2016 marks the fourth centenary of the death of Miguel de Cervantes. The Biblioteca Nacional de España and AC/E are organising a major exhibition on Cervantes, one of the most universal Spanish men and writers.
The show (Miguel de Cervantes: from life to myth) examines the figure of Cervantes from two complementary perspectives: on the one hand, the man and his period, through documents and everyday objects of the Golden Age; and on the other hand, the myth embodied by Spanish language and identity, in close symbiosis with its most famous character, Don Quixote.
The exhibition is divided into three sections. The first analyses Miguel de Cervantes the man, the second displays images of his face and how it was depicted, and the third examines the myth called Miguel de Cervantes.
The exhibition, held in the BNE’s Sala Recoletos, brings together the most complete set of pieces related to Cervantes and his oeuvre from the BNE’s own collection – the largest of its kind in the world – together with works from other Spanish and foreign institutions such as Archivo Histórico Nacional, Real Academia Español, Archivo de Simancas, Museo del Prado, town council of Alcalá de Henares, Bibliotèque national de France and the British Museum. Highlights include the portrait of Cervantes painted by Jáuregui, which was long considered to be a true likeness of Cervantes; two copies of what is held to be the letter Cervantes sent to Cardinal Sandoval only days before dying; and Cervantes’s birth record, housed in the town hall of Alcalá de Henares. The works survey the writer’s family, military and literary life from his childhood to his involvement in the battle of Lepanto, his captivity in Algiers, his novels, his relationship with the writers of his time, the monuments to him, his physical appearance and his death. The show also examines scholarship on Cervantes and includes a large section devoted to Don Quixote.
From March 4 (after4 pm.) to May 22, 2016
From Monday to Saturday, from 10 am to 8 pm.
Sundays and bank holidays, from 10 am to 2 pm
Last acces half an hout before closing time. Sala Recoletos, Biblioteca Nacional de España
Tour through the exhibition
Opening Conference: Miguel de Cervantes in the crossroad of his Time
March 8 2016, BNE