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11 Dec 2012

BBVA Compass Sponsors "Portrait of Spain: Masterpieces from the Prado" at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

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More than 100 masterworks from one of the world’s most renowned collections of European painting will be presented at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston in "Portrait of Spain: Masterpieces from the Prado."

The exhibition — on exclusive U.S. loan in Houston as part of a new initiative by the Museo Nacional del Prado in Madrid to broaden access to its holdings — will be on view at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston from Dec. 16, 2012, through March 31, 2013. It tells the story of the evolution of painting in Spain from the 16th through 19th centuries and explores how artists reflected the sweeping changes in society, culture, politics and religion that contributed to the development of a modern Spanish identity.

“We’re excited for the city to be able to experience some of Europe’s greatest artists, especially since it’s such a meaningful way to enrich our community,” said BBVA Compass President and CEO Manolo Sánchez. “And we’re part of a global bank based in Spain, so our involvement in bringing these masterpieces here is especially significant for us. Nothing quite illustrates Spain’s rich tradition of arts and culture like the Prado. That’s why BBVA Compass seized the opportunity to sponsor this exhibition.”

The Museo Nacional del Prado in Madrid is one of the world’s leading museums, recognized for its unparalleled collection of European painting and sculpture, and, in particular, its holdings of Flemish, Italian and Spanish painting. Gary Tinterow, the director of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, said the exhibition marks the first time the Prado has lent so extensively to an American institution.

“Portrait of Spain will bring to U.S. audiences an extraordinary panorama of courtly and religious paintings by some of the greatest European artists — above all the Spanish masters such as Goya and Velázquez, but also foreign luminaries who worked for the Spanish court, including Rubens and Titian,” Tinterow said. “It is a wonderful privilege for the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston to have this exclusive U.S. showing, and I am especially looking forward to presenting these iconic paintings to our communities.”

The exhibition opened July 21 at the Queensland Art Gallery in Brisbane, Australia, the first stop on its two-venue tour.

Press release provided by the company.