The five Spanish drawings from the 17th and 18th centuries join the museum’s growing collection of Spanish art, along with a modernist terracotta sculpture also from Spain.
Chief among the works on paper is The Death of Mary Magdalene (c.1645-50) by Alonso Cano (1601-67), a painter and architect who studied alongside Diego Velázquez and is known for his work at Granada Cathedral. The pen and ink drawing measures 3 ½ x 7 ½ in (9 x 19cm) and depicts the Magdalene recumbent on a bed with two small angels above her. About 120 of Cano’s drawings are known, most of which are held at Spanish institutions.
Mark Roglán, the Linda P. and William A. Custard director of the Meadows Museum said: “We are looking forward to the scholarship that will result from studying these newly acquired works alongside those already in our collection . It is important to have a drawing by Alonso Cano, one of the Golden Age’s masters of the Spanish School and a colleague of Velázquez, in addition to the Cano painting already in the collection.”
The other drawings are Bearded Head in Half Profile by Francisco de Herrera the Elder (c.1590-1654), a sculptural study by Pedro Duque Cornejo (1678-1757), an engraved ornament study by José Camarón Bonant (1731-1803) and Portrait of Christopher Columbus, 1793, by Mariano Salvador Maella (1739-1819).
Roglán added: “The significant addition of the other four sheets to our Spanish drawings collection—including a beautifully rendered head by Francisco de Herrera the Elder—is likely to spur new research and perhaps even result in publications and exhibitions that further deepen our understanding of Spanish draftsmanship.”
The sculpture, A Baby Rolling Over by Agustín Querol y Subirats (1864-1909), is the first example of 19th century sculpture at the Meadows. It was donated by Michael P Mezzatesta, a noted art historian and director of the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University.
The Meadows Museum opened as part of Southern Methodist University in 1965 with a donation from Algur H Meadows who hoped to create “a small Prado for Texas”. Its collection features art and objects from the 10th-21st century.