The meeting of the Board of Trustees of the Prado Museum was scheduled for this Monday, March 28, when all eyes are on the Thyssen and on that agreement with the government that has not just been closed. The plenary meeting today has accepted the deposit, for five years, of a painting by Picasso, a painter whose work is in another state museum, the Reina Sofía. Is about ‘Buste de Femme 43’, a work done by the Malaga painter in 1943. This work has been donated to American Friends of the Prado Museum by the Aramont Art Collection of the Arango Montull family.
According to statements by Javier Solana, Chairman of the Board, the decision of American Friends is good news for all Spaniards. “A painting of one of our great national geniuses – he underlined – until now in the hands of a private American collection becomes publicly accessible thanks to the generosity of the Arango Montull family and American Friends and this makes all of us who love Picasso’s work, museums and culture, “Solana said in a statement.
The decision comes months after the controversy generated by the Prado’s acquisition of a work by Maria Blanchard, which reopened the debate on the partition of the national collections between the Reina Sofía Museum and the Prado. According to the Royal Decree of 1995, the partition between the works of the Reina Sofía and the Prado is October 1881, date of the birth of Pablo Picasso.
Bust of Woman 43 is a high-quality sample of Picasso’s response to the violence of World War II, a time when the Malaga-born artist used to paint female images with exaggerated deformed features. The work was painted in a single day and has fast and very safe strokes, as detailed in a note by the art gallery. The resonance of the background tones and the presence of the feminine type reveal the echoes of his taste for the Spanish and his knowledge of the Spanish pictorial tradition.
The acceptance, by the Royal Board of the Museo Nacional del Prado, of the donation of the work is added Portrait of Philip III by Velázquez, which American Friends has so generously offered him, after having remained in deposit since 2016. On the other hand, during this session the accounts corresponding to the 2020 financial year were also approved, a year marked by the health emergency due to the global pandemic, which it closed with a negative equity result of 18.5 million euros.
The director of the Museo Nacional del Prado, Miguel Falomir, highlighted in his speech that “the Museum has shown to be capable of overcoming all difficulties -thanks to the joint efforts of all its employees- and continue to function in an exemplary manner, maintaining a high level of activities and excellence that has reinforced its emotional bond with Spanish society ”.