Exhibitions

Fiesta in Seville. An Illustration Series from the Golden Age in Spain

26. April - 17. July 2016
Kupferstichkabinett in the Gemäldegalerie


One of the Spanish Golden Age's most extravagant celebrations took place in Seville in May 1671: the canonization of King Ferdinand III (1199–1252), 'El Santo–The Saint'. The occasion was marked with great splendour, as Seville's greatest artists designed lavish, temporary celebratory architecture to ornament the city cathedral, which was turned into a sort of Baroque theatre. Poet Fernando de la Torre Farfán's book Fiesta de la S. Iglesia metropolitana y patriarchal de Sevilla, al Nuevo culto de Señor Rey S. Fernando el tercero de Castillo y de León, printed in 1671, provides a detailed description of the ceremonies. To illustrate this volume, too, the city's artists worked together to create a number of partly large-scale etchings.

These illustrations were distributed separately from the volume and collected as works of art in their own right. As well as documenting the canonization festivities of 1671, these illustrations also represent one of the most remarkable examples of 17th century Spanish etching. A few of the pages are considered to be among the best instances of the grabado pintoresco style of printmaking, which only very few artists pursued in Spain at the time. With presentations of monumental architecture, figurative portraits, and hieroglyphically enigmatic emblemata, these illustrations offer an extremely unconventional and diverse glance into Seville's Golden Age.

A 'cabinet exhibition' presented by the Kupferstichkabinett at the Gemäldegalerie.

The Habsburgs in Spain Portrait Prints of the Golden Age

20. June - 31. July 2016
Kunstbibliothek


To accompany the exhibition "El Siglo de Oro. The Age of Velázquez", the Kunstbibliothek is showing a selection of portrait prints from the 17th century, focussing on portraits of the Habsburg era in Spain. The prints can be seen in the display cases in the first-floor foyer.

The collection of portrait prints in the Lipperheide Costume Library's Fashion Image Collection was assembled with great dedication by the Berlin publisher and collector Franz von Lipperheide (1838–1906) from the 1880s onwards. According to the surviving inventory books, Lipperheide acquired around 6000 individual portraits from the 16th to the 19th centuries from a specialist art dealer in Nuremberg as early as 1880. As well as single sheets (copperplates, etchings, mezzotints, lithographs and reproductive prints), there are also numerous portraits contained in historical source works. There is also a comprehensive collection of early portrait photographs (in carte de visite and cabinet card format) from the second half of the 19th century. The total portfolio of portraits in the Lipperheide Costume Library's Fashion Image Collection probably amounts to some 20,000 sheets.

Cataloguing this portrait collection has been one of the Lipperheide Costume Library's inventory projects for several years and is not nearly complete. Around 2000 individual sheets (photographs and prints) can so far be accessed via the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin's online database (www.smb-digital.de).

Reencuentros. Dialogues with the Siglo de Oro

1. July - 30. October 2016
Foyer Kulturforum

At "Reencuentros" (in English re-encounters) it is a matter of a project of dialogues between the culture of the Siglo de Oro and contemporary Spanish art. Anna Talens, Pablo Alonso and Alex Arteaga, three Spanish artists of international renown, all resident in Berlin, are participating in the exhibition project "Reencuentros" with three installations which are seeking a dialogue with the Old Masters.

The works of the three selected artists deal with the Baroque in the widest sense of the concept, from the artistic to the philosophic perspective, with means including the conceptual, material as well as the technical level.

The project sees itself as an open dialogue which will allow the viewer to observe the radical transformation of the language of Spanish art 400 years later and, at the same time, to observe traces of the past in contemporary works, the connections and similarities as well as the breaks with tradition. In this process the contemporary artists serve as translators for the viewers by extending the perspective to the language of Baroque and thus promoting a deeper understanding.

Free admission.

Artesanía Artística – Spanish Impressions

1. July – 30. October 2016
Kunstgewerbemuseum (Museum of Decorative Arts)


In parallel with the central exhibition “El Siglo de Oro. Die Ära Velázquez” in the Gemäldegalerie, the Kunstgewerbemuseum is showing masterpieces of Spanish handicrafts. The focus is on precious lustre-ware with a new style of glazing influenced by Moorish traditions, richly-decorated furniture with Moorish mosaic inlays as elaborate as carpets, and exquisite gold and silver embroideries fashioned in the royal atelier of the Escorial. These are impressive examples of the magnificence of Spanish handicrafts in the “Golden Century”. Thus the collection in the Kunstgewerbemuseum includes fine examples of “golden ceramics”, the golden lustre-ware of oriental Moorish origin, which flourished in Valencia in the 15th century and was exported to Italy and other European countries. Without the precedent of these whitely glazed and painted lustre-wares the majolica of the Italian renaissance would be unthinkable. Hence in this exhibition Spanish and Italian majolica are shown side by side. Likewise the abundance of Spanish-Moorish tiles in the collection underline Spain's role in conveying oriental traditions and patterns to Europe. In the 19th century the old Spanish-Moorish handicraft traditions experienced a renaissance. This revival is shown by several examples of historistic metalwork. This presentation, integrated into the Kunstgewerbemuseum's permanent exhibition, is supplemented by a studio exhibition about the Spanish fashion designer Cristobál Balenciaga (1895-1972) in the fashion gallery. Sack dresses, balloon dresses, models in kimono-like dresses and grand robes inspired by the artists of his Spanish homeland, such as Velázquez or Goya, exemplify the pioneering designs of this "architect of fashion" who is especially celebrated for his perfect dressmaking. It is intended to use the Kunstgewerbemuseum’s large inner courtyard, designed as a patio, for summer events.

