De Mena, Murillo, Zurbarán

Friday, 24 January 2020  -  Sunday, 18 October 2020



The National Museum of History and Art (MNHA) is the temporary setting of the flamboyant Spanish art of the 17th century. It is a unique opportunity to get to know this neglected aspect of the Spanish Golden Age and to discover baroque art entirely committed to religious belief.

In addition to renowned masters such as Murillo and Zurbarán, eight hyperrealist sculptures of the important baroque sculptor Pedro De Mena form the high point of the exhibition. They represent the most significant group of De Mena's sculptures shown outside of Spain - worldwide. The exhibition illustrates that 17th century Spanish sculpture does not fail to meet the high standards determined by then contemporary painting.

The exhibition also presents the results of an unprecedented X-ray analysis of eight shown sculptures. These are the product of a collaboration with the service of medical imaging of the Centre Hospitalier du Nord (CHdN) in Ettelbrück. The analysis enables the visitor to explore the 'insides' of these works that are so perfect on the outside. The visitor can also familiarize with certain techniques of polychromy on wood thanks to samples created by the restauration service of the MNHA.

The exhibition and catalogue have been conceived in close collaboration with the Museum of the Sint-Janshospitaal in Bruges.

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