Marjorie Trusted (Victoria and Albert Museum)

Birkbeck Arts Week, Tuesday, 15 May 2012, 6.00 to 7.30pm, Room 101, Clore Management Centre, 25-27 Torrington Square, London WC1

In 1936 Picasso was appointed Director of the Museo del Prado. He was living in Paris at the time, and in fact was never to return to Spain after his visit of 1934, because of his disgust with the Franco régime, though he retained his Spanish nationality throughout his life. But there is no doubt that, questions of politics aside, the paintings in the Prado, above all those of Velázquez, provided Picasso with an infinite body of inspiration during his entire career. In this seminar, Marjorie Trusted examines the relationship between two great Spanish artists, Velázquez and Picasso, focusing on the 20th-century master’s interaction with Las Meninas (1656). She will look at the nature of one painter being inspired by another, what this means in terms of notions of originality and painters’ practices, and the idea of the artist as outsider. Perhaps most complex of all, she shall try to discuss the concept of Spanishness, national identity, as seen through the art of both Velázquez and Picasso.

Dr Marjorie Trusted FSA is Senior Curator of Sculpture at the Victoria and Albert Museum, where she has been based since 1979. She has published widely on sculpture, and on Spanish and Latin American art; her book, The Arts of Spain: Iberia and Latin America 1450-1700, appeared in 2007, and the study she co-wrote with Giuseppe Schembri Bonaci on Velazquez and Picasso’s Las Meninas was published in 2010. She is currently completing a catalogue of the baroque and later ivories at the V&A, and is lead curator on the renovation of the V&A’s Cast Courts.