European Art Collection, Lázaro Galdiano Museum

European Art on the Second Floor, a theme that complements the one already seen on the first floor, dedicated to Spanish art. In contrast to the first floor, everything collected here comes from outside Spain. The Second Floor was deeply reformed, since it was the area in which the family lived every day, highlighting that their bedrooms were here.

France, Italy, Holland, Germany and England are represented in different rooms, European collection being made up of both paintings and sculptures, furniture, silverware, bronzes, etc. Thus, the most significant schools in Europe are represented in the rooms, with works ranging from the fourteenth to the twentieth century and that are both pictorial and sculptural, or the sumptuous arts. Of special interest are the English works that Lázaro Galdiano treasured, and that we can see here, for how rare his presence was in the Spanish art galleries.

It is also worth mentioning here that on this Second Floor there are, in the South wing of the palace, the rooms that were once the bedrooms used during the winter, while on the North side were the family’s private rooms, which were used during the summer. However, this original provision disappeared after the reform carried out between 1948 and 1950, works that were carried out to convert the house into a museum, giving it the appearance with which we know it today.

Room 15:
Italian School from the 14th to 18th centuries
The walk on the second floor begins with the Italian painting collection. Here is another of the key works of the Lázaro Galdiano Museum and that for years attracts a large number of visitors only and exclusively to contemplate this piece. This is ‘El Salvador adolescent’, attributed to Leonardo da Vinci and exhibited in room 15, which served as his daily dining room for the family.

This room has been installed in what was once the Palace’s Dining Room of the palace. As was the case with the other rooms previously seen, we also found the ceiling decorated with a painting by Eugenio Lucas Villamil, who here represented the goddess Flora, alluding to the last name of Doña Paula Florido, wife of Lázaro.

The Italian school was, throughout the centuries, the most important in the rest of Europe, especially after the recovery of the classical world during the Renaissance period, thus becoming a reference and model for European culture.

The Italian works that Lázaro Galdiano collected are not very numerous, but he did manage to gather some examples of his main schools, such as the Lombard, the Bolognese, the Florentine, the Venetian and, above all, the Neapolitan, which both influenced the Spanish art Of those that we will see in this room, a small table entitled “El Salvador adolescent” stands out, from the late fifteenth century, from the Lombard school and from the Leonardo da Vinci Milanese circle, although it is not known if its author could be Giovanni Antonio Boltraffio or Ambrose of Predis, both disciples of Leonardo.

At the end of the 19th century, Lázaro Galdiano bought it from José Domínguez Carrascal, a Madrid antiquarian who had obtained it before an individual, apparently the origin of the painting being a convent in Valladolid that had been disgraced. At that time, the work was offered for a price of 1,500 pesetas to the painter Luis Álvarez, who at that time was director of the Prado Museum, but lacking a purchase allowance he could not acquire it; This opportunity was seized by Lázaro, who acquired the table for 850 pesetas.

It is also worth contemplating the “Baptism of Christ” by Orazio Samacchini, from the last phase of Mannerism and where that “return to order” marked in that period is perceived. In 1857, it is known that it was part of the Duke of Norcastle’s collections, so it is possible that Lazaro Galdiano got the picture in England.

Finally, in the center of the room, there is a showcase showing a series of ceramic and glass pieces. It highlights a bowl that presents a female portrait in the background, made in Deruta (Italy) towards the year 1530 and that has been related to the work of ceramist Giorgio Andreoli, and the so-called “Dish of the Fugger”, made in Venice around 1507 and that bears the shield of this family dedicated to banking.

Room 16:
Italian school from the 15th to the 19th centuries
In room 16 stands a portrait of Carlos III of Franceso Pieri and bronzes of Ferdinando Tacca or Giovanni Bologna who replaced billiards, since this room was dedicated to play and recreation.

This is what we could define as a continuation of the previous one, or, rather, a complement, since it continues with the Italian pictorial works seen in Room 15, but also, it expands the variety with a series of furniture and sculptures of between the fifteenth and nineteenth centuries.

Among the paintings hanging on these walls, we can see, for example, the “San Lorenzo” by Neapolitan painter Bernardo Cavallino, or a small painting called “Hermit in the desert”, the work of Alessandro Magnasco “il Lissandrino”, one of the two unique works of this Genoese artist that, to date (August 2013), are in Spain (the other is in the Museum of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts of San Fernando ). Other paintings by authors such as Giuseppe Marullo, Gregorio de Ferrari, Pacceco de Rosa, or Giandomenico Tiepolo complete the room.

