A visit to the Banco Santander showroom in the financial city of Boadilla del Monte (Madrid) is a journey through the history of art from the 16th century to the present day. From El Greco, Rubens or Zurbaran to Picasso, Miro, Chillida, Barcelo or Niki de Saint Phalle, leading the feminist art of the 20th century. A tour that, according to its organizers, allows you to discover “impossible love, parties, power, nature, betrayal, passion or war” in each piece.
“The collection is something alive and constantly being explored,” says Fundación Banco Santander, who is in charge of preserving and managing this collection. Recently, in conjunction with the International Day of Dance, this institution paid tribute to Joaquín Sorolla and his work “Dance in the Café Novedades de Sevilla”, one of the exhibits that make up this exhibition.
Almost 3,000 square meters of this room also occupy spaces dedicated to the coin collection, the Josep Maria Serta Waldorf-Astoria complex, the Gutiérrez Solana collection and, as a novelty, a cabinet of drawings, many of which have not been put on public display until now. The exhibition can be visited free of charge from Monday to Thursday from 10:00 to 17:00, and on Fridays from 10:30 to 14:00.
Journey through time and art genres
The private collection of Banco Santander is one of the finest and most complete in our country, with over 1000 cataloged items.. The foundations were formed over more than 150 years thanks to the cultural and patronage work of financial structures that were in the orbit of the Cantabrian group and today form part of its history. This diversity of origins is reflected in the variety of artists, eras, styles and genres represented.
The painting is the core of the collection. Especially Spanish from the late Middle Ages, although it holds outstanding examples of Flemish, Dutch, Italian and French art from the 16th and 17th centuries. In sculpture, alongside important works of the 17th and 18th centuries, contemporary works by famous artists, both Spanish and foreign, coexist. These collections are complemented by works from other genres such as drawing, arts and crafts and a wide selection of numismatics covering the history of Spain.
art translated into multimedia language
In recent years, the Foundation has developed various multimedia resources to promote the works. On his website, he offers detailed information on 400 works and a full mini-site of the numismatic collection, and allows you to enjoy some of the masterpieces in great detail thanks to gigapixel photography. He also has a series of audiovisuals with an innovative proposition: think of works in terms of their connection to the present. “Many of them relate to major contemporary issues or fields of knowledge that may seem far from art, but actually intersect with it,” they explain. In this way, they address highly relevant issues of our time, such as the energy transition or gender issues. It is about asking the viewer to put aside the usual visit to think about the works in terms of their relationship to the environment, fashion, power, etc.
The videos, which are published once a month on the Fundación Banco Santander YouTube channel, are created in collaboration with great professionals from fields ranging from gastronomy like Angel Leon to fashion design like Lorenzo Caprile.
In the same vein, and in collaboration with the Factum Foundation, he digitized in 3D El Greco’s Annunciation, one of the most iconic works in the collection and one of the most representative works of the artist’s last phase. The result is a high quality facsimile.
In addition, it offers various thematic tours: essentialswith works from El Greco to Michel Barcelo; Landscapewhich includes artists of the level of Sorolla or Rafael Benet; religious scenesas “The Sleeping Virgin” by Francisco Zurbaran; Pictureswith broad representation from Gutiérrez Solana; History, mythology and allegoriesamong which stand out Flemish and Dutch painting; sculptures open Juan Muñoz, Richard Serra or Kimmo Schroderus, among others; and a tour of the creations of authors Josep Maria Serta and Gutiérrez Solana.
Associated with a financial group, the Banco Santander Foundation has a strong cultural, humanitarian, scientific and social vocation. Since 1992, he has carried out important patronage work to promote the preservation and dissemination of our artistic heritage, provide access to all audiences, and support initiatives developed by important cultural institutions to teach young people to enjoy and interpret art. Among its programs, it supports the educational projects of the Reina Sofia National Art Museum, the Barcelona Museum of Modern Art and the La Panera Art Center in Lleida.
In addition, it promotes artistic production through initiatives such as Derivada, which aim to support women in the arts and discover creators’ works influenced by scientific concepts or theories; or an Artwork Award to attract the attention of young people. He also collaborates with, among others, Fundación de Amigos del Museo del Prado, Amigos del Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, ARTIUM-Centro Vasco Museo de Arte Contemporáneo or Instituto de Arte Contemporáneo (IAC).
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