Symposium | Italian Masterpieces from Spain’s Royal Court, Museo del Prado

Raphael, Holy Family with Saint John or Madonna of the Rose (Sacra Famiglia con san Giovannino o Madonna della Rosa) c.1517 oil on canvas 103.0 x 84.0 cm Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid (P00302) Spanish Royal Collection

The National Gallery of Victoria is holding a public symposium to coincide with its upcoming exhibition Italian Masterpieces from Spain’s Royal Court, Museo del Prado. The symposium will include local and international experts on the art of the period. Each paper will delve into the main themes of the show.

Date: 1:30 – 3:30pm, Friday 16th May, 2014

Venue: Clemenger BBDO Auditorium, NGV International, 180 St Kilda Road

Bookings:  Ph +61 3 8662 1555, 10am-5pm daily or Cost $35 Adults / $28 Members / $30 C / $15 S (includes light refreshments, bookings essential)



‘The father of the Prado is Titian’: Italian Renaissance painting at the Museo del Prado | Speaker Miguel Falomir Faus, Head of Italian & French Painting Department (after 1700), Museo del Prado, and guest co-curator

While the Prado opened its doors in 1819, and is thus contemporaneous with other leading European museums, it did not share their encyclopaedic vocation. It was, instead, a home for the Royal Collection. The Prado’s holdings of Italian art was largely formed by the taste of the Habsburg rulers of Spain, firstly that of Charles V and his son Phillip II, whose love of Titian and Venetian art signalled the direction of Royal collecting for 150 years. Over the ensuing generations of Habsburg rulers, the collecting of Italian art expanded beyond the Veneto. This presentation will offer insights into the unique origins of the Museo del Prado, and how its early years were shaped by Italian art.

Seventeenth- and eighteenth-century Italian painting at the Museo del Prado | Speaker Andrés Úbeda de los Cobos, Senior Curator, Italian & French Painting (to 1700), Museo del Prado, and guest co-curator

In 1633, the painter Vicente Carducho mocked the fact that Spanish collectors preferred Italian painting to that of their own country. He was reflecting on the fact that the work of Italian artists was omnipresent in seventeenth-century Spanish collections, especially the Royal collections. This trend continued into the 18th century and developed further when the Spanish court attracted the finest Italian decorative artists to Madrid. This paper will explore this phenomena and reflect on the changes in taste for Italian art in Spain.

Jusepe de Ribera in the NGV | Speaker Laurie Benson, Curator, International Art, NGV and coordinating curator

The Spanish artist Jusepe de Ribera was a much admired artist. For a long time he was on the list of painters whose work was highly desired for the collections of the National Gallery of Victoria. Eventually a very fine painting by Ribera did enter the collection, however previous attempts to acquire his work met with somewhat mixed and surprising results.

Killing Animals: Codazzi’s Roman Ampitheatre and the Buen Retiro | Speaker David Marshall, Principal Fellow, Art History, School of Culture & Communication, The University of Melbourne

The sectioned view of the Colosseum, one of four paintings by Viviano Codazzi and Domenico Gargiulo from the Buen Retiro, shows a representation of animal fights in the arena that alludes to the Roman ritual slaughter of animals known as the venatio. This paper argues that a courtly spectator would have been well aware of the correspondences between contemporary social practices and this painting and other representations of ancient customs commissioned for the Buen Retiro.