On the occasion of the celebration of the two hundred years since the inauguration of the Museo Nacional del Prado, this project was developed within the framework of the Bourbon policy of creating cultural institutions, including, of course, within "the cultural" not only the artistic but a wide range of scientific disciplines that at the time were considered instruments for the redirection and redefinition of the Monarchy, the nation and capital. The idea of materializing this revision of the Prado Museum within the coordinates of the Enlightenment arose from the Spanish Society for 18th Century Studies and was carried out in collaboration with it.
In the works that complete the project, by renowned historians of diverse backgrounds, the political-social situation around 1819 is addressed, the building in its constructive and symbolic aspects and as a space in principle dedicated to welcoming scientific institutions that finally becomes a painting museum, without forgetting the urban environment that determines and prescribes it. The reader will also find the framework or the museographic models that worked at the time of thinking about the Prado and inaugurating it, showing that the Monarchy shared many of the lines of force and action, as well as limitations in its scope, which were at the time in Europe. The pages of the book also address the way in which the Spanish school was vindicated from its origins. Objective and beginning that would lead over time to turn the Museum into an icon of national culture: Cervantes's Don Quixote and the Prado are surely the "best-known cultural institutions" in the world and that identify or relate better to Spain.
In the same way, the role of the public in the formation of the Museum is studied, as well as that played by the institution in shaping a field of work and recognition of the arts in public opinion. If one thinks that Bourbon politics was directed to creating spaces that would give an account of the history and national heritage in the different fields of knowledge, and that generally those institutions were open to citizens, attention to the public is fundamental, since it is to him that this effort must reach, without forgetting the usual propaganda character that every government initiative entails. Finally, the political functionality of the museum is explicit and studied in several works -in fact, it flies over all the texts-, as well as its relationship with the Museum of the Trinity and its different profiles. Today it is a museum of ancient and modern painting, but not contemporary, a production that for many years could be contemplated, with the political and aesthetic implication that this meant by promoting from the institution a taste, some themes and some painters compared to others.
Authors of the works:
Joaquín Álvarez Barrientos - Itziar Arana Cobos - Leticia Azcue Brea - María Bolaños - Juan Carrete Parrondo - Miriam Cera Brea - Daniel Crespo Delgado - Adrián Fernández Almoguera - David García Lopez - Pierre Géal - Javier Jordán de Urriés y de la Colina - Pedro J. Martínez Plaza - Álvaro Molina - Juan Pimentel - Javier Portús - Carlos Sambricio- Raquél Sánchez - María Dolóres Sánchez Jáuregui - Eva Velasco Moreno. Printed in 2020.