Guided tours by the curators:
21.07.2016, 4.30 pm | Gold leather from Spain. Luxurious wall coverings throughout Europe
                                        Professor Dr. Sabine Thümmler (Director of the Kunstgewerbemuseum)
18.08.2016, 4.30 pm | From Spain to Italy. About the history and distribution of majolica
                                        Dr. Claudia Kanovski (scientific assistant at the Kunstgewerbemuseum)
22.09.2016, 4.30 pm | Cristobál Balenciaga and the Siglo de Oro
                                        Christine Waidenschlager (scientific assistant at the Kunstgewerbemuseum)
20.10.2016, 4.30 pm | Dr. Achim Stiegel, Spanish furniture in the Renaissance and Baroyue period

La Guitarra Española

7. July - 11. September 2016
Musikinstrumenten-Museum (Musical Instrument-Museum)

Instruments like the guitar were already used 5.000 years ago. A forerunner of the present guitar was the Spanish vihuela of the Renaissance. From Spain it began its triumph over the whole of Europe in the 18th century. In the showcase exhibition valuable historical guitars from the Musikinstrumenten-Museum's collection can be seen and their story told. Visitors will also gain insights into the works of Santiago de Murcia, Gaspar Sanz and Francisco Guerau, who are among the most popular and successful composers of Spanish guitar music.

José de Ribera – Etchings. He was young and needed the money

19. July - 6. November 2016
Kupferstichkabinett in the Gemäldegalerie

José (Jusepe) de Ribera (1591–1652) is regarded as the foremost Spanish printmaker active before Goya and one of the greatest of all seventeenth-century virtuosos of etching. His reputation is all the more remarkable since there are only eighteen etchings known to have been made by his hand. Ribera's career as a printmaker seems to have been limited to a relatively short period, between 1620 and 1630. All his etchings were made in a single decade, towards the beginning of his artistic career: a fact that suggests they were primarily a means of earning money while he was trying to establish himself as a young Spanish artist in Italy. With the help of these prints, Ribera could make his art known to a broader audience and attract the attention of potential patrons and clients. However, his prints show such sovereign mastery of technique and make such extensive use of the medium's expressive possibilities, that it seems unlikely his interest in the medium was purely financial or superficial. As an experienced draughtsman, Ribera must have been particularly taken by the spontaneous, sketch-like appearance of etchings. To this day, he is regarded as the most important Spanish peintre-graveur, but he could only achieve this in Italy, amid that country's highly advanced culture of artistic printmaking. Curiously, the young Spaniard's prints thus represent the high point of seventeenth-century Italian etching. A selection of his most interesting works can be seen in this cabinet exhibition.

A cabinet exhibition presented by the Kupferstichkabinett in the Gemäldegalerie.

Architectural impressions from Spain. Historic photographs by Jean Laurent

27. August - 28. September 2016
Ibero-American Institute, reading room


The architectural photographs, which the French photographer Jean Laurent (1816-1886) took on the order of the Spanish government to document the technical progress of the country, are fascinating historic documents. In 1867 they made an impression at the World Exhibition in Paris. Laurent’s photographs of the Alhambra, compositions which captivate through the virtuosic use of light and shadow, are of particular artistic value. There is a unique collection of these photographs among the holdings of the Ibero-American Institute.








A un paso de Berlín. One stop before Berlin

7. October – 16. December 2016
Instituto Cervantes Berlin and in the Showroom of Pixel Grain

In times of globalisation, journeys of works of art are a matter of course. The journeys exert an influence on the condition of the works, their reception and become a part of their history. One central work of the exhibition "El Siglo de Oro. Die Ära Velázquez" has now left Spain for the first time. The group of figures "The Way to Calvary" (Camino hacia el Calvario) by Gregorio Fernández began its own journey into the world of special exhibitions on the occasion of this exhibition.

The photographer Carlos Collado accompanied it on this journey, beginning in the Museo Nacional de Escultura in Valladolid, in which the group of sculptures is exhibited, onto the streets of Valladolid, throughout which the sculptures were drawn on a wagon in a ceremonial procession in the Easter holidays, and to the Gemäldegalerie in Berlin, where the work became an integral part of the special exhibition.

The photo exhibition focuses on the differing perceptions of the group of figures “The Way to Calvary” with reference to their different functions and places of location. Whether a museum visitor, a believer or a conservator – each one encounters the sculptures with different eyes. The exhibition assumes that there are fundamental differences in how the work is perceived by the respective viewers. It documents the gazes of museum visitors in Vallodolid, who are familiar with the Spanish Baroque, just as much as the interactions of lay brothers with the group of sculptures during the procession. It shows the sculptures being prepared for transport by the museum staff, the work’s journey to Berlin, the reception of the sculptures by the staff of the Gemäldegalerie and finally the contemplating gazes of visitors to the special exhibition. These different perspectives are an invitation to reflect on art and our relationship to it by reference to one individual work.

The exhibition is a collaboration of the Instituto Cervantes, the Gemäldegalerie der Staatlichen Museen zu Berlin (Paintings Gallery of the National Museums in Berlin), the Junta de Castilla y León and the Museo Nacional de Escultura, Valladolid, supported by Pixel Grain.

Private View: 6. October 2016, 7 p.m.
Opening Hours: Mo-Thu 3 - 6 p.m., Fri noon - 3 p.m.