CEEH Centro de Estudios Europa Hispánica

Zurbarán. Jacob and His Twelve Sons. Paintings from Auckland Castle


Susan Grace Galassi, Edward Payne, Mark A. Roglán (eds.)


224 pages; 190 color illustrations; hardcover with jacket; 23.5 x 28 cm


English; published by CEEH, CSA, the Meadows MuseumThe Frick Collection  and the Auckland Castle Trust; 2017





Francisco de Zurbarán (1598‒1664) spent most of his artistic career in Seville, where he produced a series of thirteen life-sized characters from Genesis: Jacob and His Twelve Sons. Although it may have been a commission for the Americas, the series was auctioned in England in the mid-eighteenth century in the sale of a Jewish merchant called Benjamin Mandez. Richard Trevor, the bishop of Durham, bought twelve of the thirteen pictures and commissioned a copy of Benjamin (now in the collection of Lord Willoughby of Eresby’s descendants). He hung the series in Auckland Castle to assert the need for tolerance and social, political and religious understanding between Christians and Jews in Britain.

In this catalogue, which accompanies the exhibition held in Dallas, New York, and Jerusalem, various specialists analyse the series from a historical, religious, artistic and technical viewpoint, offering substantial new findings on the iconography of the twelve tribes of Israel and on Zurbarán’s visual sources and artistic practices. The result is the most exhaustive scholarly contribution to date on one of the master’s most ambitious series.

Susan Grace Galassi received her PhD from the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University, and began her career at The Frick Collection, where she is currently senior curator. She has initiated and coordinated numerous traveling exhibitions: Whistler, Women, and Fashion (2003, with M. MacDonald and A. Ribeiro), El Greco: Themes and Variations (2001, with J. Brown), Goya’s Last Works (2006, also with J. Brown) or Picasso’s Drawings 1890–1921: Reinventing Tradition (2011, with M. McCully). A specialist in nineteenth- and twentieth-century art, she is the author of Picasso’s Variations on the Masters, Confrontations with the Past (1996), and a contributor to numerous publications on the artist.

Edward Payne is the Senior Curator of Spanish Art at the Auckland Castle Trust and an Honorary Fellow at Durham University. He previously served as the inaugural Meadows/Mellon/Prado Curatorial Fellow at the Meadows Museum, and as the Moore Curatorial Fellow in Drawings and Prints at the Morgan Library & Museum. At the Morgan, Payne organised Visions and Nightmares: Four Centuries of Spanish Drawings (2014), and he was a contributor to the Courtauld Gallery’s exhibition catalogue Goya: The Witches and Old Women Album (2015). Payne also contributed to the catalogue raisonné of Ribera’s drawings (2016), and he curated Between Heaven and Hell: The Drawings of Jusepe de Ribera (2017). With Xavier Bray, Payne is co-curating Ribera: The Art of Violence at the Dulwich Picture Gallery (2018–19).

Mark A. Roglan is the Director of the Meadows Museum and Centennial Chair in the Meadows School of the Arts at Southern Methodist University. He has contributed to many publications in the field of nineteenth- and twentieth-century Spanish art, and has curated important exhibitions. Prior to his tenure in Dallas he worked as a curatorial fellow and a research associate in the Museo del Prado and served as assistant with the Fogg Museum at Harvard University. Among other distinctions and awards, he holds the Encomienda de la Orden de Isabel la Católica, a knighthood sanctioned by King Juan Carlos I for his contributions to Spanish art.