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Soumaya Museum CDMX
The Soumaya Museum houses a collection that displays over thirty centuries of universal culture and history; it is one of the newest additions to the urban landscape of Mexico City.
An emblematic and unmistakable building in the northeastern part of Mexico City, in Plaza Carso, close to the fashionable Polanco neighborhood.
About the Soumaya Museum
The Soumaya museum opened in 2011 and intended as a private museum to hold the art collection of the Carlos Slim Foundation. The museum named after Mr. Slim’s late wife, Soumaya, who passed away in 1999. She inspired him to build the Soumaya Museum, designed and built to honor artists and creativity; so the Mexican people as well as international visitors could get to know the most important works of art from around the world, and particularly those from Mexico.
Soumaya Museum, a crooked silver cube
The building designed by architect Fernando Romero; with engineering advice from Ove Arup and architect Frank Gehry; was from the start intended to become an urban icon of Mexico City. Its construction overcame important technical and aesthetic challenges; the result is a six-story cube-shaped structure that starts twisting upon itself from the base up.
The windowless, sculptural building has no supporting columns and a semitransparent roof. Its facades covered by hexagonal mirror-like aluminum plates; that don’t meet each other and seem, from a distance, to float.
There is only one entrance way to the Soumaya museum building. It has an elevator to allow you to comfortably begin your tour from the starting point of your choosing. There is also an exposed spiraled platform or walkway around the inside of the walls; providing another way to reach whichever story holds the collections you wish to see.
Soumaya Museum Collections
You should start your tour on the sixth floor of the museum; in the “Julián and Linda Slim Gallery”. There you will find the fabulous collection The Age of Rodin, containing pieces by Auguste Rodin and; Camille Claudel, his love interest, model and muse for many years. It is the most important Rodin private collection in the world, and the biggest one outside of France.
Room 5. Temporary Exhibits: Venice Collection, Soumaya Museum
This room has works by Giovanni Antonio Canal, known as Canaletto; who initiated the Italian branch of the vedutisti (from the Italian for “view”); a pictorial genre focused on detailed and often large representations of urban views and landscapes of Venice.
In the eighteenth century Canaletto’s followers, such as Michele Marieschi, Francesco Zanin, Giuseppe Bernardino Bison, Francesco Guardi and his brother Giacomo Guardi, rendered in meticulous detail the different architectural styles of the buildings surrounding Venice’s Grand Canal.
Prints by the German engraver Martin Engelbrecht, examples of the beginning of the verduta pictorial genre, can also be seen.
The Veneto region of Italy, the capital of which is Venice, also inspired the impressionist painters Henry Woods and Pierre Vignal; as well as avant-garde artists such as Giorgio de Chirico, Jean Dufy and the surrealist Salvador Dali.
Room 4. Permanent Exhibit: “Impressionism and the Avant-garde movements”.
This collection made up of the works of painters whose art triggered a stylistic change in painting from works characterized by details; to those characterized by the portrayal of the effects of light. This collection has works by Millet, Camille and Courbet,as well as works of the Impressionists Monet, Pissarro, Renoir and Degas, and; late-nineteenth-century portraits and landscapes by Vincent van Gogh and Henri Toulouse-Lautrec.
There are also paintings from the period that followed, including works by Paul Signac and Maximilien Luce, Post-Impressionists like Gustave Loiseau and Hughes-Claude Pissarro, and; Fauves (French for “the wild beasts”) — Fauvism was the first twentieth-century movement in modern art — such as Georges Rouault, Raoul Dufy and Maurice de Vlaminck. This collection also includes works by Pablo Picasso, Giorgio de Chirico and surrealists such as Max Ernst, Salvador Dalí and Joan Miró.
In accordance with that time, nineteenth-century female artists such as Marie Laurencin, Mary Cassatt, Eva González, Berthe Morisot and Virginie Demon-Breton; produced works depicting domestic scenes of women at home and in gardens.
Room 3. Permanent Collection: European Old Masters and Old Masters of New Spain
European Old Masters
This collection includes works of the Spanish, Italian, German, Flemish and French schools from the fifteenth to the eighteenth centuries.
Italian Painting School
Artists featured here include Alessandro di Mariano di Vanni Filipepi (Sandro Botticelli), Pseudo-Pier Francesco Fiorentino, Bernardino di Beto, known as Pinturicchio, Filippino Lippi, members of Leonardo da Vinci’s workshop, Bernardino Luini, Giorgio Vasari, Giulio Pippi, Aurelio Luini, Giovanni Antonio Bazzi (Il Sodoma), Andrea del Sarto, Michele Tosini – also known as Michele di Rodolfo and Michele del Ghirlandaio –Tintoretto (born Jacopo Robusti) Tiziano Vecellio, Paolo Caliari, known as Veronese, Artemisia Gentileschi, Francesco Bassano the Younger, Giacomo and his brother Francesco Guardi.
Spanish Painting School
Works by Juan de Flandes, who worked in the court of Queen Isabella of Castile and; Leon, Bartolomé Esteban Murillo, Doménikos Theotokópoulos (El Greco), Jusepe de Ribera (Lo Spagnoletto), Alonso Sánchez Coello, Jan Kraeck, Francisco Zurbarán, Bernardo Llorente Germán, and Francisco Bayeu y Subías are all on display here.
Flemish Painting School
Featured here are pieces by Lucas Gassel, Marten de Vos, Herri met de Bles, Pieter Brueghel the Younger, Pieter Baltens, Peter Paul Rubens, Anthony van Dyck, Frans Hals, Jacob Marrell, and Jan Wyck, among others.
German and French Painting Schools
From the German school are paintings by Lucas Cranach the Elder, Lucas Cranach the Younger, and Daniel Gran.
On show from the French school are works by artists such as Trophime Bigot, Claude-Joseph Vernet and his workshop, Claude Michel, known as Clodion, Jean-Honoré Fragonard, and Gustave Doré.
Old Masters of New Spain
Works of Miguel Cabrera, Juan Correa, Nicolás Enríquez, José de Páez and Cristóbal de Villalpando; show the cultural synthesis inherited by independent Mexico.
Mexican Portraiture of the Nineteenth Century
Nineteenth-century painters from the San Carlos Academy such as Pelegrín Clave, Felipe Santiago Gutiérrez and Juan Cordero exhibited here, as well as regional artists such as José María Estrada and the popular portraitist Hermenegildo Bustos. There are also works of the Muerte Niña genre, portraying children who died as infants, “little angels.”
Landscape of Independent Mexico
Paintings by European artists such as Daniel Thomas Egerton (English), Conrad Wise Chapman (American), Jean-Baptiste Louis (French), Baron Gros (French) and Johann Moritz Rugendas (German); well-informed artists who depicted Mexico’s landscape during their travels there between 1825 and 1860. Painters from the Mexican school who influenced landscape artists, such as Eugenio Landesio, Luis Coto y Maldonado and, of course, José María Velasco, are also on view.
Twentieth-Century Mexican Art
The influences of the European avant-garde and post-revolutionary attitudes within Mexican society are clear in works by Gerardo Murillo, a landscape and volcano painter who signed his pieces Dr. Atl, and in the work of the muralist Diego Rivera, José Clemente Orozco and David Alfaro Siqueiros.
David Alfaro Siqueiros.