Mexican Painter at the Met

His work is exhibited for the 1st time in the US

Taken from Notimex
English 25/07/2017 14:40 New York Notimex Actualizada 13:02
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The Metropolitan Museum of Art (Met) in New York will open an individual exhibition this Tuesday of Mexican painter Cristóbal de Villalpando, which represents the first exhibition this Museum dedicates to Mexican art in almost three decades.

De Villalpando (Mexico City, 1649 – 1714) is considered one of the most important painters of New Spain, and one of the most innovative of the Hispanic world. His collection includes the monumental painting Moses and the Brazen Serpent and the Transfiguration of Jesus.

This is the first time this 8.5-meter painting will leave Mexico, and one of the first occasions it leaves the Cathedral of Puebla, where it was originally commissioned. The exhibition includes another 10 works of lesser dimensions that had never been in the United States before.

Before De Villapando's exhibition at the Met, the former exhibition to be showcased at the venue was Splendors of 30 Centuries, in 1990.

Clara Bargellini, researcher at the Institute of Aesthetic Research at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), said that the painter was key in the development of the viceroyalty era of the New Spain.

De Villalpando “was so important and his work of such quality that for a long time he was believed to have been Spanish,” explained Bargellini.

During an interview with Notimex, the scholar said that the UNAM research has determined without a doubt that the painter was born in Mexico City, and he never left New Spain.

Bargellini asserted that De Villalpando is an exemplar of the powerful painting tradition in New Spain, additionally to having asserted the artistic legacy established at the end of the 18th century in this Spanish colony.

“Of particular interest are his signatures, where De Villalpando identified himself as an inventor, which means he not only knew of painting from a technical approach but that he also knew how to develop themes, which resulted in very interesting pieces,” said Bargellini.

The exhibition at the Met, opening from July 15 to October 5, takes place after the exhibition was showcased last March at the Iturbide Palace in Mexico City, and after similar exhibitions at the Louvre Museum in Paris and the Prado Museum in Madrid.

“The relevance of this exhibition is that it is monographic, dedicated to just one painter, a viceroyalty master, and that's not very common. In this case, that the paintings have reached the Met is very important,” said Bargellini.

The exhibition was also supervised by Ronda Kasl, curator of Latin American art at the Met, and by Jonathan Brown, professor at the Institute of Fine Arts of New York University (NYU).

At the opening of the exhibition, Kasl said that this exhibition, and another one on Mexican colonial art planned at the end of the year, reflect the interest of the Met in Latin American art.

For his part, Consul General of Mexico to New York City, Diego Gómez Pickering, stated that the exhibition – which took years of planning – is an example of the diversity and grandiosity of the art produced in Mexico.

Gómez Pickering highlighted that this exhibition is a source of pride for the 1.5 million of Mexican who live in the tri-state area of New York – which also includes the states of New Jersey and Connecticut – most of whom come from the Mexican state of Puebla.

The exhibition, supplemented by the publication of a catalog, was organized by Fomento Cultural Banamex (Cultural Promotion Banamex), the Secretariat of Foreign Affairs (SRE) and the Consulate General of Mexico to New York.


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