The French Taste and its Presence in Spain: 17th – 19th Centuries

FEB.11.2022           MAY.08.2022

El Sacrificio de Caliroe, 1765

Jean-Honoré Fragonard
The Sacrifice of Calírroe, 1765
Museum of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts of San Fernando, Madrid.
Photo © Pablo Linés

Exhibition

 

FEB.11.2022        MAY.08.2022

Where

Recoletos Exhibition Hall
Paseo Recoletos 23, 28004 Madrid

Tel: 915 81 61 00

cultura@fundacionmapfre.org

Opening hours:
Mondays (except holidays): 2 pm – 8 pm
Tuesday to Saturday: 11 am – 8 pm
Sunday and holidays: 11 am – 7 pm

Closed:
December 25th, January 1st and 6th

Limited opening hours:
December 24th and 31th, January 5th: 11 am – 3 pm

*The evacuation of the hall starts 10 minutes before closing time. Last access (7:30 pm or 6:30 pm) only allows a 20 minutes tour to the exhibitions.

How to arrive

Buses: 5 – 14 – 27 – 37 – 45 – 53 – 150
www.emtmadrid.es

Subway: Line 4 (Colón), line 2 (Banco de España) and line 5 (Chueca)
www.metromadrid.es

Trains: C-2, C-7, C-8 and C-10
www.renfe.com

Audioguides

Available online in Spanish and English. Accessible via mobile without downloads or installations.

Also available in audio device obtainable in the hall (if available).

Price: €4

Accessibility

Ramp for wheelchair access – The three floors of the hall are accessed by a generously-sized elevator.

Services

Locker Service.

Bookshop

LAIE Tel. 911 703 851 fmapfre@laie.es

A cross-disciplinary project such as “El gusto francés”, which covers such an extensive historical period, cannot be understood without its historical context. In this sense, the exhibition also addresses aspects that shed light on this evolution, such as diplomatic relations, the history of collecting and the construction of national identities.

Through numerous paintings (45), drawings (16), sculptures (8), pieces of sumptuary and decorative arts (31) and everyday objects, the exhibition aims to explore the evolution of French taste in our country, which up to now has only been studied sporadically.

This project is the result of in-depth research, which has brought to light works that until now had been considered missing, allowed new attributions to be made and restored a good number of the pieces presented. The exhibition is supported by important Spanish institutions such as the Biblioteca Nacional de España, the Museo de Bellas Artes de Bilbao, the Museo Nacional del Prado, the Museo Nacional Thyssen Bornemisza, the Museo del Romanticismo, the Museo de Artes Decorativas o Patrimonio Nacional, as well as outstanding private collections, whose works are being exhibited for the first time.

Curator: Amaya Alzaga

Buy tickets

The French Taste and its Presence in Spain: 17th – 19th Centuries

Select an option

Tickets

Individual

PLUS Ticket

  • TICKET and AUDIO GUIDE for The French Taste... and Jorge Ribalta. The audio guide is accessible online, from your Smartphone, without downloads or installations. An audio device can also be requested in the room (if available).
  • Prices: PLUS General Admission: €9. PLUS Reduced Admission: €7.
  • Does not incluye headphones. You can add them (€1) during the online purchase or at the ticket office. For sustainability reasons we recommend you to bring your own headphones.

Guided Tour

  • In a tour of approximately one hour, our cultural mediators comment on the main works of the exhibition.
  • Price: 7€. The ticket also allows to visit Jorge Ribalta.
  • Hours: Tuesdays to Thursdays: 11.30 am, 12:30 am and 5.30 pm. Each group will be made up of a maximum of 10 visitors.
  • The visit is carried out with an audio-guided system. Disposable headphones are provided, but for sustainability reasons we recommend you to bring your own headphones.

Individual Ticket

  • Allows to visit The French Taste... and Jorge Ribalta.
  • General admission: €5.
  • Reduced admission: €3 (Beneficiaries of reduced admission).
  • Free Access (0€): Mondays (except holidays) from 2 pm to 8 pm.

The beneficiaries of free admission must obtain their ticket at the ticket office in the room.

MAPFRE Clients

  • MAPFRE offers to its policyholders 2 free tickets (4 if Platinum Client) to visit French taste… and Jorge Ribalta on the date they choose.
  • To obtain courtesy tickets of MAPFRE, access the online ticket office and follow the purchase process. Before payment, the program will request your ID and will automatically activate the free tickets that correspond to you.
  • You can also get them at the ticket office in the room, presenting your ID.
  • Invitations must be used in a single visit.
  • Any question you have, please check these simple instructions.

Collaborating Entities

  • If you belong to any of the entities that collaborate with Fundación MAPFRE, you must obtain your reduced ticket (€ 1) at the ticket office in the room.

