Twelve years supporting the Prado Museum
Iberdrola has collaborated with the Prado Museum since 2010, when it established a partnership that took the form of support for conservation and restoration programs as well as sponsorship of several exhibitions. Since 2018 it has also been a Patron of the museum.
Under the new agreement, the company is committed to supporting the conservation and restoration programs developed by the Prado Museum External link, opens in new window., and maintaining the three annual grants for young restorers which it has been awarding since 2011, and to which it added an international grant. The scholarship holders participate in the processes of conservation-restoration of the works in the Prado collection, they collaborate in the preparation of reports and in the organisation of temporary exhibitions.
Prado in the streets
Iberdrola, through its foundation in Spain, sponsors The Museo del Prado in the streets, an open-air exhibition consisting of fifty life-size photographic reproductions of the most emblematic paintings of the museum.
The exhibition aims to promote knowledge and awareness of the collections and the cultural identity related to the museum's historical heritage by encouraging educational programmes and cultural outreach activities. It also aims to virtually recreate the experience of visiting the museum by making it possible to view the paintings in their real dimensions.
The exhibition has already visited the streets of Castilla y León, Castilla La-Mancha and Andalusia. In the latter autonomous community it will make several visits to different cities during 2023. The exhibition recreates a visit to the museum by contemplating the paintings in their real dimensions, living an experience similar to that of facing an authentic work of art.
As part of its collaboration with the Prado museum, Iberdrola has already participated in various projects, such as the restoration for use as an exhibition space of the entire second floor of the north side of the Villanueva Building. This action enabled the rearrangement of the Prado collection, favouring a continuous and more accessible tour. In addition, eight new rooms of 17th-century Flemish and Dutch paintings, featuring fundamental works by Rubens, Rembrandt, Jan Brueghel, Clara Peeters, David Teniers, Rembrandt, Salomon Bray and Gabriël Metsu, have been opened to the public.
Besides, Iberdrola also collaborates with its annual grants for young restorers External link, opens in new window., to which it will allocate a total of 1.2 million euros, which will be split into annual payments of 300,000 euros during the first four years.
Furthermore, as a Patron of the Prado Museum Restoration Program, the company has collaborated in the restoration works of several of the museum's most important paintings.
Thus, it supported the restoration of The Annunciation by Fra Angelico, a work dating to the mid-1420s recognised for being the first Renaissance-style altar in which used perspective ito organise the space.
The restoration work, carried out by Almudena Sánchez, focused on cleaning the layer of grey dirt that obscured the surface and on removing oil repaints from previous attempts. In this way it was possible to restore the rich, vibrant colours and the intense light that envelops the scene, characteristic elements of this painting and of all Fra Angelico's work.
Likewise, Iberdrola collaborated in the restoration of many of the 44 pictures in Their Majesties' Retiring Room exhibition. The exhibition, opened to the public from 9 April to 24 November 2019, recreated the original aspect of Room 39 of the Villanueva building, first opened in 1828 as a room in which King Ferdinand VII and his family could take their rest.
The room was decorated with 28 paintings of monarchs from the Bourbon dynasty that illustrate the evolution of court portraiture in Spain from the start of the 18th century to the first third of 19th. Numerous still-lifes — three of them 17th century Flemish works and the remainder by Spanish artists — and 18th-century landscapes were also on show, as were two busts of oriental figures painted by Lorenzo Tiepolo.
This exhibition recreates the way of hanging paintings at different heights to cover entire walls, a method typical of 19th-century museography. The small annex, once used for personal hygiene purposes, was rehabilitated, with the recovery of the commode made by Ángel Maeso in 1830, the only surviving piece of original furniture.
Another of the works restored with Iberdrola sponsorship is The Fountain of Life, one of the most intriguing and fascinating Flemish paintings in the Prado's collection. The piece, which was painted in the Netherlands in an environment closely linked to Jan van Eyck's workshop, underwent a process lasting 18 months to remove the opaque and yellowish varnish that covered the painting. Space and depth was thus recovered, as was the dark linear outline of the details and the peculiar way of applying the glazes, in which transparency is achieved not by the use of more medium in the painting but by the overlapping of opaque layers.
While aesthetics was one of the goals, the restoration also addressed historical and iconographic dimensions, as well as key aspects of the panel's pictorial style, to complete the research. The conclusions of this detailed study could be seen, along with the restored piece, until 27 January 2019 in an exhibition sponsored by Iberdrola.
Furthermore, the company also collaborated in the restoration works of three of the paintings selected for the In lapide depictum exhibition. Italian painting on stone, 1530-1555, which could be visited since 17 April until 5 August 2018.
These most notably include the Santo Entierro of the Bassano workshop, restored by Alicia Peral, who recovered the volume of each figure and its exact position in the composition, as well as the depth of the landscape. The restoration also revealed touches of gold with which the author achieves the effect of vibrating light, in contrast to the dark and deep surface of the slate support.
The Museo del Prado also restored, with Iberdrola's help, three important religious works from the Sevillian baroque painter Antonio María Esquivel: The Fall of Lucifer, Christ the Saviour and The Virgin and Child. Only the first of them had been displayed for a very short time, in the Casón del Buen Retiro, while the other two are unpublished.
The company also sponsored the restoration of The Triumph of Death by Pieter Bruegel the Elder, one of only two pieces by the artist being conserved in Spain. The restoration work, which was carried out by María Antonia López de Asiain and José de la Fuente, enabled the recovery of the painting's structural stability, true colouring, composition and technique, recovering the clarity in the foregrounds.
Since the beginning of its collaboration hundreds of works have been restored with Iberdrola's patronage. For example, in 2013 alone it collaborated on the restoration of nearly 200 works, such as El Greco's The Disrobing of Christ. Other notable contributions in these past few years include Rogier van der Weyden's Calvary, six major oil on panel works by Rubens called the Triumph of the Eucharist and Titian's Saint John the Baptist.
'Iluminando El Prado' tiene como objetivo dotar a las salas de exposiciones de un nuevo sistema de iluminación con tecnología LED.