In the center, there are two display cabinets in which a series of small bronze figures are displayed, a sample of the collection made by Don José Lázaro Galdiano. Of those we see here, two may stand out, one represents “San Juan” and another could be “San Lucas”, or “San Marcos”; both were part of a set that was formed by a crucifix and the four evangelists, work of about 1602 by Juan de Bologna and Antonio Susini, his assistant. Its relevance lies in the fact that this group was given to Mrs. Catalina de Sandoval y Rojas, Countess of Lemos and sister of the Duke of Lerma, by the Grand Duke Ferdinando de Medicis.

Likewise, it is worth mentioning the figure of the goddess “Fortuna”, made by Ferdinando Tacca, an example of Florentine sculpture in Baroque style, as well as three wax portraits made by Francesco Pieri, one of which represents King Carlos III.

Before continuing, we will look at the roof of the house’s Billiard Hall, where Lucas Villamil painted various scenes of games and children’s entertainment.

We continue and, in a small room (very appropriate dimensions for what is housed in it), the so-called Miniature Cabinet has been installed. The room was known in its day with the name of Salita de Vitrinas and in it, Don José installed what we can see today in the same space as then: a set of small portraits, illuminations and miniaturesLazaro Galdiano and his wife, Paula Florido, gathered since the beginning of the 20th century, years in which these small artistic jewels were not too valued. As they point out in the museum, it is one of the most important that have been preserved in Spain and is one of the most prominent in all of Europe, despite being one of the most unknown collections that its owner treasured.

As we have mentioned, here we have up to three types of objects whose common characteristic is their small size. On the one hand, there are the miniatures, pictorial genre in which the temple is used, or the gouache, on paper, parchment and ivory sheets. The minimum color dots are inserted into the surface by fine brushes, so that, if you look at a certain distance, you can see a uniformity in the tones and a molten and perfect finish. They had their greatest fame in the Europe of the 18th and 19th centuries, being used in the same way as the small portraits, which we will also see here.

In this room, there is a sample of the French school, with works by Dumont, Hesse, or Grandchamp, among others; of the English, we have thumbnails of authors such as Singleton, Grimaldi, or Cosway, to name a few; of the Italian school, are the portrait of Rousseau, of the Milanese Julia Corneo, and other works of Guglielmi; of the Austrian, they emphasize Füger, or Goebel. As regards the Spanish school,

On the other hand, we have the illuminations. During the Middle Ages and until the seventeenth century, they were based on tempera paintings made on paper, or parchment, and used to illuminate the texts of the books of the time. Already in the Renaissance period, the techniques to apply the colors evolved and went from covering all the support, to using it as the base of the pigments. In this way, the small points of pure colors melted until they gave different tones. This is how the illuminations came out of the books to be small works of art in themselves. Among those shown here, works by Giulio Clovio, one of the most important illuminators of the Renaissance, Genoese Giovanni Castello and Spanish Juan de Salazar stand out.

Finally, there are the small portraits, which in Spain received the name of portraits, or faltriquera portraits. In this case, they are oil paintings on materials such as copper, playing card, silver, bronze and wood, although the latter three very rarely. Its development in Europe took place from the second half of the sixteenth century and until about mid-eighteenth, having its greatest boom in Spain, Italy and the Netherlands.

The use they had was varied, since they could well be painted for romantic reasons, or even as a gift of state and exchange between the different kingdoms of Europe. Those shown here belong to the Italian, French and, especially, Spanish schools, and date from the 16th to the 19th centuries. A male portrait attributed to Alonso Sánchez Coello stands out; another of a young Felipe IV, from Bartolomé González; one of Carlos II, by Juan Carreño de Miranda; and two female portraits of Madrid school,

But without a doubt, it is best to look carefully at each of the showcases and observe every detail of these magnificent works.

Room 17:
Flemish School from the 15th to 17th centuries
The room dedicated to flamenco art from the 15th to the 17th centuries occupies what were once the family’s winter bedrooms. Here you can see the famous painting ‘The meditations of San Juan Bautista’, by El Bosco, also highlighting ‘The vision of Tondal’ by one of the followers of his same school. Nor should we pass up the portrait of ‘Doña Leonor of Austria’, sister of Emperor Carlos I and made by Joos van Cleve, being famous for her reproductions in history books.

