The Metropolitan Museum of Art to Present Landmark Exhibition, 'Manet/Velázquez: The French Taste for Spanish Painting,' in Spring 2003

Accenture to Develop Advanced Web Site Capabilities and Underwrite Sponsorship

NEW YORK; Sept. 19, 2002 The Metropolitan Museum of Art announced today that it will present Manet/Velázquez: The French Taste for Spanish Painting – the first major exhibition ever to examine the impact of 17th-century Spanish painting on later French artists – from March 4 to June 8, 2003. Accenture, one of the world’s leading management consulting and technology services organizations, will sponsor the exhibition.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art and Accenture announced at a news conference at the Museum today that the two organizations are in the process of developing a new interactive approach that will expand the impact and reach of the exhibition on the Museum’s Web site in ways never enjoyed before. For example, the site will provide comparative tools, timeline overlays, biographical information and chronological capabilities that will enable viewers to manipulate components of the exhibit in almost endless combinations. Its goal is to add a greatly expanded and enhanced interactive component to this extraordinary exhibition of works by some of the greatest masters of Western painting – Velázquez, Murillo, Ribera, Courbet, Manet, Degas, Sargent, Cassatt, and Whistler, among others — and usher in a new tool for discovery in the world of art.

In announcing the exhibition and Accenture’s sponsorship, Mr. de Montebello noted: "We at the Metropolitan are delighted to welcome Accenture to this exciting project, and we are most gratified by their pledge of both financial and technological support for the exhibition and its innovative feature on the Museum’s Web site. Manet/Velázquez: The French Taste for Spanish Painting promises to be a revelatory exhibition, spanning centuries of artistic excellence and highlighting the transfer and exchange of ideas from one culture to another. With Accenture’s generous support, this rich artistic legacy will reach an ever widening audience who may first encounter these surpassing works of art either with a visit to the galleries or over the Internet."

Joe W. Forehand, Accenture chairman and CEO, said, "As a benefactor of the arts, Accenture is proud to sponsor the Manet/Velázquez exhibition, and to help make this extraordinary event possible," said Mr. Forehand. "As a technology innovator, we are also excited to assist the Met with its ambitious Web design initiatives, which will extend the exhibition beyond the galleries of the Met, allowing people all over the world to view the Manet/Velázquez exhibition.”

Manet/Velázquez: The French Taste for Spanish Painting will offer an extraordinarily rich look at one of the most pivotal epochs in Western art, when French artists of the 19th century shifted their focus from the idealism of Italian Renaissance art and embraced the naturalism of Spanish Baroque painting, setting the course for many of the greatest achievements of French Realism, Impressionism, and Post-Impressionism. It will include approximately 150 paintings by the masters of Spain’s Golden Age — Velázquez, Murillo, Ribera, El Greco, and Zurbarán — and the 19th-century French artists they influenced, among them Delacroix, Courbet, Millet, Degas, and, most notably, Manet, whose Spanish paintings form the core of the exhibition. Works by American artists such as Sargent, Eakins, Whistler and Cassatt, who studied in France but learned to paint like Spaniards, will also be included in the Metropolitan’s presentation.

Prior to the 19th century, Spanish art had been virtually ignored in France and was thus poorly represented in French collections. This changed with Napoleon’s Spanish campaigns (1808–14), which marked a turning point in the French perception of Spanish painting, as the Emperor in Paris sought to obtain key works from every corner of Europe. Just a few decades later, in 1838, King Louis Philippe inaugurated the Galerie Espagnole at the Louvre, placing on view his extraordinary collection of hundreds of Spanish paintings. Although this collection was sold in 1853, these paintings left an indelible impression in France. In subsequent years, the works of the Spanish masters became increasingly familiar to Parisians as the Louvre acquired more Spanish paintings and artists traveled to Madrid to study the masterpieces at the Prado. By the 1860s, the French taste for Spanish painting was perceptible at each Paris Salon.

Manet/Velázquez will feature major works – many of which have rarely been lent to exhibitions – from the Museo del Prado in Madrid, the Musée d’Orsay and Musée du Louvre in Paris, and public and private collections from across Europe and North America. Among the highlights will be Velázquez’s Count-Duke of Olivares (1622-27, Hispanic Society of America, New York) and The Buffoon Pablo de Valladolid(ca. 1636-37, Museo del Prado), Zurbarán’s Saint Francis in Meditation (ca. 1635-40, National Gallery, London), Ribera’s The Clubfooted Boy (1642, Musée du Louvre), Murillo’s Immaculate Conception of the Venerables (1660-65, Museo del Prado), and Goya’s Bullfight Scene: "Suerte de Varas" (1824, The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles).

Works by French artists include Delacroix’s Saint Catherine, after Zurbarán (1824, Musée des Beaux-Arts de Béziers), Courbet’s La Signora Adela Guerrero, Spanish Dancer (1851, Musées royaux des Beaux-Arts de Belgique), Degas’s Thérèse De Gas (ca. 1863, Musée d’Orsay), and Renoir’s Romaine Lacaux (1864, The Cleveland Museum of Art). Of the more than 30 Manets in the exhibition are many of the artist’s acclaimed "Spanish" pictures, including The Spanish Ballet (1862, The Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C.), Mlle V… in the Costume of an Espada (1862, Metropolitan Museum of Art), The Dead Toreador (1864, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.), and The Balcony (1868-69, Musée d’Orsay).

American artists who went to Paris to study in the 19th century also succumbed to the allure of Spanish art, and the exhibition at the Metropolitan will include Sargent’s copies after Velázquez and El Greco as well as such iconic images as Dr. Pozzi at Home (1881, U.C.L.A. Hammer Museum), The Daughters of Edward Darley Boit (1882, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston), and the Metropolitan’s own Madame X (Madame Gautreau, née Virginie Avegno) of 1882. Mary Cassatt, William Merritt Chase, Thomas Eakins and James Abbott McNeill Whistler are also represented by multiple works in the exhibition.

Manet/Velázquez: The French Taste for Spanish Painting will be accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue, to include essays by the organizing curators and by several notable scholars of this period.

The exhibition was organized by The Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Réunion des Musées Nationaux/Musée d’Orsay. The exhibition was conceived by Gary Tinterow, Engelhard Curator of 19th-Century European Painting at the Metropolitan Museum, and organized by him and Genevieve Lacambre, Honorary Curator in Chief of the Musée d’Orsay, Paris, with the assistance of Deborah Roldán, Research Assistant in the Department of European Paintings at The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Accenture, the proud sponsor of Manet/Velázquez: The French Taste for Spanish Painting, is the world’s leading management consulting and technology services organization. Through its network of businesses approach, in which the company enhances its consulting and outsourcing expertise through alliances, affiliated companies and other capabilities, Accenture delivers innovations that help clients across all industries quickly realize their visions. With approximately 75,000 people in 47 countries, the company generated net revenues of $11.44 billion for the fiscal year ended August 31, 2001. Its home page is


Darienne L. Dennis

+44 (0) 776-433-9792
+1(917) 452 7760

Lisa Gordon-Miller

+1 (212) 614 4406