The Prado opens to Picasso and contemporary painters and women will have an itinerary

This 2022 is a key year for the Prado Museum. On the one hand, after two years of pandemic, the museum hopes to bring back pre-COVID visitor and ticket sales levels. Something essential to improve the accounts. On the other hand, the Prado intends this year to complete the deployment of its permanent collection, that is, to adapt new spaces and improve the current order. Its programming for this year moves between these two axes.

The recovery of the public will have to do with the health situation. For now, explained Miguel Falomir, director of the museum, they are not considering asking for a vaccination certificate, since they follow the protocols of the ministry that do not include it. He insisted that the museum is safe. “In all this time of pandemic that we have opened there have been no infections,” he said. But this year’s temporary exhibitions will also encourage visitors.

The Prado is committed to an approach to contemporary painters. “We are interested in those recent artists who have shown interest in the Prado collections, in the art of the past”, clarified Miguel Falomir. Hence three exhibitions that will mark 2022. That of Fernando Zóbel and the history of art, which will arrive in November and will be developed together with the March Foundation, which has the rights of the painter. Founder of the Museum of Abstract Art of Cuenca, Zóbel carried out a study of the masters of the last century and the Prado will show the author’s sketchbooks in which he used the classic copy to build his abstract universe.

In this line is inserted the arrival at the Prado de Philippe Parreno. In May we will see The Fifth of the deaf, installation by the artist of Spanish origin, but based in Paris that is based on an audiovisual montage on black paintings. Without a doubt, the sweetest of all is Picasso and El Greco, which comes on the 50th anniversary of the death of the painter from Malaga. It will show a series of works by Picasso on the work of El Greco.

There will be more temporary exhibitions. Annibale Carraci will be performing in March. The frescoes in the Herrera Chapel, where you can see a set of mural paintings from the church of Santiago de los Espanola in Rome. It will bring together preserved and restored wall paintings and a selection of oil paintings related to them. Also an exhibition on Luis Paret and Alcázar, is the first monograph dedicated to this painter. “Which shows that there is life beyond Goya in the eighteenth century”, clarified Falomir. In October, an exhibition dedicated to Spanish Renaissance artists will be presented in Naples in collaboration with the Museum and Real Bosco di Capodimonte in Naples.

Goya’s, San Bernardino de Siena, with the Aragonese painter’s sketches for the Basilica of San Francisco el Grande in Madrid. Also one dedicated to Francisco Padilla, on a journey through his professional career when we celebrate the painter’s centenary. Another about The Marquis of Santillana. Attention to this: The essence of a painting. An olfactory exhibition. It will arrive on April 5 and it is a project sponsored by Samsung and with the Perfume Academy. It is an experience for the visitor who will be able to smell what the paintings evoke. “It is accompanied by a certain technological montage that will allow the viewer to smell the fragrances to which the painting alludes,” said Falomir.

Those are the priorities of the meadow that is also committed to finishing ordering its permanent collection. There will be new spaces, such as the Ionic Gallery, with 53 new sculptures. “It will allow the Prado to re-enter into dialogue with the surrounding space and nature.” It is adjacent to the central gallery and that will allow you to see the works and the Paseo del Prado.

And finally, within the permanent collection, the Prado proposes new itineraries that will allow and invite the public to see the collection in a different way. For this, people from outside the art world will be invited, such as Noelia García Pérez, astrophysicist at CESIC for the Reflections of the cosmos itinerary at the Prado Museum. And here is located the concession that the museum makes to the question of gender, an itinerary about women who dedicated themselves to financing art.

“For a number of years, we have been carrying out initiatives to give visibility to women in the art world. Most had focused on women artists, but there are many ways of being a woman in art, such as women promoters “, Falomir justified that influenced the role that the Prado is a power in this sense. “There are few museums where women have played a more important role.” Hence a first itinerary called El Prado in feminine. Patrons and benefactors of the Museum, Isabel la Católica and Isabel Clara Eugenia. “What we wanted to do with the itinerary is to draw attention, to put the spotlight. With Guests we already pointed out the concern to give visibility to these women. To draw attention and remove from here we will develop more specific actions on these women artists,” explained the director of the museum.

Hall of Kingdoms

The director of the museum has pointed to the beginning of the summer as a possible beginning of the first works of the Salón de Reinos, which are in the bidding phase. The execution period is 3 years, as long as there is no setback, he explained.

The works will add a new open plan – 1,300 square meters – that the Prado could dedicate to temporary exhibitions. If that were the case, the maintenance would cost about 7 million euros a year, and perhaps it would be necessary to assess, create a different entry, although Falomir has not been in favor.

During the last year, with the lack of income from ticket sales from the pandemic, the institution has undertaken a series of policies to reduce and optimize resources, which have made it possible to reduce its budget and keep its accounts healthy.

Provisional ticket sales data for 2021 amounted to 7.1 million euros, up from 3.7 million in 2020, but far from the 20 million in 2019.

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