Within the wide spectrum of cultural recreational activities offered by a city like Madrid, it is worth reviewing this splendid exhibition, organized by the Arthemisia Spain association, takes advantage of one of its historic buildings, the Gaviria Palace, to attract attention to that wonderful Flemish art of the XVI-XVII centuries, offering part of the immeasurable work of a notable family of artists, such as the Brueghel.
Indeed, together with some of the most attractive and relevant works of eight of the best known members of that family of artists who developed their art by the hand of Patriarch Pieter Brueghel, popularly known as 'the Elder', they are also shown some works by such charismatic authors as David Teniers the Younger, Rubens or the always cryptic and indecipherable Hieronimus Bosch, the Bosco.
In relation to the latter, it turns out, not only a unique occasion to see one of his most difficult works to contemplate live, since it is part of a private collection, such as The Seven Deadly Sins, but also to deepen that world, darkly psychological, which always invites us to penetrate this curious character, which some referred to as the demon painter.
Of the Patriarch of the Brueghel, that is, Pieter Brueghel the Elder, said Carel van Mander, a character who is considered his first biographer, who was the 'painter of the peasants', based not only on his favorite subjects, but also on his origins.
But Old Brueghel was also considered, like many other artists of the time, another of the imitators of which undoubtedly marked an exciting inflection in the Flemish painting of his time: the aforementioned Hieronimus van Acken, the Bosco.
In that sense, it is not difficult to notice, in part of Pieter Brueghel's paintings and the rest of his family, some references that are no less cryptic, hidden in a multitude of seemingly innocent or unnoticed details, invite speculation.
Speculation, however, is also located, even, in some of his seemingly more innocent works, such as still lifes, where among the formidable profusion of flowers, elements deeply connected with what Dr. Jung defined as the Collective Unconscious , among which we can highlight the butterfly, the Psyké or soul of the Greeks and of course, the sublime figure of the snail, which drags in its shell something so complex, sublime and present throughout the Universe, as is the symbol of the spiral .
Symbol, on the other hand, that it could well be said that he was not chosen at random to choose the form that that mysterious board would have to have, which he called as the Game of the Goose, achieves, in a symbolic way, that the players face to the different vicissitudes of life itself, opening in front of them that initiatory path that from time immemorial gave rise to the most formidable and controversial myths: personal adventure.
Also, the numerology lover will be able to speculate with Joos van Cleve's painting entitled the Virgin of the Cherries and observe that the addition of the cherries of the two clusters that the Child holds in his hand, result in one of the numbers considered as magical par excellence: the seven.
Worthy of admiration is also the elegance of the compositions, authentic 'photographs' on the canvas, if I may be compared, where the mannerism of these authentic precursors, led them not only to deepen the secrets of Nature, but also to reproduce them even in the smallest details, using resources such as the mirror effect of water and raising the number of details to maximum power.
It is also genuine to go into works such as 'The Holy Family surrounded by a wreath of flowers', by Jan Brueghel, called the Younger, and reflect on the test of the stain on the wall that Leonardo Da Vinci himself put on his students in order to develop their fantasy, and to think about that theoretical stain, as in a tear in the supernatural - detail to which Domenico Teotokopuli, the Greco - also had a great fondness, and to present, in its background, an incursion into the supernatural.
But the public can also take a pleasant and funny surprise, observing the details so human, so common and to some extent so vulgar, like the mother who holds her daughter in her arms so that she urinates.
In short, a magnificent occasion, to make a visit to Madrid, is also a pleasant cultural adventure to keep a pleasant and attractive memory.
The Brueghel exhibition, Wonders of Flamenco Art will remain open to the public, at the Gaviria Palace, until next April 12, 2020.
For more information:
Gaviria Palace, Calle del Arenal, 9, Madrid
NOTICE: Both the text, and the accompanying photographs, as well as the video that illustrates it - except music, reproduced under YouTube license - are my property. The photographs were duly authorized and at no time were any inconvenience for their use and publication, although these only refer to the illustration of this post.
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