You are in:

Figure represents increase of 41.8% on 2018

Ministry of Culture spends nearly 3 million euros on acquisition of new works for public collections in 2019

Thursday 9 January 2020

The figures for the two years do not include the amount paid for the purchase of The Virgin with the Pomegranate by Fra Angelico, acquired in 2016 for the Prado Museum, the total cost of which was paid over four years from 2016 to 2019.

The investment this year has allowed the purchase of works including four paintings by Dosso Dossi, Alonso Cano and Miguel Cabrera; sculptures by Pedro de Mena and La Roldana; a collection of posters by Ernesto Giménez "Gecé"; and the archive of the family of the Marquisate of Aguilar de Campoo.

The most valuable acquisition is the painting Aeneas and the Harpies, by the Italian artist Dosso Dossi, bought for 950,000 euros. It brings to the Prado collection the work of a key player in the development of northern Italian painting in the first half of the 16th century.

It is a frieze with stories from the Aeneid that was located in the upper part of Camerino d'Alabastro, one of the rooms that joined the palace and castle of the House of Este in Ferrara. It displayed one of the most important pictorial decorations of the Renaissance, with six large paintings of mythological subjects, two of which (by Titian) are now in the Prado (the Worship of Venus and the Bacchanal of the Andrians). The painting is one of four fragments currently extant. One is in the National Gallery of Art in Washington and two are in private collections.

This is also the first work by Dosso Dossi acquired by the Prado; the only other work by him in Spanish public collections is in the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum.

Apart from Dosso Dossi, the Prado Museum received another important painting this year: The Penitent Magdalene by the Granada-born painter Alonso Cano. Its theme and format are not typical of Cano's output and it represents a valuable addition to the gallery's collection of his work.

Sculptures by La Roldana and Pedro de Mena for Valladolid

The Ministry of Culture also acquired two major sculptures for the National Sculpture Museum in Valladolid. The purchase of the Virgin Mary with Jesus and Saint John the Baptist as Children by Luisa Roldán is a valuable addition to the limited examples of this artist's work in Spanish public collections. Roldán (known as "La Roldana") was a court sculptor for the kings Carlos II and Felipe V. The success of her works in plain and polychrome terracotta led to most of them ending up in private hands and in foreign collections.

The second work for the Valladolid museum is an Immaculate Virgin Mary by Pedro de Mena, which recovers the history of an unusual episode in Spanish sculpture. The whereabouts of this work was unknown until its recent acquisition. It was a commission granted to the Granada-born sculptor in the late 17th century by the Bishop of Cordoba, Alonso de Salizanes, as part of a competition organised between the two best sculptors in Andalusia at the time: Pedro de Mena and Pedro Roldán. Although Roldán created a notable sculpture of the Immaculate Virgin Mary, which is located in the church of the Barefoot Trinitarians of Cordoba, it was Pedro de Mena's work that was chosen for the bishop's Oratory. On his death, it ended up in a convent of the Franciscan order, from where it moved to private hands in 1949.

Eight centuries of history of the Lara family for the Historic Archive of the Nobility

The ministry also acquired the archive of the family of the Marquisate of Aguilar de Campoo, which reconstructs the history of one of the most important noble lines of Castile - the Lara family and Manrique de Lara - from the 11th to the 19th Century. The family's influence was particularly important in the Court of the second half of the 15th Century and first half of the 16th. Among the 195 files and 19 books in the legacy, which will be stored in the Historic Archive of the Nobility in Toledo, are 400 mediaeval certificates, among them the privilege granted by Alfonso VIII to the Monastery of San Miguel de la Escalada, issued in Burgos in 1193.

Acquisitions for the Reina Sofia Museum and the Museum of the Americas

In 2019, the Ministry of Culture bought a set of literary posters for the Reina Sofia Museum by Ernesto Giménez Caballero, known as Gecé, between 1925 and 1927.

Imbued with a visual poetry, these works cover a variety of books and significant cultural personalities of the time, including Rafael Alberti, Federico García Lorca and Benjamín Jarnés.

The Museum of the Americas also received two works depicting scenes from the life of the Virgin Mary painted by Miguel Cabrera in 1751. They are part of a set of 15 canvases, of which the museum now has 11.

Ministerio de Cultura y Deporte

Non official translation