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Spain, 500 Years of Spanish Painting

Spain: 500 Years of Spanish Painting from the Museums of Madrid

May 14, 2018

San Antonio, TX—May 14, 2018

EL GRECO. VELÁZQUEZ. GOYA. SOROLLA. PICASSO. These are just some of the Spanish masters whose paintings are included in Spain: 500 Years of Spanish Painting from the Museums of Madrid. This summer, the San Antonio Museum of Art will present a dramatic survey of five hundred years of Spanish painting, stretching from the union of Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand in the late fifteenth century to the turn of the twentieth century. Spain will contain more than forty works of art, the majority from major museums in Madrid, and very few of which have previously been on view in the UnitedStates.

Organized in celebration of the Tricentennial of the city of San Antonio, the exhibition will convey the splendor of Spanish artistic traditions. This rich heritage is an aspect of what makes San Antonio one of the most distinctive places in the United States.

Spain traces the continuity of specific Spanish pictorial traditions, including portraiture, landscape from the earliest hints of naturalism to the impressionist and expressionist movements of the late nineteenth century, devotional painting, and still life.

Organized by Dr. Katherine Crawford Luber, the Kelso Director, and Dr. William Keyse Rudolph, Chief Curator and The Marie and Hugh Halff Curator of American Art, Spain will only be on view in San Antonio. Spain features works by iconic artists El Greco, Diego Velázquez, Bartolomé Esteban Murillo, Jusepe de Ribera, Francisco de Goya y Lucientes, Joaquín Sorolla y Bastida, and Pablo Picasso. It also celebrates the artistic achievements of many other Spanish masters, such as Juan de Flandes, Luis de Morales, Luis de Madrazo y Kuntz, Antonio María Esquivel, and Ignacio Zuloaga.“Spanish artistic traditions are part of the formative influences upon the culture of San Antonio," says Dr. Luber. "With this exhibition, our residents and visitors will have the chance to engage with extraordinary works of art.” 

The exhibition checklist includes masterpieces from some of the most important museums in Madrid:

  • Museo Nacional delPrado
  • Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, including the personal collection of the Countess Thyssen-Bornemisza
  • Museo Nacional Centro de Arte ReinaSofía
  • Museo LázaroGaldiano
  • Museo de la Real Academia de Bellas Artes de SanFernando
  • MuseoCerralbo
  • Museo delRomanticismo
  • MuseoSorolla

Key loans from the Cleveland Museum of Art; the McNay Art Museum; the Meadows Museum at Southern Methodist University; the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; and the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts add to the distinguished international mix, as well as tell the further story of the active collecting of Spanish painting by American museums.

To offer an immersive experience to its visitors, the Museum has conceived the Summer of Spain. Throughout the run of the exhibition, there will be lecture series, film festivals, and a weekly evening, Festivál de Arte, featuring flamenco lessons, poetry readings, music, and art-making. The exhibition has inspired other city organizations to participate in the Summer of Spain, including the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center, the Southwest School of Art, Casa de España, the Pearl retail and dining complex, and Visit San Antonio.

The exhibition is on view through September 16, 2018. Admission to the Museum, which includes the exhibition, is $20 for adults, $17 for seniors, and $12 for students and military (with ID). Children 12 and under are always free. Please note during our free general admission hours (Tuesdays from 4–9 p.m. and Sundays from 10 a.m.–12 p.m.), there is a $5 surcharge to see the exhibition.


Spain: 500 Years of Spanish Painting from the Museums of Madrid is organized by the San Antonio Museum of Art and undertaken with the support of the Spanish Embassy in Washington, DC, and the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport in Madrid.

This exhibition is made possible by Bank of America.

It is generously funded by Carlos and Malú Alvarez, American Airlines Cargo, The Brown Foundation, the Elizabeth Huth Coates Foundation of 1992, the Betty Stieren Kelso Foundation, and Christie’s Appraisals, Inc.

This exhibition is supported by the City of San Antonio’s Department of Arts & Culture and an indemnity from the Federal Council of the Arts and the Humanities.

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ImageFrancisco de Zurbarán (1598-1664), Saint Isabel of Portugal, ca. 1635, Oil on canvas, h. 72 7/16 in. (184 cm); w. 38 9/16 in. (98 cm), Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid P01239 © Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid.


Selected Upcoming Events:

Festivál de Arte
Tuesdays, June 26–September 11 | 4:00–8:00 p.m. 
Every Tuesday evening, enjoy a festival of art—from flamenco lessons to poetry readings, live music, and films. For each week’s lineup visit or our Facebook page.

An Evening with Poet Laureates Octavio Quintanilla, PhD, and Jennifer Browne
Friday, June 29 | 6:30–7:30 p.m.
Free | Seating is limited | Doors open at 6:00 p.m.
Octavio Quintanilla, the city’s 2018–2020 Poet Laureate, will give a brief lecture on his work followed by a conversation with outgoing Poet Laureate Jennifer Browne. Quintanilla will curate and perform poetry readings in the galleries on Tuesday, August 7 as part of Festivál de Arte, as well.


Art Party: Viva España! 
August 10 | 6:00–8:00 p.m. 
Free with admission | Cash bar
Band: Toro Flores with Zarabande 
Cocktails: The Esquire Tavern 
Gallery Talks: 5:30, 6:15, and 7:15 p.m.


Noche Blanca

Friday, August 17 | 6:00–9:00 p.m. 
Free with admission
Inspired by the romance of a Spanish night, dress in your summery whites for an evening filled with music and art. Spanish food and wine available for purchase.


Spanish Wine Tasting and Tour

Friday, August 24 | 6:00–8:00 p.m.
$25 members | $35 non-members 
Taste Spanish wines with a sommelier from High Street Wine Co. An informal gallery talk will pair works of art with wine.


Spanish Art History: Master Painters
Select Tuesdays | 6:30–7:30 p.m.
Free | Space is limited | Doors open at 6:00 p.m.
Explore the work of great Spanish painters in lectures by some of the country's top scholars.


July 31 | El Greco
by Jeongho Park, PhD, Assistant Curator of European Art, Blanton Museum of Art

August 14 | Juan de Flandes
by Amanda Dotseth, PhD, Meadows/Mellon/Prado, Postdoctoral Fellow, Meadows Museum, Southern Methodist University

August 28 | Goya
by Rebecca Long, PhD, Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Associate Curator of European Painting and Sculpture before 1750, Art Institute of Chicago

September 11 | Velázquez and Zubarán
by Alexandra Letvin, PhD, Andrew W. Mellon and Maude de Schauensee Postdoctoral Curatorial Fellow, Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Tours of the exhibition will be given every Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. and every Sunday at 12 p.m.For details and a full listing of events, visit

About the San Antonio Museum of Art:

The San Antonio Museum of Art is a forum to explore and connect with art that spans the world’s geographies, artistic periods, genres, and cultures. Its collection contains nearly 35,000 works representing 5,000 years of history. Housed in the historic Lone Star Brewery on the Museum Reach of San Antonio’s River Walk, the San Antonio Museum of Art is committed to promoting the rich cultural heritage and life of the city. The Museum hosts hundreds of events and public programs each year, including concerts, performances, tours, lectures, symposia, and interactive experiences. The Museum is dedicated to enriching the cultural life of the city and the region, and to supporting its creative community.