The “divine” but “unknown” artist Luis de Morales exhibition

“A truly representative painter, one of the fundamental principles of sixteenth century Spanish, and yet almost forgotten for the general public, or very poorly known.” The description is Leticia Ruiz, head of the department of Spanish Renaissance painting from the Museo del Prado, and refers to the Extremadura Luis de Morales (150 / 11-1586), whose production, which earned him the epithet “divine” (for “setting a truthful and holy while iconographic model of devotion”), you can enjoy today in the Bilbao Fine Arts Museum a total of 54 pieces . With Ruiz as the curator, the exhibition “Divine Morales’ first passed by El Prado (October to January 1) and remain in the Basque gallery until May 16. His third and final stop is the National Museum of Catalan Art (June 16 to September 25).

“I work a lot, was very successful, the first commercial phenomenon of Spanish painting starred as Luis de Morales and his workshop, with small tables devotional, actually creating a brand.” There was talk, at that time, “a Morales’ Ruiz discussed in the press conference this morning to present the exhibition. And yet “in Spain it is a very bad painter known” .

A historical injustice that seeks to address this exhibition, divided into five sections : enduring icons; Around the Virgin and Child; Complex narratives: the altarpieces; Paint very close. Images Passion and redemption; and San Juan de Ribera and spirituality of the Counter Reformation. More than fifty pieces among which, for example, La Virgen del Pajarito, this thanks to a “very personal management ”s own culture minister in office, Inigo Mendez de Vigo, with the Archbishop of Madrid, as detailed the police station. An exhibition that, in the words of the director of Bellas Artes Bilbao, Javier Viar, is a “remarkable recovery of the artist”.

 Artist on which weighs a cloak of “biographical uncertainty” that recalled Ruiz is not surprising, given the context: it happened to “many painters of the sixteenth century,” including himself Greco. Between them, despite their “many pictorial differences,” no shortage “continuous parallelism ‘. Mainly, they are having had “a lot of success in life,” followed by “years of neglect” and being “able to create an easily recognizable brand.”

The commissioner, who has acknowledged having “learned a lot” organizing the exhibition has been extended to praise the qualities of the “divine” Morales: ” It was an exquisite painter in his art , and this sometimes unfortunately unknown. [Visitors] will discover that the issues are those that are [Piedades, Ecce Homo, Virgin with Child], but nuanced and subtle aspects. It is an absolutely original and personal painter, as happened to El Greco “. “He knew very well choose materials and a subject that was what was asked of him and move in spectacular fashion in pictorial terms,” ​​he has stressed.

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“It is so well done,” he lifted up, “that does not have the problems you may encounter other types of paint. Pigments are as carefully chosen as finely ground, sometimes worked with glass powder to give these almost glazed surfaces , which are in the faces of the Virgin, they really are a complexion of a beauty where we are almost seeing trasparentarse veins. ”

The exhibition, stressed, was to challenge ” break many taboos and poor knowledge of the painter .” Show the true scope of the work of Morales and help banish ignorance hanging over their work to the general public.