El Greco to Velázquez: Exhibit

Program Homepage - Resources

"El Greco to Velázquez: Art during the Reign of Philip III" Exhibit History


The Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University presents "El Greco to Velázquez: Art during the Reign of Philip III," the first exhibition to show both Spanish masters in context with other accomplished painters of their time.

The exhibition features 53 paintings, including seven late works by El Greco, three early works by Velázquez and works by their contemporaries, lesser-known but talented artists. One of the most important old master exhibitions ever presented in the Southeast, "El Greco to Velázquez" exposes monumental altar pieces, life-size portraits, some of the earliest still-life paintings in Europe, full-length carved and painted wooden sculptures of Spanish mystics and more than 50 pieces of Spanish glass and ceramics. Many works are traveling to this country for the first time, some from the churches for which they were originally commissioned.

The work of these overlooked painters—among them Juan Sánchez Cotán, Gregorio Fernández, Juan Bautista Maino and Luis Tristán— formed the foundation for the Spanish Golden Age. The show brings to life the little-known period of 23 years (1598-1621) when Philip III ruled Spain, and when Spain dominated the world with holdings greater than the Roman Empire. This period of Spanish history—with its pageantry, religious passion, art patronage, fashions, political intrigue and literary accomplishments—rivals the eras of Elizabethan England and France under King Louis XIV of France.

This exhibition is co-organized by the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and opened first in Boston on April 20, 2008, running through July 27, 2008. It is on view at the Nasher Museum for 11 weeks, from August 21 through November 9, 2008.

"El Greco to Velázquez" is based upon 20 years of research by Sarah Schroth, the Nancy Hanks Senior Curator at the Nasher Museum, and co-curated by Schroth and Ronni Baer, the William and Ann Elfers Senior Curator of Paintings at the MFA, Boston.

Duke University’s Nasher Museum of Art
The Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, fosters the understanding and appreciation of the visual arts by providing direct experiences with original works of art supported by a range of exhibitions, programs and publications for the university and the broader community. The museum draws on the intellectual resources of a great research university and serves as a laboratory of the arts dedicated to multidisciplinary approaches to learning. These strategies make the Nasher at Duke a unique cornerstone of the arts for Duke University, Durham and the Triangle community, the State of North Carolina and the greater Southeast region.