Exposition : « Versos. The Hidden Side », Madrid, Museo Nacional del Prado, 7 novembre 2023-3 mars 2024

The B-side of the pictorial support, whether panel, fabric, metal or stone, is a private, intimate space. In the late Middle Ages and the Renaissance the functions of some types of paintings entailed their transport and handling, as a consequence of which they became three-dimensional and object-like, as seen in various examples in the exhibition. However, the vast majority of paintings produced at that date and particularly in subsequent periods were hung on the wall. Only the artist, and to a lesser degree the collector, knew the secrets hidden on the reverse, which were concealed from the eyes of the public. In the present day, research on museum collections, which includes complete photographic documentation, and restoration projects that encompass the supports of paintings (an aspect in which the Museo Nacional del Prado has undertaken exemplary work) have contributed to revealing the depictions, messages, artistic experiments and data to be found on the reverse of paintings, or what could be termed their neglected side.

By turning the paintings over, thus disrupting their conventional frontality, and by obliging viewers to move around them and assume a more active role, the exhibition encourages us to adopt creative attitudes and to enjoy contemplative experiences of a contemporary nature.

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Camille Dugast (2023, 7 novembre). Exposition : « Versos. The Hidden Side », Madrid, Museo Nacional del Prado, 7 novembre 2023-3 mars 2024. Centre d'Histoire de l'Art de la Renaissance. Consulté le 2 mars 2024, à l’adresse https://doi.org/10.58079/mpbr

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