Fundación IBERDROLA is a 'supporting member' of the Prado Museum's restoration programme
  • With the foundation's support, the restoration workshop at the national gallery has completed one of the most complex interventions in recent years 
  • Studies have confirmed that the painting, previously thought to be anonymous and found in a church in Almería, was indeed painted by the Italian master
The Fundación IBERDROLA sponsored the restoration of the St. John the Baptist by Titian, which will go on display for the first time until 10 February next at the Prado Museum, along with two other replicas of the same composition from the Galleria dell´Accademia in Venice and the Monastery of El Escorial.

The exhibition was opened today at the national gallery, with Miguel Zugaza, Director of the Prado Museum, and Manuel Marín, Chairman of the Fundación IBERDROLA, in attendance.

The work was restored by the gallery's team of restoration technicians, with the backing of the foundation, as a supporting member of the museum's restoration activity. Restoring this painting was one of the most complex interventions undertaken to date by the restoration workshop at the Prado. It arrived at the museum in 2007 from a church in Cantoria (Almería), where it had been stored in 1886 as an anonymous painting.

The exhibition provides comprehensive information on the extraordinary restoration of the Prado's St. John the Baptist, with the backing of the Fundación IBERDROLA. The measures taken consisted of consolidating the pictorial layer, recovering the depth in the composition, touching up on parts where the original material had been lost and cleaning the painting, which revealed important technical aspects of the work. This allowed to restore the balance of the figure and the variations in colours and textures.

The complex restoration process and the studies carried out enabled the work to be attributed to Titian. It has been dated as being from the 1550s and was painted by the Venetian master on the basis of a tracing of the St. John the Baptist from Venice, which was also used for the El Escorial composition.

The Fundación IBERDROLA is one of the museum's primary benefactors, since it was appointed as "Protector of the Prado Museum" in November 2010. This agreement is part of the company's firm commitment to art and culture, as one of the most important aspects of the heritage of mankind.

Under the terms of the agreement, the Fundación IBERDROLA was awarded the status of supporting member of the national art gallery and it supports the various initiatives organised, with a particular emphasis on its conservation and restoration programme, which is one of the most prestigious worldwide.

Thanks to the support of the Fundación Iberdrola, the Prado Museum has restored important works of art, such as the Adam and Eve panels by Albrecht Dürer; the sculptural ensemble Nero and Séneca by Eduardo Barrón; the equestrian portraits Phillip III on Horseback and Margaret of Austria on Horseback, by Diego Velázquez; the Roman sculpture Sleeping Ariadne; The Wine of St. Martin's Day by Pieter Bruegel the Elder; and the copy of the Gioconda.

The collaboration agreement between the two bodies also contemplates the granting of scholarships for research into restoration, as part of the Fundación IBERDROLA's plan to provide grants for Master's and Doctorate degrees. The aim of this initiative is to complete the training of future experts and foster research in the field of restoration.

About the Fundación IBERDROLA

The Fundación IBERDROLA, with Ignacio Galán as its Founding Trustee and Manuel Marín in the role of Chairman, focuses its activity on fostering initiatives that contribute towards enhancing people's quality of life and the common good; supporting training and research, promoting sustainability and defending biodiversity, art and culture, as well as solidarity and social projects in the territories where the IBERDROLA Group operates.

The Foundation runs an extensive postgraduate scholarship programme aimed at contributing towards the training of young researchers in the field of energy and making progress towards a sustainable energy model. The foundation is also involved in various projects for the conservation of the historical artistic heritage. Some of the highlights in this field are its Atlantic Romanesque Heritage Restoration Programme, in collaboration with the Portuguese Ministry of Culture and the Regional Government of Castile and León, which aims to restore Romanesque temples located in the vicinity of the rivers Duero and Támega, and the funding and design of the lighting for unique buildings, such as the main façade of the Spanish Parliament (Madrid), the Oratory of San Felipe Neri (Cádiz), the church of San Antonio Abad in El Toboso (Toledo) or the Chapel of Tapestries at the Royal Seminary College of Corpus Christi (Valencia).

The Fundación IBERDROLA also carries out various initiatives in the field of cooperation and contribution towards development, such as the Energy for Solidarity social grants scheme, which benefits 44 social institutions working in Spanish territory.