A series of paintings of the Flemish School, to which the widespread use of oil and the glazes, especially painters like Van Eyck. The period covers since the end of the Middle Ages, when the theme seeks to represent in religious paintings of very large dimensions the religious and moral ideas of the time to, thus, serve the exercise of faith in an intimate way. Tables in which each element has a strong symbology.

The fact of using similar techniques and forms has complicated over the centuries the reliable identification of the authors of many of the tables, so, often, there are several attributions of some works. Examples of this are the Golden Foliage Master, or Ambrosius Benson, painters who have recently been credited with some paintings belonging to the Lázaro Galdiano collection. Already in the seventeenth century, after the wars of religion, society is divided into two: on the one hand, the northern provinces, which would adopt the Protestant religion; and on the other hand, the Catholics of the South. In addition, they would also differ in the political model to follow: republican, the first, and monarchical, the second. This will be reflected in the theme not only of the paintings, but also in the sumptuous arts and furniture, all well represented in the room we are going to see.

Among all the works of the Flemish school assembled by Don José Lázaro Galdiano, the “San Juan Bautista en el desert”, in El Bosco, stands out in a special way, where the saint must avoid earthly pleasures, which have been represented in the form of rare plant, and to follow Christ, whose symbol is the Mystic Lamb, to be saved. In addition, we can also see other magnificent tables, such as the “Virgin of the marble seat”, by Adriaen Isenbrandt; the “Virgin with the Child”, by Ambrosius Benson; the “Triptych of the Adoration of the Magi”, attributed to Jan van Dornicke; or the mannerist “Triptych of the Crucifixion”, by Marcellus Coffermans.

Similarly, in the room there are several portraits made by some of the most important painters of the sixteenth century of this genre: the “Portrait of Christian II of Denmark”, by Bernard van Orley, of the Brussels school; that of “Mrs. Leonor of Austria”, by Joos van Cleve; or that of “Juan III de Portugal”, by the Spanish Antonio Moro. As for the seventeenth century, stand out the tables “Peasants at the entrance of a cave”, by David Teniers; and the “Virgin Mary with Jesus and Saint John,” by Erasmus Quellinus, a disciple of Rubens.

The two rooms that come next are divided, in turn, into separate sections, depending on the school that is represented.

Room 18:
German School from the 15th to 18th centurie
Dutch School from the 16th to 18th centuries
The works belonging to these two schools are on display in the old family cabinet. There are not only paintings, highlighting the ‘Calvary’ attributed to Lucas Cranach or the Dutch still lifes and portraits, but also a set of pieces of civil silver from both countries that are guarded in a showcase in the center of the room.

Installed in what was previously the Family Cabinet, where Eugenio Lucas Villamil painted an “Allegory of Patronage, Charity and Love”, also referring to the owners of the palace with the representation of the Palace of “Parque Florido” background.

In the center of the room, there is a showcase in which a selection of pieces of civil silverware of German and Dutch origin is displayed, while, next to the room, we can see a German desk of Taracea 8 made during the second half of the 16th century.

The German school has a series of concrete characteristics within European arts due to the presence of its traditions and its interpretation of religion, something that will be accentuated throughout the Middle Ages. All this, will be intermingled with the techniques of the Renaissance, giving rise to some very peculiar forms and appearances that will evolve towards the 17th century somewhat recharged, but full of imagination and wealth, being already in the XVIII closest to the French taste.

Within this section, we can see in the room “The Child Jesus conquering the Demon, Death and Sin”, a painting by Lucas Cranach “the Elder”, and a “Calvary” attributed to Lucas Cranach “the Younger.” In the German school, the portrait genre will also be developed, especially due to its demand for the bourgeoisie, a class where the main art buyers are framed. Here are some tables that serve as examples, such as “Portrait of Wilhem Lovius” by Johann Hulsman.

As for the Dutch school, we have here a set of works gathered almost completely at the beginning of the 20th century. Thus, sober portraits of the XVII are mixed with others of clear flamenco influence and with some still lifes of fruits, flowers and game.

Among the portraits of the first half of the 17th century, we will see works by painters such as Ludolf de Jongh, Nicolaes Maes and Justus van Egmont. Still life, typical of art schools in Northern Europe and shows a taste for home privacy, is represented by paintings by Jacob Marrell, Coenraet Roepel, Jacobus Linthorst and Cornelis Lelienbergh, among others.

