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Displaying Spain's splendor

By Zhang Kun | China Daily | Updated: 2024-05-10 07:20
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Visitors are enthralled by the Ages of Splendor: A History of Spain in the Museo del Prado at the Museum of Art Pudong in Shanghai. [Photo by Gao Erqiang/China Daily]

Prize pictures from Madrid's Prado are largest exhibition by the museum in China to date, Zhang Kun reports.

In the collection of Madrid's Museo Nacional del Prado, there is a fine copy of one of the most famous paintings of all time, Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa. It is believed to be the work of students of the Renaissance master, painted in his studio during his lifetime, and includes details and changes that mirror those of the original, which is on permanent display at the Louvre in Paris.

It is one of the paintings on display at Ages of Splendor: A History of Spain in the Museo del Prado, an exhibition running at Shanghai's Museum of Art Pudong from April 23 to Sept 1.

The exhibition features 70 masterpieces from the Prado's collection, among which 16 have never been exhibited outside of Spain, nine have never been lent out by the museum, and over half are being shown in Asia for the first time.

Curated by Pedro J Martinez Plaza of the Prado's 19th Century Painting Conservation Area, Ages of Splendor has been tailor-made for the Pudong museum and will only be shown in Shanghai. It is the largest exhibition of the Spanish museum's collection ever held in China.

The Prado's copy of the Mona Lisa is extremely popular, and many visitors come to the museum just to admire it, Miguel Falomir Faus, director of the Prado, told China Daily before the opening ceremony on April 22.

The painting became part of the Spanish royal collection in the 17th century, and joined the permanent collection of the Museo del Prado when it was founded in 1819.

The last time it left Spain was in 2012, when it was lent to the Louvre in Paris for the temporary exhibition Leonardo's Last Masterpiece: The Sainte Anne.

The Museo del Prado spent a year restoring the painting for the Louvre exhibition, recovering the landscape in the background by removing a black repaint believed to have been done 200 years after the painting was finished.

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