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Milwaukee Art Museum

14 / 25 Milwaukee Art Museum, 700 N Art Museum Dr, Milwaukee, WI 53202

Milwaukee Art Museum

Housed in iconic buildings by Santiago Calatrava, Eero Saarinen, and David Kahler on a 24-acre lakefront campus, the Milwaukee Art Museum is Wisconsin’s largest art institution. The collection comprises over 32,000 works, including American painting, sculpture, and decorative arts; conceptual and minimalist art; prints and drawings; European art from the Renaissance through the nineteenth century; and photography and new media.

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Spanish collection

The following 2 Spanish artworks are a selection from the collection of the Milwaukee Art Museum:

Saint Francis of Assisi in His Tomb

by Francisco de Zurbarán, 1630–1634

Medium
Oil on canvas
Dimensions
80 5/8 × 44 5/8 in (204.79 × 113.35 cm)
Credits
Milwaukee Art Museum, Purchase M1958.70. Photo by John R. Glembin
Notes
This somber, haunting image of the ascetic Saint Francis typifies the work of one of Spain’s most important Golden Age painters. As is characteristic, Zurbarán depicted the saint alone, in a dark, featureless space, and lit his humble, homespun monk’s robe with dramatic, raking light that also catches on the upturned skull he holds as well as his left foot, which seems to stride into the viewer’s space. Saint Francis was of particular significance to Spain’s monastic communities, which were deeply impacted by the Counter-Reformation. This work was commissioned for Don Gaspar de Guzmán, Count-Duke of Olivares, who was a high-ranking nobleman, close advisor of King Philip IV, and ultimately Prime Minister of Spain (1621–1643).

17th century

Drawing in the Sand

by Joaquín Sorolla y Bastida, circa 1911

Medium
Oil on canvas
Dimensions
21 × 25 1/4 in (53.34 × 64.14 cm)
Credits
Milwaukee Art Museum, Gift of the Samuel O. Buckner Collection M1919.30. Photo by Larry Sanders
Notes
Although sometimes associated with the Impressionist and Symbolists who painted at the same time, Sorolla remained independent of a specific art movement. At the same time, he created some of the most modern paintings of the early 20th century. A 1909 solo show in New York featured 356 of his paintings and introduced him to an American audience. Touted as “the Spanish painter of sunlight and color” by the New York Times, 169,000 visitors attended the show in about a month. He was soon given a commission for a series of murals celebrating traditional life in Spain for the Hispanic Society of America, which he painted between 1911 and 1919. Milwaukee was at the forefront of Sorolla’s popularity in America. “Drawing in the Sand” was a gift to the Milwaukee Art Institute in 1911 from its early president, Samuel O. Buckner (Catherine Sawinski, Assistant Curator of European Art)

20th century