heritage is promoted by Focus Educa, our area of education, by means of which we raise awareness and bring culture closer to society.

For more information about the exhibition:  

Julián Hernández           julian.hdez58@gmail.com

Cristina Cabrera Angulo  comunicacion@abengoa.com  + 34 954937111

Inmaculada Concepción, h. 1618. Diego Velázquez, (Seville 1599-Madrid 1660) Oil on canvas, 142 x 98 cm. Fundación Focus-Abengoa. Seville.

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Inmaculate Conception, h. 1618. Diego Velázquez , (Seville 1599-Madrid 1660) Oil on canvas, 135 x 101.6 cm. © Copyright The National Gallery, London 2016.

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Retrato de hombre, h. 1623. Diego Velázquez, (Seville 1599-Madrid 1660) Oil on canvas, 55.5 x 38 cm. Museo Nacional del Prado.

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Self-Portrait, ca. 1650-1655. Bartolomé Esteban Murillo (Spain 1617-1682). Oil on canvas, 107 x 77,5 cm. Copyright The Frick Collection.

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Virgin of the Immaculate Conception, ca. 1670. Bartolomé Esteban Murillo, (Spain 1617-1682). Oil on canvas, 54 x 46 inches (137.2 x 116.8 cm). The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, Missouri. Purchase: William Rockhill Nelson Trust, 30-32.

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