He Prado Museum will open this Tuesday the exhibition ‘Guests‘, the first temporary exhibition after the doors reopened on June 6 and which represents a 19th century “journey to the epicenter of misogyny”, as has been pointed out by the commissioner Carlos G. Navarro.
The exhibition, which opens in the Prado six months after the programming was interrupted by the pandemic of coronavirus and that it was practically ready in March, brings together a selection of more than 130 works Most of them from the Spanish art gallery that can be visited until March 14, 2021.
“This exhibition is not late, on the contrary, it arrives at the moment when it had to arrive and as a logical consequence of the work of the museum for a few years”, explained in statements to Europa Press the director del Prado, Miguel Falomir, who also rejects criticism of ‘machismo’ regarding the museum’s policy.
“We are always accused of being a bit macho, as if we were the only ones, and in this country everyone has been. What I can say is that it took me three years to try to change that as director. Is there any other museum What can you say that in three years so many things have been done (in relation to women)? “, he asked.
“It is a necessary exhibition”, has added Falomir. Meanwhile, the deputy director of Conservation and Research at the Prado Museum, Andrés Úbeda, has alluded to these accusations, explaining that the art gallery is “the result of History.” “We do not understand them (the criticisms), what one cannot do is invent more female artists,” he lamented.
In any case, the curator of ‘The Guests’ has recalled that this bet “is not about a biennial on Spanish painters of the 19th century”. Distributed in rooms A and B of the Jerónimos building, the exhibition mainly seeks to “explain the mold that women had to submit to in that period, from the obedient even the most fighters. “
The human beast
For this, they resort to works that were mostly national awards or state acquisitions, which ended up becoming “doctrinal pictures”. “The Prado has been a direct heir to these acquisitions. It will not be easy for the spectators, because some are violent to look at, although they passed without controversy in the 19th century “, Navarro pointed out.
For example, through the 17 sections that make up the exhibition, the visitor will be able to stop before the works of Antonio Fillol, as are ‘The human beast’, where a woman cries disconsolate at the indifferent gaze of the person who has paid for her sexual services; or ‘La rebelde’, a gypsy girl expelled from the village.
One can also see in the paintings the idea of ’fallen woman’ that was intended to convey as a “moralizing warning” -an example of this would be ‘Falenas’, by Carlos Verger Fioretti- or the representation attributed to them as “allegory of all vices ” -from laziness to ‘Pride’ represented by Baldomero Gili y Roig-.
The myth of ‘Juana la Loca’
Despite the fact that many of the painters of the time showed an archaeological rigor that was bordering on excess to reconstruct characters, in the case of Juana de Castilla there are numerous oil paintings “sin qualms to build the romantic myth of madness for love, of which there was already data that refuted it “.
Also included are pieces with moments of lessons to girls “in inequality” -when the famous Moyano Law prioritized giving up studies in favor of ‘their work’ – or “warnings” for ‘misguided’ women -as in the picture ‘Forgive God sends us’, by Luis García Sampedro, with a girl who returns home with a daughter without her father, and to whom only the ecclesiastical figure can help redemption.
“The women never acceded to the conditions that the male artists did enjoy, they remained as second-rate guests,” lamented the curator. For the future of these works – most of them until now hidden from the general public – the museum has not yet decided, although Falomir has anticipated that several of them will end up in the permanent collection.