Room 19:
English School from the 17th to 19th centuries
French School from the 13th to the 20th centuries
Another of the peculiarities of the Lázaro Galdiano Museum that attracts the attention of visitors and art lovers who visit it is its English painting collection. This is something totally new in Spain, since there are few galleries that contain samples of this school. The exhibition contains works that span from the 17th to the 19th centuries. For its part, as far as the French school is concerned, it is not limited to pictorial works only, but also to furniture, clocks or porcelain, among other elements.

The English school section collection of these paintings, highly valued by Doña Paula Florido and acquired by Lázaro Galdiano in the Parisian art gallery of Charles Sedelmeyer during the first years of the 20th century, shows us here a good selection of English portraits from the second half of the 18th century, a classic period that will last until about 1790, at which time it will give way to the romantic period, of which there are also some specimens represented in this room.

From the 17th century in English, the museum’s collection has only one painting: the “Portrait of a Lady with Orange” painted by Sir Peter Lely around 1665. The rest is framed between 1750 and 1850, with two genres represented: the Landscape and portrait. From the first, we can see the “Road from East Bergholt to Flatford”, the work of John Constable dated July 9, 1812. As for the portraits, the room has some such as “John Dawes” and “Girl” with dog “, both attributed to George Romney; that of “Mrs. Ferry” by Gilbert Stuart; or “Mrs. Kenrick”, by Sir Joshua Reynolds, among others.

As regards the French school, the room has a large and varied set of works. On the walls, we can see some paintings, such as a “Still Life with Engraving” by Jean-Baptiste Dusillion of 1765, two landscapes, and an “Allegory of the Birth of Infant Carlos Eusebio” attributed to Charles-François Pierre de La Traverse and painted towards the year 1780 to represent the birth of the son of King Carlos IV and his wife María Luisa de Parma.

In addition to the pictorial works, throughout the room and in the central showcase we are shown, among other objects, a set of small bronzes of which the “Bull” attributed to Barthélémy Prieur stands out; the equestrian figure of “Henry IV”; the “Allegory of Empress Eugenie” and the portrait of “Eugenio Luis Bonaparte”, his son, both created from marble models by Jean Baptiste Carpeaux; the allegories of “Summer” and “Autumn”, also made of models of the latter and cast by Jean-Baptiste Lebroc; or the bust of “Hydrangea of Beauharnais”, made in the workshop of François Joseph Bosio.

In the showcase, there are also several medieval and Renaissance enamels; silverware made by artists such as Jean Baptiste Claude Odiot, Antoine Vital Cardeilhac, or Pierre Noel Blanquière; and some porcelain and earthenware, such as a dish that was part of the table service that was made in the Manufacture of Sévres for Prince Charles and Princess Maria Luisa de Parma.

The rest of the room is completed with pieces of French furniture, objects of luxury art and a magnificent and beautiful collection of pocket, table and pendant clocks.

Lázaro Galdiano Museum
The Lázaro Galdiano Museum, in Madrid (Spain), is a state museum of private origin, which houses a wide and heterogeneous collection, formed with encyclopedic interest towards all arts and techniques. This exceptional set, consisting of more than 12,600 pieces, was gathered by the collector and editor José Lázaro Galdiano, who when he died in 1947 bequeathed it to the Spanish State together with his Madrid residence, the headquarters of his publishing house Modern Spain and a library of 20,000 volumes

On display at the Lázaro Galdiano Museum is a large part of the private collection of José Lázaro Galdiano bequeathed to the Spanish State. The Lázaro Galdiano Foundation was established by the government in 1948. As well as administering directing the museum itself, the Foundation manages an important library, an archive, a study room containing prints and drawings and also edits the prestigious arts magazine “Goya”.

The art collection includes an excellent picture gallery, which is essential to the history of Spanish art and within which the work of Francisco de Goya stands out. Important European paintings are also included and are complemented by sculptures and decorative arts, dating from the 6th century BC up to the first half of the 20th century.

The conceptual display on the ground floor offers the key to understanding the collection, its origins and its importance in the history of art, and what is more, to take an aesthetic stroll amongst its most attractive pieces. The first floor is dedicated to Spanish art, the second floor to the European schools. On the third floor, a study gallery has been set up, holding the majority of the pieces from the collection, consisting of some thirteen thousand objects.