José de Ribera, Boy with a windmill and an old man pulling a cart with a dead body, 1640 – 1650. Watercolour, pen, dark ink and pencil on paper, 235 x 170 mm. D8551

Until the 31st of July 2011 – Museo Nacional del Prado

Acquisitions for the Department of Prints and Drawings of the Museo del Prado, 1997-2010
This exhibition presents a selection of works on paper – drawings, prints and photographs – acquired by the Museo del Prado between 1997 and 2010. It offers visitors the first opportunity to admire the most important works acquired over this period and which are normally stored in the Department of Prints and Drawings due to their fragile nature. In addition, the exhibition sets out the Museum’s principal strategies with regard to the acquisition of works on paper.

The Museum’s Department of Prints and Drawings, located in the new Jerónimos Building designed by Rafael Moneo, houses the collection of drawings, prints and old photographs that has been built up since the time of the Museum’s founding. Together with the original works from the royal collection, a number of additional groups were added such as those from the Museo de la Trinidad and the Museo de Arte Moderno. Together they constituted the core of this area of the Prado’s collection, which has been expanded over the years, particularly with the addition of the Pedro Fernández Durán Bequest in 1931. It has continued to grow over the years through significant acquisitions, particularly in the period from 1997 to 2010.
In contrast to other artistic media, the material characteristics of works on paper mean that special conservation conditions are required for storing them, preventing their long-term public display. They are therefore normally kept in the Department of Prints and Drawings, where they can be studied and are made available to outside researchers. These works are only temporarily placed on display for exhibitions such as the present one.

Entitled Goya and More, the exhibition aims to emphasise the fact that while Goya’s work has always been the focus of one of the Museum’s principal acquisition strategies and perhaps the one that attracts the most media attention due to the undoubted value of his creations, a very large number of works of equal artistic importance by other artists have also entered the collection. Using this theme as its guiding thread, the exhibition is organised into various sections corresponding to the principal acquisition policies established by the Museum. It also present the main lines of research and the exhibitions to be organised by the Department of Prints and Drawings over the next few years.

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