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A fragment of Bermejo’s painting ‘Saint Michael triumphant over the Devil with the Donor Antonio Juan’

MNAC to devote a large-scale exhibition to Bartolomé de Cárdenas, 'El Bermejo'

Among the works on display by this 15th century painter is the recently restored 'Pietat Desplà'.

He was, quite possibly, one of the most ‘Flemish’ painters on the Iberian Peninsula. His extraordinary technical skill made him one of the best-known artists of his time, though he went on to fall into oblivion for a number of centuries. Innovative, and with works of marked personality, another of the characteristics that set him apart was the itinerant life that he led: he was born near Cordoba and, as far as we know, he also resided in Valencia, Daroca, Zaragoza and Barcelona. We’re talking about Bartolomé de Cárdenas (1440 - 1501), who was also known as ‘el Bermejo’ and Bartolomé Bermejo. Until 19 May, the National Museum of Art of Catalonia (MNAC) is hosting a monographic exhibition on Bermejo, curated by Joan Molina, professor of the History of Art at the University of Girona, titled Bermejo. The 15th century rebel genius. The exhibition is organized and produced by MNAC in collaboration with the Prado museum and  the Banco Sabadell Foundation.

According to the presentation of the exhibition, Bermejo "developed a realistic language of his own with a particular emphasis on illusionistic effects, as well as spectacular ranges of colours” and had “an astonishing ability to interpret all kinds of themes and iconographies in new ways”. Some 15 years ago, MNAC hosted an exhibition on Hispano-Flemish Gothic painters that features a number of works by Bermejo, but the current exhibition will include a number of outstanding pieces, including his Pietat Desplà, a recently restored work that stands out for the depiction of 70 species of fauna and flora, painted with an accuracy only seen in works by the world’s greatest artists.

The exhibition will also feature a number of parallel activities, including three sessions titled Bermejo seen by..., and every Saturday morning there will be a guided tour at 11 am in Spanish and at 12.30 pm in Catalan. Additional information is available at the following link.

Publication date: Wednesday, 27 February 2019
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