The Artist’s Studio exhibition
features ninety photographs (digital reproductions from the original
photograph) that open the door to a variety of painters’ and sculptors’ working
spaces in the period between the late 19th century and the mid-20th century.
The photos have been selected from the Photographic Archives of the Spanish
Cultural Heritage Institute (Instituto del Patrimonio Cultural de España), more
specifically from the Moreno Photographic Archive that boasts a comprehensive
and important collection focused on this topic.
Photos of artists’ studios can
be deemed authentic portraits of the artists whether they are present in the
room or not. They are a special portrait genre in which the public or
professional dimension meets the most intimate, private aspect of a man.
The first section of the exhibition shows the 19th
century artistic background by means of selected representatives of history
painting and landscape painting, such as Moreno Carbonero and Beruete, as well
as the legacy of academic and classical art, epitomized by the photograph of
the Great Central Hall of the Museum of Art Copies, where numerous artists
would go to draw after the models of Graeco-Roman antiquity.
In the second section, a
number of artists are grouped together whose creative zest was inspired by
folklore, customs, costumes and traditions of different regions and inhabitants
of Spain. They include López Mezquita, Sorolla, Chicharro, Pla, Romero de
Torres, among others. The artists focused on Spanish national reality, which in
some aspects coincided with the literary production of the Generation of ‘98
(Generación del 98); its literary members and the artists maintained a
relationship through discussion groups and meetings.
A considerable number of
artists featuring in the exhibition are portraitists whose clientele belonged
to wealthy, bourgeois and noble families, high public officials, church and
military dignitaries, and the royal family members. Some artists, such as
Moreno Carbonero, López Mezquita and Caprotti, were fairly versatile painters.
They made portraits and painted in parallel history and literary subject matter
and “costumbrista” scenes.
Another section features
photographs of artists in whose works a more modern, relaxed style and flexible
relationship can be observed, remote from academic standards and traditional
subject matter. Their works mark a shift towards other subjects and styles,
more characteristic of the 20th century. With Maruja Mallo or Jorge Oteiza,
they even enter the domain of avant-garde.
The exhibition concludes with a group of photographs
taken during the Spanish Civil War and a decade after it, until about the
mid-century. During the war, agitation-and-propaganda art was produced in which
the artist is subordinate to the message.
Added to the exhibition of images of Spanish artists
in their studios is a selection of photographs of artists who worked in the
territory of Slovenia over the same time span. The photos are kept in a number
of institutions, whereas the exhibited selection comes from the holdings of the
National and University Library, the National Gallery of Slovenia, and private
The exhibition has been prepared by the
Sub-Directorate General of State Museums of the Ministry of Culture and Sport
of Spain and realized by the National Gallery of Slovenia in cooperation with
the Embassy of Spain in Slovenia as part of the cultural program of the Spanish
Presidency of the Council of the European Union.
An exhibition project by
Ministry of Culture and Sport of Spain. Directorate-General
for Cultural Heritage and Fine Arts
Embassy of Spain in Slovenia
National Gallery of Slovenia
Fernández, Óscar Muñoz Sánchez
the Slovenian part
Katra Meke, National Gallery of Slovenia
María Pilar Ycaza Murn, Embassy of Spain in Slovenia
Katra Meke, Barbara Jaki
Patrimonio Cultural de España, Ministerio de Cultura y Deporte
Narodna in univerzitetna knjižnica
The project was supported by
– 26 November 2023
Gallery of Slovenia