2017 at the Museu Nacional: a visual summary


We present you with a visual review of our 2017 at the Museu Nacional. It has been a year of intense activity centred on the renovation works of the Renaissance and Baroque, of shaking up the collection and in the form of the temporary exhibitions, strengthening ties at a local and International level.  Working for the construction of a more open and social museum is what our task pivots on every day.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank all of you, the readers of this blog, the visitors to the museum, the participants of the activities, the users of the web, and the people active in the networks, for your participation.

Two exhibitions that are ground-breaking

Uprisings, an exhibition about revolts, rebelliousness, political turmoil, and social movements.  Organised by the Jeu de Paume of Paris, adapted in collaboration with the museum for the presentation in Barcelona, it has been curated by the prestigious philosopher, art historian and exhibition curator Georges Didi-Huberman.

Francesc Torres, a multifaceted Catalan artist, explores the collision between history and culture while reflecting, at the same time, on the nature of the museums in the exhibition Francesc Torres. The entropic box [The museum of lost objects] .

Rediscovering Catalan artists

The exhibition Ismael Smith, the beauty and the monsters has reviewed the trajectory of this unconventional artist in the world order of Noucentisme

First monographic exhibition dedicated to the artist Torné Esquius , painter and artist who didn’t fit in with the Modernist proposals, or with the Noucentistes.

We have recuperated the work of Ramon Pichot, one of the most forgotten figures of Catalan art of the 19th century, Pichot lived at the epicentre of international art of the period.  His work was especially characterised by the treatment and pre-eminence of colour.  

The collection grows

Lluís Dalmau, The beheading of Saint Baudilus, 1448

The Museu Nacional has acquired the panel of The beheading of Saint Baudilus, by Lluís Dalmau, thanks to the funding of the Fundació Palarq. It comes from the old major Gothic altarpiece of the parish church of Sant Boi de Llobregat (Baix Llobregat), and it is one of the few works conserved of the painter.

Carles Casagemas, Old couple, Màlaga, 1900-1901

Josep Guinovart, Skull, 1953

With the support of the Fundació Amics of the Museu Nacional, the museum has acquired the drawing Old couple, by Carles Casagemas and the oil painting by Josep Guinovart Skull.

It is also worth highlighting the acquisition of a series of 200 photographs by Oriol Maspons from the heirs of the artist, with the sponsorship of the Fundació Nando i Elsa Peretti.

Artistic interventions on the collection

From vignette to vignette. Itinerary in comic book code by Modern art has a presented a dialogue with 20 works from the Modern Art collection in comic book code.  The artists, students of comic from the Escola Joso, have interpreted the works by elaborating a cartoon strip.

Exploring gold.  Investigating the gold in the paintings of the museum, Synthesis and {1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7…} have been three of the artistic interventions that have taken place in the museum.

Conservation, restoration and research

The actions of restoration have been focused above all on the works of Ismael Smith, of whom the major part of his work is conserved in the museum’s storage rooms and had never been restored; and on the collection of Renaissance and Baroque, on the occasion of the new presentation at the end of January 2018.

The state of conservation of around one hundred works has been revised, frames have been changed, examinations and analyses of relevant works have been carried out, and in-depth interventions have been done with around twenty pieces in the different specialties. One of the most notable has been the painting by Paolo de Matteis King Wenceslaus IV sentences St. John Nepomucene, from 1710, a work of major dimensions (293×174 cm) property of the Catalan Academy of Fine Arts of Sant Jordi deposited in the Museum since 1906.

In the images, on the front and the back of the painting of Paolo de Matteis before starting the treatment, and on the right, after the cleaning of the pictorial layer.

Symposium: The theoretical years (avant-garde, 1962-1979). Art and review, from pop to conceptualism, coordinated by Àlex Mitrani and Jordi Ibáñez.

Connecting art with the audiences

We have taken art to the hospital: The Boa Mistura group, together with the hospitalised children of the Vall d’Hebron,  have painted a 19 metre long by 4.5 metre wide mural, inspired by the work Ramon Casas and Pere Romeu on a tandem, by Ramon Casas.

We highlight the variety of family activities that we have carried out during this year.

The collection travels

Works of Marià Fortuny have been present in Temps de somni: Andalusia a l’imaginari de Fortuny (Times of Dreams: Andalusia in the Imagery of Fortuny) in Granada and in Seville, an exhibition produced by our museum, the Obra Social “La Caixa” and the Patronato de la Alhambra y Generalife;  and a retrospective of his work in the Museo Nacional del Prado.

Loans of major series of works from the collection of the museum to exhibitions of the Network of Art Museums of Catalonia:

A selection of works of Ramon Casas have participated in the exhibition Ramon Casas, desired modernity in Sitges. This exhibition also travelled to the CaixaFòrum of Madrid.

We have loaned works to the exhibition Olga Sacharoff: painting, poetry and emancipation, of the Museu d’Art of Girona.

The museum has continued the line of international loans. Among them:

  • a work by Fragonard has been loaned to the National Gallery of Art of Washington.
  • a Dalí has travelled to the Royal Academy of Arts, of London and to St. Petersburg, Florida (USA).
  • various Modernist works have been loaned to the National Museum of Western Art (NMWA), of Tokyo.
  • artworks by Juli González have travelled to the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag of The Hague.


This year, the first edition has taken place of the Mobile Week Barcelona, in which the museum has participated with an exhibition of one of the winners.

The museum has participated very actively in the Museums and the Web  conference in  Cleveland, Ohio, USA, and also in the preparation of the seminar Knowing the virtual publics of the museums held in the MACBA (Museum of Contemprary Art of Barcelona).

Participation in international forums

The director of the museum, Pepe Serra, has participated in the meeting of the group Bizot, formed by people responsible from the major international museums. Two intensive days of exchange in Mumbai, India.

The professionals from the museum have participated in the Annual Conference of ICDAD, The International Committee for Museums and Collections of Decorative Arts and Design, held in Miami and dedicated this year to Art Deco in Decorative Arts and Design.  We have also participated in the XII Taller de Investigaciones Históricas y Museológicas (12th Workshop of Historic and Museological Research) in La Havana, with the talk El usuario en el centro: lo digital y la mediación tecnológica, dos conceptos en auge (The user in the centre: digital and technological mediation, two concepts on the increase). We have also been invited to Beijing, to exchange experiences in digital action in the Palace Museum of the Forbidden City, with the talk “Digital as a Transformation-Driver in Museums”.

New presentation of the collection of Renaissance and Baroque

Lucas Cranach (el Vell), The Ill-Matched Couple, 1517; Doménikos Theotokópoulos (El Greco), Saint Peter and Saint Paulus,
1590-1600; Francisco de Goya, Allegory of Love, Cupid and Psyche [?], 1798-1805

Throughout 2017 we have been working intensely on the rooms of Renaissance and Baroque that will be opened at the end of January 2018.

The museum team wishes you an excellent 2018!!!


Related links

So, where does the anger go? , Georges Didi-Huberman

Inaugural talk “Uprisings” (Subtitled in Catalan) (video – 57:44 min)

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