Fundación Focus



The Focus Foundation extends the Velázquez. Murillo. Sevilla exhibition for another month at the Hospital de Los Venerables


•The exhibition will remain open thanks to the important commitment and support from all the museums and institutions that have loaned paintings; Museo Nacional del Prado, Louvre, National Gallery, Meadows, Kunsthistorisches, The Frick Collection, Wellington Collection, Dulwich Picture, Nelson-Atkins, Museo de Orleans and the Fondo Cultural Villar-Mir, all of whom have played a key role in this historic event in the world of art.
• Velázquez. Murillo. Sevilla will be extended until 2 April, at the Hospital de los Venerables. It has been visited by approximately 80,000 people since its opening, many of whom have called for the exhibition to be extended.

Seville, 16 February, 2017. The Focus Foundation announced today that the Velázquez. Murillo. Sevilla exhibition, currently on display at the Hospital de los Venerables, will be extended until 2 April. This achievement has been made possible thanks to the invaluable collaboration from all the museums and international institutions that both through their loaned paintings, as well as the support shown for this project, have helped to turn Velázquez. Murillo. Sevilla. into a leading cultural and scientific event. Approximately 80,000 people have visited it since its opening.    

Velázquez. Murillo. Sevilla is curated by Gabriele Finaldi, Director of the National Gallery and commemorates the 25th anniversary of the Foundation being based in the Hospital de los Venerables. It marks the culmination of a strict line that has been taken over the past years where its activity has centered on Baroque arts; plastic art, music, seminars, the library and the engraving collection. However, we cannot overlook the fact that the Foundation has been able to diversify and bridge the gap towards other approaches, thereby addressing current events and other distant as well as contemporary cultures. 

The exhibition displays a series of masterpieces that have been provided by major European and American museums. Among them, we find the representation of the Immaculate Conception, in addition to the Santa Justa and Santa Rufina; Seville’s patron saints. Also displayed are the aristocratic poses of both Velázquez and Murillo in their self-portraits. The iconographic presence of religious devotion is depicted in The Adoratión of The Magi painted by Velázquez, and the The Holy Family with the Little Bird, by Murillo. Day-to-day life and family intimacy is seen in the The Infant Margaret in White Dress, by Velázquez, and Santa Ana Teaching the Virgen to Read, by Murillo. There is emotional intensity in The Tears of Saint Peter, by Velázquez, next to Murillo’s Pertinent Saint Peter San Pedro from the Focus Foundation. At the same time, we cannot overlook the quality of the genre scenes with The Young Beggar, by Murillo or Two Young Men Eating, by Velázquez. 

Velázquez. Murillo. Sevilla has already become the most visited and celebrated exhibition that the Focus Foundation has organized over the last 25 years, and therefore passes what had previously been the most visited event, namely; From Herrera to Velázquez. Seville’s First Naturalism, an exhibition curated by Alfonso E. Pérez-Sánchez and Benito Navarrete, that displayed  62 paintings from artists as outstanding as Herrera el Viejo, Velázquez, Ribera, Alonso Cano, Luis Tristán, Caravaggio, Zurbarán, Borgianni, Artemisia Gentisleschi and Maino, among others. 

Velázquez. Murillo. Sevilla can be visited until 2 April at la plaza de los Venerables 8, in Seville. Doors open every day from 10am to 6pm, and last admission is 30 minutes before closing when the ticket office closes at 5.30pm. Entrance is free on Tuesdays from 2 pm to 6 pm and, as on other days, the ticket office will close at 5.30 and entrance will depend on the number of visitors in the exhibition gallery. Those who wish to enjoy the exhibition in privacy are able to do so thanks to an initiative called Arte en Privado (Art in Private), that also includes a tour of the whole Hospital de los Venerables which is a prototype of Barroque architecture tucked away in the city’s historic quarter. The possibility of enjoying a masterful concert on the organ found in the church is also possible. Please go to our website for more information about this offer. 

Furthermore, thanks to Es+Fácil, Velázquez. Murillo. Sevilla has become the first exhibition that is accessible to those with cognitive difficulties. The Autismo de Sevilla Association has developed this project with the aim of making it available to all. The initiative forms part of the Focus Educa area with which the Focus Foundation strives to raise awareness for culture and bring it closer to society. In this regard, the Foundation has also organized cultural visits that are designed to be enjoyed by the entire family as the youngest to the oldest members are able to take part. 

Velázquez. Murillo. Sevilla

Velázquez. Murillo. Sevilla is the first large exhibition of programmed events to mark the 400th anniversary of the Sevillian painter and has enjoyed special collaboration with the Museo del Prado. By means of the 19 paintings selected, the curator offers an innovative reflection - more ideal than direct- on the relationship between these two masters with a series of markers, placing special emphasis on the common ground found in Seville, the city that promotes both painters which proved to be a cosmopolitan, cultured and devout city, one where painting was a hallmark and a reason for civic pride. The exhibition is supported by the Cajasol Foundation, ABC and the Cruzcampo Foundation 


A catalogue has been edited to coincide with the exhibition and is on sale at Fundación Focus that includes an essay by Gabriele Finaldi, the Curator of the exhibition, in which he outlines the reasons for an exhibition with both masters; notes by the General Director of the Focus Foundation; Anabel Morillo, about the key themes and strategies of the exhibition as well as its program of exhibition that spans three decades; another text that covers the artistic relationships between Seville and the Spanish Court by Javier Portús, who is in charge of the Conservation of Spanish Painting at the Museo del Prado that addresses the working environments of each painter and the different audiences for which they painted which  had an effect on the kinds of painting they produced. And last of all, a study undertaken by María Álvarez-Garcillán and Jaime García-Maiquez- both from the Museo del Prado that explores the similiarities in the artistic training of both masters and a comparison of techniques and materials, with an analysis of how the mountings and cloth came to be made that emphasizes and combines the care in the preparation with spontaneous execution. 

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 that was inspired and promoted by Abengoa, gave rise to the support of a number of activities that brought benefits to the society. The Focus Foundation was created as a result of this conviction in the 80s.

1991 was a key year in the organization’s more recent history when its headquarters were moved to the Hospital de los Venerables Sacerdotes – a 17th century building- as well as inaugurating its exceptional Barroque organ. From that moment on, the institution has organized 34 exhibitions of plastic art that more than a million people have visited and has a music program of international acclaim for the organ.

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, an educational area, by means of which we raise awareness of culture and bring it closer to society. 

Opening Hours: Open daily from 10am to 6pm. Last admission 30 minutes before closing.

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Cristina Cabrera


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