Alfonso Pérez Sánchez Passes Away

20/8/10 – Obituary – Alfonso E. Pérez Sánchez, born in 1935 in Cartagena (Spain), held a degree in Philosophy and Humanities as well as a doctorate in Art History, film major, obtained in 1965 ; before that he taught in his country as well as in Germany until joining the Museo del Prado in 1961. He continued his specialization with a major in Modern and Contemporary Art in 1967 from the Universidad Complutense in Madrid and held the chair in Art History at the Universidad Autonoma of Madrid where he also acted as vice-rector until finally returning to teach at the Complutense.

Pérez Sanchez was appointed Associate Director at the Museo del Prado in 1971 where he remained for ten years before resigning following a disagreement with the Director ; in 1983 he replaced Sopena as the head of the Museo del Prado for eight years but was asked to leave after criticizing Spain’s foreign policy during the Gulf War. During his “reign”, he reorganized the national collections and prepared many scholarly exhibitions, notably the memorable and very successful Velazquez retrospective (1990). A member of the selection jury for the “Principe de Asturias de las Artes”Award in 1991, he was appointed Honorary Director of the Prado as a tribute for his “exceptional service” while head of the museum and a member of the Real Patronato. The museum in Madrid published a magnificent book of homage in his honor in 2007.

The author of an extensive list of works, articles and studies, a curator of many international exhibitions for which he wrote or directed the critical catalogues, Alfonso Pérez Sanchez was considered an eminent specialist in Art History, acclaimed worldwide notably for his knowledge of Italian Baroque art and the Spanish Golden Age. A scientific advisor for the Fundacion Fondo de Cultura in Seville and for his six recently published volumes on the Museo del Prado, he was elected in 1997 to the Royal Academy of History and a year later to the prestigious Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando. Despite a long and debilitating illness, he continued to write and organize exhibitions with the help of his student Professor Benito Navarrete who accompanied him until he passed away in Madrid on August 14th.

He had often been decorated both in Spain and abroad, was a Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur and Commandeur de l’Ordre des Arts et des lettres in France, a scholar of international repute, scientific advisor for both Spanish and foreign art journals and a corresponding member of the Hispanic Society in New York.

Odile Delenda, vendredi 20 août 2010

imprimer Print this article

Previous article in News Items : Some photograph databases

Next article in News Items : Guardi and Dyce, two paintings acquired by the National Museum of Wales in Cardiff