Blog / Imagine the Duke of Lerma’s world 400 Years Ago

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By Wendy Hower Livingston

Will Mikes and Scott Davis set up a shot in the Plaza Mayor

Everyone at the Nasher Museum loves the story of how Senior Curator Sarah Schroth rewrote a chapter of art history, which led to the creation of the upcoming exhibition “El Greco to Velázquez: Art during the Reign of Philip III.” Sarah was in Spain 20 years ago and spent a year poring through 17th-century Spanish archives all over the country before she discovered 13 household inventories proving that the Duke of Lerma was the first mega art collector of Europe.
What was it like for Sarah?
This week I am visiting some of the places Sarah got to know during her research. I am here in the charming Medieval village of Lerma, some 190 kilometers north of Madrid, with a UNC-TV producer and videographer (Will Mikes, above left, and Scott Davis).

We found out the hard way — and hilariously — that we need to speak Castillian Spanish to folks along the road from Madrid, even though we don’t speak Spanish. We managed to get lunch, however, when kind señora Luana at Cueva el Tascon pulled out raw meats from her fridge so we could point at what we wanted to order. It was delicioso

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