The family of Juan Carlos I, by Antonio López./ Picture: J.G.
Julio García. Madrid
The Manchegan painter Antonio López has devoted 20 years to the painting The Family of Juan Carlos I. The final version of this work, after numerous modifications, is the culmination of the exhibition The Portrait in the Royal Collections. From Juan de Flandes to Antonio López, which was inaugurated yesterday in the afternoon by the King Juan Carlos I and the Queen Sofía at the Royal Palace of Madrid.
López is the painter capturing all the attention in this exhibition, precisely because of his delay to submit the painting to National Heritage, which commissioned him the work 20 years ago for 50 million pesetas (about 300,000 euros at the moment). In that regard, the president of National Heritage, José Rodríguez-Spiteri, explained that the painter “is very perfectionist” and he told him years ago the “huge difficulties” to elaborate the painting. “We have been generous with Antonio, it is impossible to pressure an artist”, he declared.
As anecdotes about this painting of the Royal Family, Rodríguez-Spiteri pointed out the two changes of garment that the Manchegan author made for Queen Sofía, the three different heads of the then Prince of Asturias or the change of shoes for one of the Princesses. He also said that King Felipe VI has already seen the painting and he was “impressed” to face himself 20 years ago.
The Royal Palace is the “most adequate” setting to present this exhibition to the public
The Royal Palace is the “most adequate” artistic historic setting to present to the public, in 12 rooms for temporary exhibitions, the 114 works of different disciplines making up the collection of portraits from the time of Trastámara to the House of Austria, and from the Bourbons, in the 18th century, up to the present day.
The exhibition, open to the public from today until 15 April 2015, collects works by masters as important as Roger Van der Weyden, Juan de Flandes, Antonio Moro, Alonso Sánchez Coello, Juan Pantoja de la Cruz, Pompeo Leoni, Jakob Seisenegger, Diego Velázquez de Silva, José de Ribera, Pedro Pablo Rubens, Juan Carreño de Miranda, Claudio Coello, Francisco de Goya, Joaquín Sorolla, Salvador Dalí and Antonio López.
The twelve rooms, which also host sculptures, tapestries, engravings and porcelains, display the “quality” of the works of the Royal Collections of National Heritage, essentially of portraits throughout the centuries, from the “Portrait of Queen Isabel the Catholic”, by Juan de Flandes, to the awaited painting “The Family of Juan Carlos I”, by the Manchegan author.