Prado Acquires Cubist Painting by María Blanchard –

The Museo Nacional del Prado in Madrid acquired a painting by Cubist artist María Blanchard in 1929, which has angered some who claim the work is beyond the museum’s purview.

Some in the Spanish art world have claimed that because of its date, the painting belongs to the city’s Museo Reina Sofía, which has historically specialized in art since the 19th century. According to a report in the Spanish newspaper ABC, Prado’s purchase of the work, for which it paid 70,000 euros, violates a 1995 decree that differentiates what the two museums can collect.

The Reina Sofía contains 15 works by Blanchard in its collection, the chronological beginning of which, according to the decree, is 1881, the year Picasso was born. (The Reina Sofía is home to one of Picasso’s most famous works, the monumental wall painting Guernica.) The Prado, on the other hand, is supposed to collect works that were created before this date.

On the subject of matching items

[Read about the creation, history, and varied political valences of Picasso’s Guernica.]

“We’re talking about an artist who is very importantly represented in the Reina Sofía collections,” a Prado spokesman told Europa Press. “For us she is a central figure.” Reina Sofía is said to have learned about the assumption of the Blanchard work by Prado at a meeting of Spanish museum officials this week.

The Prado has taken a concerted move to showcase more art by women, although this has sometimes led to controversy. In October, the museum removed a painting from an exhibition devoted to the work of nineteenth-century women artists in Spain because the piece was actually created by a man. At that time, the institution emphasized in a statement: “The need to continue research on women artists from past centuries.”

In January, Miguel Falomir, director of the Prado, said that women’s acquisitions of art would be a priority in 2021. A new research grant for gender issues and art history will also be launched.

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