The aim of the present exhibition is to trace the movement of works of art, ideas and artists in the Mediterranean region in the fifteenth century. The first third of that century saw the abandonment of Gothic modes and the dissemination of new artistic theories and forms which were developed in the Netherlands and Northern Italy. More than one hundred paintings and objects have been brought together here with the aim of examining the routes by which these new ideas were spread, the artists involved in this process and the centres where they developed. The exhibition will make it possible to examine some key works in the development of the Renaissance figurative idiom within the cultural context in which they were created. In addition, it will bring together paintings which have been separated for many years, such as Rogier van der Weyden's Saint George from the National Gallery, Washington, and his Virgin and Child from the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum.

This concept of artistic, aesthetic and cultural exchange has determined the choice of works included in the exhibition, and special attention has been paid to the movement of the artists who created them, to the techniques they deployed, to the function and purpose of the works, and to the means by which they moved around. The paintings and objects on show reflect this process of the diffusion of ideas, of technical and scientific knowledge, and of literary and artistic preferences.

The exhibition is structured into three sections that interconnect with three periods of artistic development in the fifteenth century. The survey opens with the section entitled A Cosmopolitan Mediterranean, spanning the years 1390 to 1440. The first rooms feature works in the International Gothic style, and include a survey of French art and its relations with the Germanic world and the Low Countries, emphasising the prevailing importance of Italian art at that time. Among the works included are paintings by Gonçal Peris, Gherardo Starnina, Miguel Alcañiz, Bernat Martorell, Alvaro Pirez and miniatures by the Master of Boucicaut. The exhibition continues with a central section entitled A Bi-polar Mediterranean, spanning the period 1440 to 1460. Works on display reflect the prevailing influences of Flemish naturalism on the one hand, and Italian innovations in the field of perspective on the other. These two approaches took hold in the Low Countries, led by the city of Bruges, and in a cluster of southern centres such as Barcelona, Valencia, Avignon, Nice-Marseilles, Genoa, Naples and Messina. Another issue analysed here is the dissemination and influence of Flemish modes in the Iberian Peninsula and North and South Italy. Among the artists featured are Robert Campin, Rogier van der Weyden, Jan van Eyck, Petrus Christus, Hans Witz, Joan Rexach, Barthélémy d'Eyck, Colantonio, Antonello da Messina and Donato de Bardi. Miniature painters include the Maestro de Peire Roig de Corella and Jean Fouquet. The third section of the exhibition, Artistic Centres and Regions of Southern Europe, covers the years 1460 to 1500 and examines the Italian concept of space, the Franco-Flemish contribution to Italian art and the arrival of Northern artists in Italy. Artists included in this section are: Jaume Huguet, Bartolomé Bermejo, Pablo de San Leocadio, Juan de Flandes, Pintoricchio and Aine Bru. Also included are illuminated manuscripts by Jean Bourdichon and various anonymous masters such as that of the Missal of Domenico della Rovere from Turin.

The exhibition has benefited from major international loans from some of the world's most important museums, institutions and private collections such as the Metropolitan Museum, New York, the National Gallery of Art, Washington, the Musée du Louvre, the Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence, the British Library, London, the Bibliothèque National, Paris, the Pierpont Morgan Library, New York, and the Borromeo Collection.

Rogier van der Weyden, Saint George, ca.1430-1432. Oil on panel. 14.3 x 10.5cm. Washington, National Gallery of Art (Ailsa Mellon Bruce Fund)Jan van Eyck, Saint Francis receiving the Stigmata, ca.1432. Oil on panel. 29.2 x 33.4cm. Turin, Galleria SabaudaPetrus Christus, Saint John the Baptist in the Desert, ca.1440-1445. Oil on panel. 40 x 12.5cm. Cleveland, The Cleveland Museum of ArtHans Witz, The Pietà, ca.1440. Oil on panel. 33.3 x 44.4cm. New York, The Frick Collection
Antonello da Messina, The Crucifixion, ca.1450-1455. Oil on panel. Bucharest, Muzeul National de Arta al RomânieiFrancesco Laurana, Female Bust, ca.1484-1496. Marble. 43 x 42 x 18.5cm. Paris, Musée du LouvreAnonymous, The Annunciation in Book of Hours, ca. 1460. Parchment. 172 x120 mm. Los Ángeles, The J. Paul Getty Museum.  


Title: The Renaissance Mediterranean. The movements of artists and works of art between Italy, France and Spain in the XV Century.
Dates: 31 January to 6 May 2001.
Organisor: The Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum and The Consorci de Museus de la Comunitat Valenciana.
Sponsored by: CAM (Caja de Ahorros del Mediterráneo)
Curator: Mauro Natale.
Co-ordination: Mar Borobia, Curator of Old Paintings of the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum.
Venue: Temporary Exhibition Rooms. Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum.
Opening times: Tuesday to Sunday from 10.00 to 19.00. Ticket office closes at 18.30. Open all day Sundays.
Closed Mondays.
Entrance charges: Temporary Exhibition: 600 ptas; Reduced price: 400 ptas (students and visitors aged over 65 with proof of status) Temporary Exhibition and Permanent Collection: 1100 ptas; Reduced price: 600 ptas (students and visitors aged over 65 with proof of status).