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Guido Reni is now the subject of a major exhibition at the Museo del Prado

Known in his lifetime as “the divine”


This ambitious exhibition, which benefits from the sole sponsorship of Fundación BBVA, includes nearly 100 works loaned from more than 40 museums, institutions and public and private collections in Europe and America. The result is a complete vision of the career of this great 17th-century Bolognese artist which also draws attention to Reni’s fundamental contribution to the configuration of the aesthetic universe of the European Baroque.

From 28 March to 9 July in Rooms A and B of the Jerónimos Building, visitors to the exhibition - organised in collaboration with the Städel Museum, Frankfurt - will be able to see major works by Guido Reni rarely exhibited other than in their habitual locations. They include the impressive Triumph of Job from the cathedral of Notre-Dame in Paris, as well as more celebrated compositions such as The Immaculate Conception from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Cleopatra from The Royal Collection, London; Drawing and Colour from the Musée du Louvre, Paris; and Salomé with the Head of Saint John the Baptist and The penitent Magdalene from the Gallerie Nazionale d’Arte Antica, Rome (Palazzo Barberini and Galleria Corsini).

These and other masterpieces are joined by the outstanding examples from the Prado’s own collection, many of them specially restored for the exhibition, including Saint SebastianHippomenes and AtalantaGirl with a Rose and The Virgin of the Chair.

The Museo Nacional del Prado and Fundación BBVA are presenting Guido Reni, an exhibition curated by David García Cueto, Head of the Department of Italian and French Painting up to 1800 at the Prado. It brings together nearly 100 works loaned from 40 cultural institutions around the world with the aim of drawing attention to the fundamental contribution made by this Bolognese master to the configuration of the aesthetic universe of the European Baroque. The exhibition pays full attention to the most recent art-historical research and places a particular focus on Reni’s connections with Spain, evident in royal and aristocratic collecting there and in the influence of the painter’s successful models on key artists of the so-called Spanish Golden Age.

Shown together in the exhibition for the first time are the Prado’s version of Hippomenes and Atalanta and the one from Capodimonte; Saint Sebastian in the form Reni conceived it, without the large area of repainting that extended the saint’s loincloth; The Preaching of Saint John the Baptist from the Augustinian convent in Salamanca, which is a recent addition to the artist’s oeuvre; and the unpublished Bacchus and Ariadne from a Swiss private collection.

This extensive representation of Reni’s work will be displayed to establish a close dialogue with a selection of paintings and sculptures by other artists in order to reveal the principal influences that forged his artistic personality as well as his own on the art of his contemporaries. In addition, a significant group of drawings by Reni will allow for an appreciation of the complexity and beauty of his creative process.

The exhibition will also draw attention to the renewed interest in the academic study of this major 17th-century painter, whose fame and influence spread not just through Italy but also across various parts of Europe, including the Iberian Peninsula where his creations provided an aesthetic canon that fascinated successive generations of artists. Recent studies have cast new light on the painter, expanding knowledge of his life and activities in a way that facilitates a scholarly re-reading of Reni’s personality through the different historical and artistic contexts in which he lived and worked.

The exhibition’s curator David García Cueto will be inaugurating it this afternoon at 6pm with a guided tour which will be posted live on the Museo Nacional del Prado’s official Instagram account (@museodelprado).

On 15 and 16 June 2023 an international conference dedicated to the memory of Professor Charles Dempsey (1937-2022), author of key studies on the Bolognese school of painting, will allow specialists and young researchers active in the field of Reni to present the latest information and discoveries relating to this great Bolognese master.

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