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The Hermitage wears Prado

Published: March 2, 2011 (Issue # 1645)



  • More than sixty canvases by artists including Velazquez, Goya, Titian and Bosch have been lent to the Hermitage.
    Photo: The St. Petersburg Times

An unprecedented itinerant exhibition from Madrids Prado Museum opened at the State Hermitage Museum last week, marking the year of Spain in Russia and of Russia in Spain.

The exhibition was opened by President Dmitry Medvedev and Spanish King Juan Carlos, who came to the city on an official visit to launch the year of his country in Russia.

Our people love the culture and art of Spain and there is no doubt theyll be delighted to expand their knowledge of it, Medvedev said.

Mikhail Piotrovsky, director of the Hermitage Museum, described the exhibition as a historic event for the Hermitage and said he was very thankful that an exhibition of such high quality has arrived at the museum.

At this exhibition, every picture is a masterpiece, Piotrovsky said at a press conference devoted to the opening of the exhibition Friday.

Miguel Sugasa, director of the Prado, said the museum was inspired to bring the exhibition to Russia after Medvedev visited the Prado in Madrid two years ago and expressed enthusiastic praise about the museums collection.

At this exhibition, we have tried to present not only the quality but also the diversity of the [Prados] collection, including works by Western European and Spanish artists, and pieces from the Renaissance era, Sugasa said.

The exhibition features more than sixty canvases from the 15th to 19th centuries by Western European artists with a focus on the Spanish, Italian and Flemish schools. The artists featured include Hieronymus Bosch, Raphael, Peter Paul Rubens, Anthony van Dyck, El Greco, Diego Velazquez, Francisco Goya, Titian and many others.

Titians masterpiece Venus and Cupid with an Organist, which pictures a musician playing at Venuss feet while contemplating the naked goddess, who is distracted by Cupid, is one of the works that has been brought from Madrid for the exhibition.

Some specialists consider the piece to be a straightforward erotic work, while others see its character as allegories of the senses of sight and hearing as the means for achieving knowledge of beauty and harmony.

Another canvas by Alonso Sanchez Coello depicts two girls of eight and nine years old the much loved daughters of King Philip II of Spain. The artist painted the portraits of the Infantes in keeping with standard court portrait practices, with both of them wearing similar sumptuous clothing and wearing a detached expression.

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ALL ABOUT TOWN

Monday, Oct. 20


Amateur pictures from World War I are on display for only one more day at Rosphotos exhibition On Both Sides, chronicling the conflict through the eyes of observers on both sides of the trenches. The price of entrance to the exhibition is 100 rubles ($2.50).



Tuesday, Oct. 21


The Environment, Health and Safety Committee of AmCham convenes this morning at 9 a.m. in the organizations office.


Take the chance to pick the brains of Dmitry V. Krivenok, the deputy director of the Economic Development Agency of the Leningrad region, and Mikhail D. Sergeev, the head of the Investment Projects Department, during the meeting with them this morning hosted by SPIBA. RSVP for the event by emailing office@spiba.ru before Oct. 17 if you wish to attend.


Improve your English at Interactive English, the British Book Centers series of lessons on vocabulary and grammar in an informal atmosphere. Starting at 6 p.m., each month draws attention to different topics in English, with the topic for this months lessons being visual arts.



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