Renaissance portraiture in two different incarnations

The National Gallery and the Prado are to present different versions of the same show on Renaissance portraiture. Madrid’s exhibition is entitled “The Renaissance Portrait: Pisanello to Rubens”, whereas London’s is “Renaissance Faces: Van Eyck to Titian”—which may cause some confusion. The Prado exhibition, which opens on 3 June, will be considerably larger than the London version (the Sainsbury Wing exhibition galleries do not have the same space as those in Madrid). The Prado will display 125 portraits from the 15th and 16th centuries, mainly paintings, but there will also be works on paper, sculptures and coins. The 70 artists on display include Botticelli, Bronzino, Memling and Raphael. A Prado spokesperson said: “This is the first time that an exhibition on Renaissance portraits has ever been staged, in spite of the…numerous publications [on] this theme.” After the Madrid show closes on 7 September, the London exhibition opens on 15 October. It will comprise 85 works, of which 70 are paintings. Both collections are lending to each other: works in the Madrid show include National Gallery portraits by Van Eyck, Moroni and Holbein, while London will get Titian and Mor from the Prado. The lead curators are Madrid’s Miguel Falomir and London’s Susan Foister M.B.

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