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Zurbarán Paintings To Be Exhibited in USA

1 August 2016

Six religious paintings believed to have once been destined for the New World but never delivered, have finally set off on their transatlantic journey 370 years late.

Joseph, Naphtali, Asher, Dan, Levi and Reuben, have hung alongside their father Jacob and six other brothers in Auckland Castle’s Long Dining Room for 260 years.

But now, the life-size portraits created by the Spanish Golden Age master Francisco de Zurbarán in the 1640s, are taking an 18 month break to the United States.

Reproductions of the paintings will hang in the Long Dining Room at Auckland Castle alongside the remaining works of Jacob, Simeon, Judah, Zebulun, Issachar, Benjamin, and Gad, until the end of September when the Castle will close for a multi-million pound refurbishment.

The remaining seven portraits will themselves then be removed and head to the United States in October – only the third time the whole series has left the Castle since 1756.

While in the US the centuries old paintings will be the focus of an in-depth technical and art historical study at the Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth, Texas, where infrared reflectography, ultra-violet light, X-radiography, and pigment analysis, will all be used to unlock the hidden history of their artistic creation for the first time.

They will then be exhibited at both The Meadows Museum in Dallas, Texas (17 September, 2017-7 January, 2018) and The Frick Collection in New York (31 January – 22 April, 2018), before returning to Auckland Castle in May 2018.

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