El Greco to Goya – Spanish Masterpieces from The Bowes Museum, The Wallace Collection, Hertford House, Manchester Square, London, W1, until 7th January 2018
While we usually think of the Wallace Collection as a haven of French 18th century art and taste it is of course much more than that as its works by Murillo and Velazquez testify. It is therefore appropriate that this group of Spanish paintings, spanning three centuries, should come on loan from the Bowes Museum in County Durham and mark the start of a partnership between these two remarkable places. The museums have similar origins as they are both the gifts of illegitimate sons of aristocratic fathers to the British nation.
Xavier Bray, Director of the host museum says: “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.”
His counterpart at the Bowes Museum, Adrian Jenkins, says: “In 1892, when The Bowes Museum first opened its doors to the public, it had the largest public collection of Spanish paintings in the UK. As we mark 125 years since the creation of the museum, it is highly appropriate that the key works from this collection should be shared with London audiences, in keeping with John and Joséphine Bowes’ belief that great art should be made accessible to all. Neither John nor Joséphine Bowes survived to realise their vision, and they would be delighted to think that the best of their acquisitions would be shown at the Wallace Collection during this anniversary year, recognising that their gift to the people of County Durham is also a gift to the nation.”
Well worth a peek!
wallacecollection.org / @WallaceMuseum / #ElGrecotoGoya