Equestrian Portrait of the Duke of Lerma (Detail) Buy Your Tickets Now

Among the works of two giants of Spanish art, discover great unknown masters of painting and sculpture.

The Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University presents "El Greco to Velázquez: Art during the Reign of Philip III," the first exhibition to show both Spanish masters in context with other accomplished painters of their time.

The exhibition features 53 paintings, including seven late works by El Greco, three early works by Velázquez and works by their contemporaries, lesser known but talented artists. One of the most important old master exhibitions ever presented in the Southeast, "El Greco to Velázquez" will feature monumental altar pieces, life-size portraits, some of the earliest still-life paintings in Europe, full-length carved and painted wooden sculptures of Spanish mystics and more than 50 pieces of Spanish glass and ceramics. Many works are traveling to this country for the first time, some from the churches for which they were originally commissioned.

The work of these overlooked painters - among them Juan Sánchez Cotán, Gregorio Fernández, Juan Bautista Maino and Luis Tristán - formed the foundation for the Spanish Golden Age. The show brings to life the little-known period of 23 years (1598-1621) when Philip III ruled Spain, and when Spain dominated the world with holdings greater than the Roman Empire. This period of Spanish history - with its pageantry, religious passion, art patronage, fashions, political intrigue and literary accomplishments - rivals the eras of Elizabethan England and France under King Louis XIV of France.

This exhibition is co-organized by the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and opened first in Boston on April 20, 2008, running through July 27, 2008. It will be on view at the Nasher Museum for 11 weeks, from August 21 through November 9, 2008.

"El Greco to Velázquez" is based upon 20 years of research by Sarah Schroth, the Nancy Hanks Senior Curator at the Nasher Museum, and co-curated by Schroth and Ronni Baer, the William and Ann Elfers Senior Curator of Paintings at the MFA, Boston.


+ Bibliography / Suggested Reading

Jonathan Brown. Painting in Spain, 1500-1700. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1998.

Michael Clark, ed. Velázquez in Seville. National Gallery of Scotland. Yale University Press, 1982.

David Davies et al, El Greco (London: National Gallery, 2003)

J.H. Elliott. Imperial Spain, 1469-1716. Middlesex, England, and New York: Penguin Books, Ltd., [1963] 1985.

Antonio Feros. Kingship and Favoritism in the Spain of Philip III, 1598-1621. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000.

Enriqueta Harris. Velázquez. Ithaca, New York: Cornell University Press, 1982.

Julius S. Held and Donald Posner. 17th and 18th Century Art: Baroque Painting, Sculpture, Architecture. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, Inc.; New York: Harry N. Abrams, Inc., [1972].

Helen Rawlings, Church, Religion and Society in Early Modern Spain (Hampshire: Palgrave, 2002)

Patrick Williams. The great favourite: The Duke of Lerma and the court and government of Philip III of Spain, 1598-1621. Manchester and New York: Manchester University Press, 2006.

Sarah Schroth and Ronni Baer, El Greco to Velázquez: Art during the Reign of Philip III (Boston:MFA Publications, 2008)

William B. Jordan and Peter Cherry, Spanish Still Life from Velázquez to Goya (London:National Gallery Publications, 1995).

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