Seeking to breathe new life into Madrid’s Prado museum after the long months of the pandemic, curators have overhauled the collection to display more works by female artists and better reflect the variety of 19th-century art.
After recent acquisitions of paintings and miniatures, the museum now boasts works by 13 female painters out of a total of 130 artists.
There are now seven rooms with works by women such as Marcela de Valencia and Maria Blanchard, the museum’s head of 19th-century painting conservation, Javier Baron said.
Leticia Ascuebrea, head of conservation for sculpture and decorative arts, said each work had to earn its place.
“The museum is very rigorous, if there is a woman there it is because she deserves it,” she said.
Last October, the museum withdrew a 19th-century canvas from a temporary exhibition of female artists after an art sleuth dicovered it was actually painted by a man.
The Prado purchased new works with the help of a legacy from Carmen Sanchez Garcia, who left much of her estate for the acquisition and restoration of paintings when she died in 2016.
It has also started exhibiting the work of great masters like Francisco Goya alongside their peers to highlight their originality and show connections to the art of their time, Baron said.