The Wallace Collection Presents El Greco to Goya Spanish Masterpieces From the Bowes Museum

Updated on September 27, 2017
FrancesSpiegel profile image

Frances has many years' experience writing travel articles and reviewing art galleries, museums, and the books they publish.

El Greco, The Tears of Saint Peter, ca 1580

This is one of El Greco's favourite subjects. He painted at least six versions of The Tears of Saint Peter/ Image by Frances Spiegel with permission from The Wallace Collection.
This is one of El Greco's favourite subjects. He painted at least six versions of The Tears of Saint Peter/ Image by Frances Spiegel with permission from The Wallace Collection.

El Greco to Goya at the Wallace Collection

In autumn 2017 the Wallace Collection presents El Greco to Goya - Spanish Masterpieces from The Bowes Museum. The exhibition explores three centuries of Spanish art through works by many of the great Spanish Masters including El Greco, Goya, Fray Juan Bautista Maino, Luis Tristan de Escamilla, Claudio Coello, Antonio de Pereda y Salgado and many others.

The exhibition explores a period of rapid social change and religious and political upheaval in Spain. They provide a thought-provoking insight into the changes in style and subject matter during this critical period.

The Wallace Collection thanks Sir Siegmund Warburg’s Voluntary Settlement, José Luis Colomer and the Centro de Estudios Europa Hispánica (CEEH), and Martin Randall Travel Ltd. for their generous support of this exhibition. Without the support of these organisations exhibitions like this would not be possible.


The Bowes Museum

The Bowes Museum and the Wallace Collection share many common factors. Both were established by individual families and both collections were bequeathed to the nation.

John and Josephine Bowes were avid collectors of outstanding works of art and The Bowes Museum now has one of the world's finest collections of Spanish art. In this joint venture these works are now on display in London making them available to a wider audience in accordance with John and Josephine Bowes' wishes.

Speaking recently Dr Xavier Bray, Director of the Wallace Collection said:

El Greco to Goya is not only an unprecedented opportunity to see Spanish art of extraordinary power and significance in London, but also the beginning of an exciting relationship between the Wallace Collection and The Bowes Museum. Both institutions share a commitment to making great art accessible to wider audiences and we are looking forward to working closely together to develop a long term connection between London and the North East.”

El Greco, The Tears of Saint Peter

Image by Frances Spiegel with permission from The Wallace Collection.
Image by Frances Spiegel with permission from The Wallace Collection.

The Tears of Saint Peter by El Greco

The Tears of Saint Peter, created and signed in about 1580 by El Greco (Domenikos Theotokopoulos 1541-1614) is thought to be the earliest of at least six depictions of this subject. The painting may have been inspired by Luigi Tansillo's Lagrime di San Pietro (Tears of Saint Peter). Saint Peter is shown hands clasped, repenting his betrayal of Christ after denying him three times. His upward, tearful gaze, stresses the Saint's spirituality.

In the bottom left corner of the painting El Greco includes a second scene. He shows Mary Magdalene leaving Christ's open tomb after the Resurrection on Easter Sunday. An angel stands on guard at the entrance. In the far distance we see the city of Jerusalem. The artist's highly expressive style is apparent in the contrasting colours of the lighter clouds and darker sky, the same colour as St Peter's tunic.

Goya, Interior of a Prison, 1793-4

Goya shows us seven ghostly figures incarcerated in a dark, damp prison. Image by Frances Spiegel with permission from The Wallace Collection.
Goya shows us seven ghostly figures incarcerated in a dark, damp prison. Image by Frances Spiegel with permission from The Wallace Collection.

Interior of a Prison – Goya

Also on display is Goya's Interior of a Prison (1793-94). Francisco Jose y Lucientes de Goya (1746-1828) makes reference to the events of the Peninsular War. The small size of this oil painting, 42.9 x 31.7 cm, emphasises the cramped conditions of the dark, dank prison. In this carefully lit, moody, melancholy scene we see seven figures bound by chains. Six are dressed in torn rags and one lies naked, chained round the neck. The bright light in the background serves to accentuate the despair of the prisoners' situation. Prisoners and prisons are common themes in Goya's works.

Antonio de Pereda y Salgado, Tobias Restoring his Father’s Sight

Painting tells the story of Tobias who restored his father's sight. Image by Frances Spiegel with permission from The Wallace Collection.
Painting tells the story of Tobias who restored his father's sight. Image by Frances Spiegel with permission from The Wallace Collection.

Tobias Restoring his Father’s Sight by Antonio de Pereda y Salgado

El Greco to Goya also features less well-known but equally important works such as Tobias Restoring his Father’s Sight by Antonio de Pereda y Salgado (1611-1678). Known as Pereda, the artist signed the work in 1652. He tells the story of Tobias (Book of Tobit).

The pious Israelite Tobit was disgraced and went blind. He asked his son Tobias to travel to Media to collect a debt from a relative. Tobias set off on the journey accompanied by the Archangel Raphael disguised as a man. This man was sent by God to heal Tobit. Whilst crossing the river Tigris the party was attacked by a fish which Raphael told Tobias to capture. On returning home, Tobias restored Tobit's sight using the gall of the fish.

In Pereda's painting we see Tobit seated slightly off centre. Tobias stands on his left pouring the gall into his father's eyes. Tobit's wife Anna stands behind the chair with Raphael on her right. He looks directly at the viewer as he points gracefully to the miraculous event.

More at the Wallace – Catalogue, Education and Events

The exhibition is accompanied by a publication, El Greco to Goya: Spanish Masterpieces from The Bowes Museum, produced in collaboration with The Bowes Museum. Featuring excellent reproductions of all the works featured in the exhibition, this book is available from the Wallace Collection.

El Greco to Goya is accompanied by a broad programme of educational events including lectures, seminars, art classes and a concert. The Wallace is particularly proud of their ‘Out of the Frame’ outreach programme. 'Out of the Frame' links residential care homes, day centres and supported housing units to local museums. Art is used as a stimulus for reminiscence and discussion. Through these sessions people who are unable to go to museums and galleries can enjoy art. Evidence shows that this close involvement with art helps combat isolation and loneliness and promotes health and well-being in the older population.

Further details of this outstanding exhibition can be obtained from the Wallace Collection.


Questions & Answers

    © 2017 Frances Spiegel

    Comments

      0 of 8192 characters used
      Post Comment

      No comments yet.

      working

      This website uses cookies

      As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, owlcation.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

      For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://owlcation.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

      Show Details
      Necessary
      HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
      LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
      Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
      AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
      Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
      CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
      Features
      Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
      Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
      Marketing
      Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
      Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
      Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
      Statistics
      Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
      ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)