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

PradoThe finest collection of Italian masterpieces ever to come to Australia and the National Gallery of Victoria, will feature some of the most outstanding works from masters such as Raphael, Titian and Tiepolo.

The exhibition represents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity in Australia to see some of the most extraordinary Italian works produced during the sixteenth to eighteenth centuries, many from the Royal Court in Spain.

This Melbourne exclusive exhibition has been drawn from one of the world’s most celebrated collections, Museo del Prado, Madrid, and will showcase over 100 works comprising 70 paintings, some measuring over 3 metres, alongside more than 30 superb drawings – the largest number of Italian works the Museo del Prado has ever loaned to one exhibition.

Tony Ellwood said that the holdings of Italian art in the Museo del Prado, Madrid, are unique and unrivalled in museums outside Italy. Italian Masterpieces from Spain’s Royal Court, Museo del Prado will present a rich selection of paintings and drawings spanning 300 years of Italian art, from the early sixteenth to the eighteenth centuries.”

“The exhibition will reflect the taste of the Spanish Royal Court whose Kings and courtiers avidly collected Italian art and will present more than 70 Italian masters including Raphael, Correggio, Titian, Tintoretto, the Carracci and Tiepolo, says Mr Ellwood.

“Italian Masterpieces from Spain’s Royal Court, Museo del Prado will captivate and amaze visitors, complemented by a diverse range of engaging programs, lectures and events.”

In the sixteenth century, the Spanish ruler Emperor Charles V began a tradition of acquiring Italian paintings. Successive rulers also commissioned works directly from the artists in Italy or enticed them to Spain to work in the Royal Household. Many of these works are at the heart of the Prado’s collection and have never before left Spain.

Such is the scale of this exhibition that visitors will be able to trace the stylistic development of Italian art across three centuries drawn from Italy’s key cultural centres including Rome, Venice and Naples.

The Honourable Louise Asher, Minister for Tourism and Major Events, welcomed the exhibition as a major coup for Melbourne.

“This is the first time the Prado has toured an exhibition of its renowned collection of Italian masterpieces in the world. We are thrilled that Melbourne has secured this world first – providing visitors with an unprecedented opportunity to see works that, until now, could only be seen at the Prado,” says Asher.

“This will be the 11th Melbourne Winter Masterpieces exhibition at the NGV since the series began in 2004 with The Impressionists. Since then, the series has attracted more than four million visitors, and has generated over $318 million in economic benefits for the state.”

Italian Masterpieces from Spain’s Royal Court, Museo del Prado takes the Melbourne Winter Masterpieces initiative to new heights, once again placing Melbourne firmly on the international stage.”

Italian Masterpieces from Spain’s Royal Court, Museo del Prado
National Gallery of Victoria – International, St. Kilda Road, Melbourne
Exhibition: 16 May – 31 August 2014
Entry fees apply

For more information, visit: www.ngv.vic.gov.au for details.

Image: Viviano Codazzi Italian c.1604–70 Domenico Gargiulo Italian c.1609–75 Panoramic view of a Roman amphitheatre (Perspectiva de un anfiteatro romano) c. 1638 oil on canvas 220.5 x 352.7 cm Museo del Prado, Madrid (P02632) – courtesy Museo del Prado, Madrid

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