Dulwich Picture Gallery is transforming its famous enfilade to evoke a Sevillian church for its Murillo & Justino de Neve: The Art of Friendship exhibition. In a first for the Gallery, part of the permanent collection will be deinstalled and the enfilade will undergo a period of construction to convert the Gallery’s famous space. Murillo’s works will be hung as they were originally intended to be seen; the painter’s three large-scale lunettes, The Dream of the Patrician and his Wife, Faith or the Church Triumphant and The Immaculate Conception (all 1664-65), will be at height and inserted into fictive niches. At the end of the enfilade, forming the ‘high altar’, Murillo’s The Immaculate Conception of the Venerables Sacerdotes (1660-65) will be hung, reunited with its ornate baroque altar-frame for the first time. This major exhibition will also be accompanied by a special display featuring newly conserved works by Murillo.
The exhibition will focus on the 17th century Spanish Baroque painter’s relationship with his patron and friend, Don Justino de Neve, a canon of Seville Cathedral, bringing together nearly all of the paintings Murillo made for Neve. Also on display will be the newly-discovered Penitent Saint Peter (c. 1670), which has never before been seen in public, as well as The Baptism of Christ (1667-68), taken down from its high position in Seville Cathedral for the first time since it was installed by Neve in 1667.
To coincide with this major show, the Gallery will present Murillo at Dulwich Picture Gallery, a special display of its own distinguished collection of Murillo paintings. At the heart of this will be the presentation of the Gallery’s famous beggar boy paintings, Invitation to a Game of Argolla (1665-70) and Three Boys (c. 1670). Both these paintings have undergone extensive. Technical examination and X-radiography has revealed fascinating information on Murillo’s working method. The results of these new findings will be presented in this display. MH
Dulwich Picture Gallery, Gallery Road, Dulwich, SE21 7AD Feb 5th – May 19th