Audioguides

  • If you have already purchased a individual ticket and want to add the audio guide, you can purchase it here. Price: 4 €
  • The audio guide is accessible online, from your Smartphone, without downloads or installations. An audio device can also be requested in the room (if available).
  • Does not incluye headphones. You can add them (€1) during the online purchase or at the ticket office. For sustainability reasons we recommend you to bring your own headphones.

Groups

Group Visit

  • It's mandatory for the Group Visit to have a guide or person in charge. To request a guide from the Foundation, ask please for information and rates to: cultura@fundacionmafpre.org
  • The group must be made up of a minimum of 6 people. Currently, and due to health prevention measures, the maximum number of members (guide included) is 11 pax.
  • The use of an audio-guiding system is mandatory for the visit. If the group does not have its own, you must add it (€1/pax) during the online purchase process.
  • Schedule: From Tuesdays to Fridays: 11 am, 1 pm, 2 pm, 3 pm, 4 pm, 5 pm and 6 pm.
  • Maximum duration of the visit: 60 min.
  • The formalization of the booking implies the acceptance of these Rules for group visit.

€3/pax.

Schools

Educational activities for schools are developed entirely in Spanish. If you are interested please consult section Colegios y Familias.

Families

Educational activities for families are developed entirely in Spanish. If you are interested please consult section Colegios y Familias.

Important:

  • All tickets allow access to all three exhibitions.
  • Tickets changes or returns are not allowed except for justified force majeure.
  • Reduced capacity for health prevention. Get your ticket at the online box office from here to avoid waiting.
  • Fundación MAPFRE is not responsible for the rates, schedules and other information applied on the websites of other entities where tickets for their exhibitions can be purchased.

“El gusto francés” (French Taste) is a project that, far from being structured as a closed discourse, aims to establish new avenues of knowledge concerning the presence of French art in Spain during the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries, a period in which the two cultures intermingled and remained intimately related. The nearly one hundred and ten works on display all come from public and private collections on the Peninsula, and are therefore works of Spanish heritage.

The exhibition is organized so that it runs from the moment when pieces of French art began to arrive in Spain, when France was emerging as a model of European taste, and concludes at the stage when the opposite phenomenon occurred, when Spain became the focus of attraction for French culture, due to the interest it aroused in the Romantic imagination throughout the 19th century.

Download the exhibition brochure (7 MB)

The French Taste. Find out more (2 MB)

El gusto francés: French taste is a cross-border phenomenon that blended Gallic and Spanish culture and aesthetics. It began in the 17th century, when the France of Louis XIV replaced Spain’s position as a political and economic power. It was then that the absolutist policy of the monarch flooded the artistic scene, propagating the magnificence of his image and his power, and imposing a markedly classicist style through the foundation of the Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture (1648) in Paris and the royal workshops, which controlled artistic production in accordance with the established style. French taste developed and became official during the 18th century, when the Bourbon dynasty ascended to the Spanish throne, continuing throughout the 19th century and extending into the early 20th century. The French became synonymous with refinement, the choice of noble materials and impeccably executed pieces. In Spain, works were acquired from Gallic artists who either resided in France or came to the Peninsula to work at the court.

Collections: The French taste monopoly had enormous impact on Spain for three centuries. There were numerous collectors, including royalty, nobles and aristocrats who, in their desire to emulate the art of the court, treasured various pieces of Gallic origin: paintings, sculptures, sumptuary arts, everyday objects, textiles and fashion.

Portraiture: After the heyday of mythological portraiture during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, this genre –considered until then by the Academy, along with landscape, as minor, but which from the late eighteenth century began to be seen as the modern par excellence–, surpassed the traditional modes of representation and adapted its forms to the growing public and private demand. As a result, portraits began to look more and more like their models, and tended to represent sentiment through the interplay of hands and glances; women’s faces were softened and, in general, the effigy was rendered in a more natural way. In almost all cases, these paintings also served as a way of consolidating the political, social or intellectual position of the models.

The view towards Spain. The 19th century: In the mid-17th century, France began to impose its primacy over European taste, to the detriment of Italy. This monopoly, which lasted almost three centuries, changed hands in the mid-19th century. It was at that time that Spain began to attract a large number of intellectuals and artists, both from France and the rest of Europe. The Peninsula and its peculiarities became an exotic element in narratives and paintings. One of the first to turn in this direction was Victor Hugo, who set his dramatic piece Hernani on Spanish shores. This romantic vision, which looked to the Golden Age and moved away from the established canon of taste, spread further with painters such as Édouard Manet, the epitome of the modern artist, who represented contemporary life in the tradition of past masters, primarily Spanish.

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