Fashion meets art | Zurbarán at Museum Kunstpalast

Museum Kunstpalast invited me to visit Düsseldorf and their recent special exhibition. I told a friend of my little trip to Düsseldorf and of the artist I have never heard of: Zurbarán. My friend was excited! She explained Zurbarán is one of the most important artists in Spain. Have you ever been at Extremadura? Everyone who travelled to this place knows him. Well, I haven’t been in Spain yet. So I didn’t know of Extremadura and Zurbarán. The enthusiasm of my friend catched me and I got very excited, too.

It’s OK not to know Extremadura. The country is supposed to be very paltry and a few hundred years ago it was the same, our guide told us. It is a community in the western of Spain and it’s bordered by Portugal. The Spanish painter Francisco de Zurbarán came from this solitude.
The artist was born 1598 in Fuente de Cantos and died 1664 in Madrid. He graduated from a painter’s apprenticeship in Sevilla. He became famous with his painting of monks.

Porträt des Fra Francisco Zumel aus dem Mercedarier-Kloster Sevilla, 1633
Portrait of brother Francisco Zumel of the Mercedarier monastery, Sevilla, 1633

The series of the Mercedarierer academics is absolutely fascinating! You have to enjoy the large-sized paintings from a distance. And then you immerse into a single painting. I can’t describe it in a different way. Eleven paintings belong to this series. They are all life-size. The Mercedarierer brothers gave Zurbarán the order for the art works. He and his team created them in a short time.

v.l. Fray Pedro de Ona, Fray Pedro Machado, Fray Jeronimo Perez
f.l. Brother Pedro de Ona, brother Pedro Machado, brother Jeronimo Perez

Next to the monks I like “The Holy Casilda of Burgos”. I regarded the fabrics of the dress for a long time. It was amazing. The little details, structure, drapery, shadows – absolutely realistic! Zurbaran was definately the master of drapes and waistcloth!

The Holy Casilda of Burgos, 1630–35, Madrid, Museum Thyssen-Bornemisza
The Holy Casilda of Burgos
1630–35
Madrid, Museum Thyssen-Bornemisza

The artworks of Zurbarán inspired young designer of the “Akademie Mode & Design” (Fashion and design school) in Düsseldorf. They dealed with the historic art and created new wonderful stuff. “The students were asked to engage and experiment with the sculptural qualities of three-dimensional body forms. Their conceptualisations of shape, material and colour drew on Zurbaran’s ideas by initiating a dialogue between the history of costume and new fashion trends. Thanks to the use of functional and hi-tech fabrics and close attention to details, but especially the creativity of the students, the Zurbaran exhibits were brought into the now.”

#museum | Kunstpalast, Düsseldorf

#exhibition | ZURBARÁN. Master of Details

#until | January 31, 2016

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