El Greco and the modern painting exhibition in El Prado Museum

La visión de san Juan, El Greco.

This year marks throughout Spain the fourth centenary of the death of the Greco, Cretan painter who came to Toledo in 1577 and settled there making the city the cradle in which he developed his most successful work and the time of maximum splendor. El Greco was a reference not only in his time but its influence persisted over time, as a mirror in which the main representatives avant garde of 20th century looked themselves. In the exhibition "El Greco and the Modern Painting" in the Prado Museum until 5 October, we can track the mark left by the painter in the work of Manet, Cezanne, Picasso, Delaunay, Modigliani and the Czech avant-garde.

Composición (La Oración en el huerto), Adriaan Korteweg. 

El Greco's work was rediscovered in the early twentieth century with the first exhibition in the Museo del Prado (1902) and the formation of new collections associated with his paintings of modern artists. In Central Europe, the Greco inspired the expressionism of  Beckmann, Kokoschka or Korteweg and the modern Parisians that played with surrealism.

Evocación. El entierro de Casagemas, Pablo Picasso. 

 

But if there is an outstanding painter clearly influenced by El Greco was Pablo Picasso, whose early drawings and paintings from 1898 show their penchant for the artist from Toledo. This became very intense in his blue period (1901-1904) in which he reelaborated the work Evocation in an original way.  

Mis amigos, Ignacio Zuloaga. 

The assessment of Greco in Spain was very noticeable from the 1890s and reached its peak in the figure of Ignacio Zuloaga who collected many of his works (The Vision of St. John, for example, present in the exhibition ) and then he painted Greco's details on his own pictures as a tribute.  

After II World War, painters turned to the expressive, emotional and gesture, and lyricism of the figures of the Greco inspired the painters of the time.

 
 
Vista emblemática de Toledo, André Masson. 

 

If visual arts arouse emotions in the viewer, and also gastronomy, at its finest, can cause a similar effect, the relationship between both "disciplines" is more than demonstrated.

Cheese is a fundamental piece in gastronomy, its diversity allows it to be part of gastronomy different moments, from starters to desserts, and that is why Art Madrid includes it in this year’s edition of the Fair from an ambitious place. Cheese is given this way a closest view to the creation of a work of art, both from the point of view of the time spent in its execution process and the almost personalized study dedicated to each piece during its elaboration.

Like a plastic artist, the Cheese Master Affineur executes a series of actions making each piece an exclusive and individualized element. This is what Madrid cheese factory QAVA de Quesos and its Master Afinador José Luis Martín achieve.

QAVA & MARTÍN AFINADOR is a new store concept: a unique space designed to taste, learn, promote and buy cheese in Madrid, in the heart of Retiro district."

José Luis Martín is a key piece in the QAVA cheese factory. He has been working in the cheese world for more than 30 years, providing training throughout the world, visiting cheese shops, consulting and advising on the design and implementation of one of the most emblematic cheese shops in Spain. The fact of knowing the producers personally, and even advising them on the manufacture and design of their products, allows him to select specific batches, at different stages of maturation, to complete the cheese ripening and then convert each piece into a unique product, different and with its own distinct character, the signature of the Cheese Master.

In the profile of the Master Martín Afinador experience and pure knowledge merge. Martín Afinador is an advisor and consultant for artisanal cheese factories and product design, and for the best-specialised stores in the country, director of Gourmetquesos, director and coordinator of the Championship of the Best Cheeses in Spain during nine editions, technical director and jury in national and international cheese competitions and tastings, collaborator of the Ministry of Agriculture and the Academy of Spanish Gastronomy, director and coordinator of the cheese section of the Repsol Guide to the Best Foods in Spain and trainer for hospitality schools and food centres teaching, among other activities.

Cheese ripening is a complex process that requires time and dedication, in addition to a developed use of the senses. The Cheese Master Affineur, as a specialist in the field, works in all cheese stages (varied and complex), controls all stages of raw material transformation, supervises the evolution and development of cheeses according to the characteristics of each one of them, verifies the quality and the state when the cheeses arrive at their cellars, checks their care and conservation, and; finally, he controls its packaging and the type of wrapping suitable for its best preservation.

In Qava de Quesos they have two Cheese Refining Cellars. In these "tuning caves" or refrigerated chambers designed in constant conditions of temperature, humidity and ventilation, "we take great care of the cheeses until they reach their optimum point of consumption". The work of refining involves placing the cheeses on wooden shelves, turning them over daily and/or washing them frequently, brushing them periodically, as well as other regular handlings.

Among the services offered by Qava de Quesos, we can find specific courses and workshops, events for groups and companies, and advice on shop design and ripening rooms.