News - Spain and the Hispanic World

This month, the Royal Academy of Arts in London will present Spain and the Hispanic World,
celebrating the unrivalled collection of the Hispanic Society Museum & Library in New York...

This landmark exhibition will present a visual narrative of the history of Spanish culture,
bringing together outstanding works from Spain and colonial Latin America, from antiquity to
the early 20th century. Spain and the Hispanic World will reflect the great diversity of cultural
and religious influences, from Celtic, Islamic, Christian and Jewish to American, African and
Asian, that have shaped and enriched Spanish culture across four millennia. Presented
chronologically, the selection of over 150 works will include paintings, sculptures, silk textiles,
ceramics, lustreware, silverwork, precious jewellery, maps, drawings and illuminated

Founded in New York in 1904 by Archer M. Huntington, the Hispanic Society Museum &
Library is home to the most extensive collection of Spanish and Hispanic art outside of Spain.
This is the first time the collection will be presented in the UK.

Exceptional paintings will include The Duchess of Alba [pictured above], 1797, by Francisco de Goya (1746- 1828) as well as Gaspar de Guzmán, Count-Duke of Olivares, c. 1625-26, and Portrait of a
Girl, c. 1638-42, by Diego Velázquez (1599-1660). The exhibition will also include paintings
by Luis de Morales (1510/11-1586), El Greco (1541-1614) and Francisco de Zurbarán (1598-
1664) as well as post-Impressionist and modern artists such as Joaquín Sorolla (1863-1923),
Ignacio Zuloaga (1870-1945) and José Gutiérrez Solana (1886-1945). The final section of the
exhibition will feature a large-scale panoramic gouache for the Vision of Spain, the
monumental site-specific mural painted by Sorolla for the Hispanic Society between 1912 and

Sculptures will include polychrome reliquary busts such as Saint Acisclus, c. 1680, by Pedro
de Mena (1628-1688), considered to be one of the most important sculptors in 17th century
Spain, as well as the Mater dolorosa and Ecce homo, 1675, by his daughter Andrea de Mena

Highlights from the Hispanic Society’s collection of decorative arts will include exceptional
earthenware bowls from the Bell Beaker culture, c. 2400-1900 BC, Celtiberian jewellery from
the Palencia Hoard, c. 150-72 BC, discovered in Palencia in 1911 during the construction of
a railway cutting, Hispano-Islamic silk textiles including the Alhambra Silk, c. 1400, which
recalls the tile designs of the Alhambra palace complex in Granada, as well as some of the
finest examples of lustreware from the 14th-16th centuries from Manises, Valencia.

Spain and the Hispanic World will also include treasures from the Hispanic Society’s renowned
library, the most important collection of Hispanic manuscripts and rare books outside of Spain.
Highlights will include a beautifully illuminated Hebrew Bible, after 1450-97, and an
exceptionally rare Black Book of Hours, c. 1458, which was probably commissioned by María
of Castile (1401-1458) upon the death of her husband, Alfonso V of Aragon (1396-1458).

Rarely seen objects from Spanish colonial Latin America, of which the Hispanic Society boasts
a particularly significant collection, will create a compelling parallel narrative to cultural
developments taking place across mainland Spain. Highlights will include the celebrated
World Map, 1526, by Giovanni Vespucci (1486-after 1527), one of the most impressive
nautical charts produced during the Age of Exploration, which was probably intended as a gift
for Charles V on his marriage to Isabella of Portugal as well as the Map of Tequaltiche, 1584,
from the Relaciones Geográficas made on the order of Philip II. Other Latin American works
will include a remarkable collection of decorative lacquerware from Colombia and Bolivia, a
group of four polychrome sculptures from Ecuador, The Four Fates of Man: Death, Soul in
Hell, Soul in Purgatory, Soul in Heaven, c. 1775, attributed to Manuel Chili, called Caspicara
(1723-1796), as well as paintings such as the Young Man from the Coast (El Costeño), c.
1843, by José Agustín Arrieta (1803-1874).

The Exhibition is organised by the Royal Academy of Arts, London. All works are on loan from the
Hispanic Society of America, New York. Spain and the Hispanic World is curated by Per Rumberg, Curator, Royal Academy of Arts and Adrian Locke, Chief Curator, Royal Academy of Arts and Guillaume Kientz, Director, the Hispanic Society Museum & Library. The exhibition will be accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue featuring the greatest treasures from the collection and an introduction to the history of the Hispanic Society.

Spain and the Hispanic World runs from 21st January – 10th April 2023, 10am – 6pm Tuesday to Sunday. Advance booking with pre-booked timed tickets is recommended for everyone, including
Friends of the RA. For more information and to book tickets, please visit the Royal Academy website at

Images - Francisco de Goya y Lucientes, The Duchess of Alba, 1797, Oil on canvas, 210.3 x 149.3 cm, On loan from The Hispanic Society of America, New York, NY

Attributed to Manuel Chili, called Caspicara, The Four Fates of Man: Death, Soul in Hell, Soul in Purgatory, Soul in Heaven, Ecuador c. 1775, Polychromed wood, glass and metal, 17.9 x 11.8 x 8.4 cm, 17.9 x 14.5 x 8 cm, 16.9 x 11.1 x 12.3 cm, 17.6 x 11 x 12.3 cm, On loan from The Hispanic Society of America, New York, NY

Alhambra Silk, Nasrid, Granada, c. 1400, Silk, 237.5 x 152.3 cm, On loan from The Hispanic Society of America, New York, NY

Powered by Blogger.