What Does This 17th-Century Painting Smell Like? | Smart News

"The Sense of Smell" painting by Jan Brueghel the Elder and Sir Peter Paul Rubens

Jan Brueghel the Elder and Peter Paul Rubens, The Sense of Scent, 1617–1618
Community area by using Wikimedia Commons

A function of art has the electricity to transport its viewer to a further time and area. Now, the Museo Nacional del Prado in Madrid, Spain, is having that plan one particular action more with a new exhibition that incorporates smell to boost the knowledge of a 17th-century portray.

For each a assertion from the museum, “The Essence of a Painting: An Olfactory Exhibition” focuses completely on The Feeling of Odor, a get the job done created by Belgian artists Jan Brueghel the Elder and Peter Paul Rubens involving 1617 and 1618. The clearly show, on look at by July 3, invites site visitors to not only search at the oil portray but also scent 10 scents impressed by it.

For the exhibit, Alejandro Vergara, the museum’s main curator of Flemish and Northern European paintings, partnered with Gregorio Sola, a senior perfumer at Barcelona-primarily based manner and fragrance enterprise Puig and an tutorial at the Academia del Fragrance in Madrid.


Sola developed new fragrances centered on components of the portray, which depicts Venus and Cupid surrounded by exotic flowers, birds, animals, and objects similar to perfume (such as distillation vessels and scented gloves). The scent “Fig Tree,” for instance, delivers the refreshing, vegetal scent of the fruit tree in the portray to daily life, whilst “Allegory”—which brings together rose, jasmine and carnation—embodies the bouquet of flowers Venus is smelling.

According to a statement from the Academia del Perfume, other showcased fragrances consist of an amber-scented leather glove, orange blossoms, jasmine, roses, lilies, daffodils, civet (a fragrance component made from the secretions of a carnivorous cat) and nard (an oil derived from a flowering plant).

“Our olfactory memory is more robust than our visual or auditory memory: the memory of our mother’s fragrance, of our to start with kiss, of our initial automobile, or of the first working day at faculty with the scent of new pencils and paints,” Sola tells the Guardian’s Sam Jones. “We all have our possess olfactory memory and the plan of this exhibition is that Jan Brueghel’s painting will leave its possess unforgettable olfactory print on all of us.”

Museum guests can scent the several fragrances by touching a photograph of the painting on 4 electronic screens dotted across a gallery. A diffuser that works by using particular AirParfum technological innovation made by Puig then emits the fragrance. The goal of the technological know-how, which has been set up in retail stores in the course of Europe, is to let people today to smell lots of distinctive perfumes devoid of oversaturating their noses.

Jan Brueghel the Elder and Peter Paul Rubens, The Sense of Sight​​​​​​​, 1617

Jan Brueghel the Elder and Peter Paul Rubens, The Feeling of Sight, 1617

Community domain through Wikimedia Commons

The Sense of Odor is aspect of the artists’ The 5 Senses collection, which also features The Perception of Touch, The Sense of Flavor, The Perception of Hearing and The Sense of Sight. Brueghel painted the scenes for the items, although Rubens painted the allegorical figures. The 5 functions are all on watch in the exact same area at the Prado.

Per the Academia del Perfume assertion, the collection was possible commissioned by Albert VII of Austria and Isabella Clara Eugenia, Archduchess of Austria and the daughter of Philip II of Spain. Brueghel labored as a courtroom painter for the pair.

“I had a perception that men and women do not pay plenty of focus to Brueghel,” Vergara tells Artnet’s Dorian Batycka. “His consideration to depth, often miniaturistic, shows a eager sensitivity to the 5 senses. All that I was definitely striving to do was contact attention to the perception of joy that these is effective produce in me, hoping that some others will see—and smell—this as nicely.”

The Essence of a Portray: An Olfactory Exhibition” is on look at at the Museo Nacional del Prado in Madrid, Spain, via July 3.

Next Post

Why we can't stop watching

The premise, if you haven’t already binged the Television set collection, will involve qualified bakers striving to fool judges by making cakes that really do not search like dessert but rather look to be daily commodities – purses, toys, rapidly foodstuff. [Image: Netflix] But whilst most critics see this as […]

You May Like