The Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza offers visitors a survey of Francisco de Zurbarán’s work, from his earliest commissions to key works from his mature period; a new vision of this Spanish Golden Age painter through the presence of previously unexhibited canvases or ones recently rediscovered over the past few years and not previously seen in Spain, a fresh assessment of his work which has enriched our knowledge of the artist and his oeuvre.
A contemporary of Velázquez, Zurbarán’s realistic but mystical vision and his unique manner of approaching his subject matter has made him a key artist whose importance was recognised by modern art trends of the 20th century.
The exhibition will juxtapose his work with that of his most talented pupils, the latter shown together in one gallery, and with that of his son Juan de Zurbarán, represented by his sophisticated still lifes. Mythological compositions and portraits complete the extensive representation of religious works in the seven galleries of the exhibition, which is jointly curated by Odile Delenda, art historian and specialist in Zurbarán, and Mar Borobia, Head of Old Master Painting at the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza.
This votive image was wide-spread in seventeenth-century Spain. It represents an Agnus Dei or “Lamb of God,” in allusion to Christ’s sacrificial death to save humanity. The straightforward composition consists exclusively of an image of the young animal with its legs bound, lying on a windowsill and brightly light by a single light source.