Prado treasures reproduced in new Bogotá exhibition

By Delaney Turner September 5, 2018

El 3 de mayo en Madrid , (1814), by Francisco de Goya, one of the paintings displayed in Bogotá   Photo: Museo Nacional del Prado

Reproductions of some of the most popular Prado works will be on display in the capital until October 7.

The Museo Nacional del Prado in Madrid houses one of the world’s most extensive collections of European art. For the next few weeks, being in Bogotá will be the next best thing to being there.

Especially if you like the outdoors.

Starting Thursday, September 6, bogotanos can view professional reproductions of 53 of the Museum’s best-known works in a unique outdoor exhibit entitled El Museo del Prado en Bogotá (The Prado Museum in Bogotá).

These full-size reproductions of works by Rafael, Caravaggio, Botticelli, El Bosco, Rembrandt, Goya, and Velásquez will be on free public display in Plaza Bolívar from September 6 to 20, and in Parque 93 from September 24 to October 7.

The exhibit also includes an original oil painting, Agnus Dei, by Spanish artist Francisco de Zurbarán. The painting – the first in the Prado collection ever to come to Colombia – will be displayed in the Museo de Arte Miguel Urrutia (MAMU) del Banco de la República.

The exhibit was organised by the Office of the Mayor of Bogotá, the Museo Nacional del Prado, the Embassy of Spain in Colombia, the Banco de la República in Colombia, and the Foco Cultura España Colombia program of Acción Cultural Española (AC/E).

Photos: Courtesy of Museo Nacional del Prado 

“Using culture and art to make life happier for citizens is key for us. That’s why we have increased resources for this sector by more than 80 percent. This is one of the ways to build equality and happiness,” said Mayor Enrique Peñalosa. Speaking of the exhibition, he continued, “I’m confident it will inspire thousands of bogotanos through the color, the detail, and the richness of the works.”

“This is work from one of the most important museums in Europe, which is visited by three million people a year and has one of the best collections of European art in the world,” added Pablo Gómez de Olea, Spain’s Ambassador to Colombia.

Spanish paintings comprise 25 of the 53 works on show. The exhibit also includes representative works from the Prado’s collection of Flemish, Italian, French, German, and Dutch schools, from the 12th century to the beginning of the 20th.

Accompanying the works will be panels with information on the artists and their themes to guide visitors through a chronological tour of the painting schools on display. In progressing through the exhibit, visitors will see how depictions of religious subjects, nobility, and everyday life changed throughout the centuries.

Related: Art in Bogotá: A young Botero returns home

Among the most familiar works reproduced in the exhibit are Las Meninas (1656), by Diego Velázquez; La Anunciación, (1425-1428) by Fra Angelico, and El 3 de mayo en Madrid , (1814), by Francisco de Goya. Also on display will be a self-portrait by Albrecht Dürer (1498) and David vencedor de Goliat, (1600) by Caravaggio.

“This exhibition is the closest thing to being in front of the paintings in the Museum itself, where [visitors can] delight in contemplating the rich color, the vibrant brushstrokes, the extraordinary games of light, or the fascinating faces that inhabit the paintings,” said Prado Director, Miguel Falomir.

Originally conceived in 2011, it has also been exhibited previously in 13 countries.

“The exhibition aims to be a reflection of the richness of the Prado Museum,” said exhibit curator Fernando Sescún. “We believe this is the best selection we could have made, because it’s what the visitor to the museum can’t miss.”