27 Oct 2017

Zurbarán: Jacob and His Twelve Sons, Paintings from Auckland Castle

Meadows Museum, Southern Methodist University

Reviewed by Tim McClure

One of Francisco de Zurbarán's series of monumental paintings is on exhibition at the Meadows Museum, en route to the Frick Collection. The group of thirteen large canvases, depicting the patriarchs of the twelve lost tribes of Israel and their father, are thought to have been meant for placement somewhere in the New World as Catholic propaganda. They never made it there. All but one have been housed since 1756 at Auckland Castle in the United Kingdom.

The symbolic paintings, muted in color and hung on patterned green walls like those in their Auckland Castle home, form a solemn cadence leavened with the artist's wry winks. He designed the series for maximum individual and collective graphic impact, using strong diagonals to move the eye from image to image. Virtuosic technique abounds. Pose, gesture, and characterization combine to imbue the series with the mysticism and introspection of the mature Zurbarán.

Exhibition Zurbarán: Jacob and His Twelve Sons, Paintings from Auckland Castle link
Start date 17 Sep 2017
End date 07 Jan 2017
Presenter Meadows Museum link
Venue Southern Methodist University, 5900 Bishop Boulevard, Dallas, TX, USA map
Image Francisco de Zurbarán, Simeon, c. 1640-45, oil on canvas, Auckland Castle, County Durham © Auckland Castle Trust/Zurbarán Trust, photo by Robert Laprelle

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Reviews by Tim McClure


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