Jeremy Irons in The Prado Museum: A Collection of Wonders

Jeremy Irons in The Prado Museum: A Collection of Wonders

On the occasion of the official 200th anniversary celebrations



World-premiering in Italy on 15th April, the first cinematic journey through the rooms, stories and emotions of one of the most visited museums in the world. Its wealth of over 8000 art treasures is a spell-binding experience drawing almost 3 million visitors to Madrid every year


Thank you to Nexo Digital for these exclusive, official press kit photos and stills from the film, taken by Agustin Escamez.

Scroll down to read the full Press Release.

Click on the thumbnails below to view the images full size.

Magnificent masterpieces tell the story of Spain and of an entire continent.

We are in one of the temples of world art, a site of memory and a mirror to the present with 1700 works exhibited and a further 7000 art treasures preserved there. Its collection tells the story of kings, queens, dynasties, wars, defeats and victories, as well as the story of the feelings and emotions of the men and women of yesteryear and of today, whose lives are intertwined with the museum’s: rulers, painters, artists, architects, collectors, curators, intellectuals, visitors.

In 2019, the year of its 200th Anniversary celebrations, telling the story of the Prado in Madrid from the day it was “founded” – that 19th November 1819 when mention was first made of the Museo Real de Pinturas – means covering not only the last 200 years, but at least six centuries of history. The life of the Prado collection began with the birth of Spain as a nation and the marriage between Ferdinand of Aragon and Isabel of Castile, a union that marked the start of the great Spanish Empire. Yet, for a long time over the centuries, painting had been a universal language that knew no boundaries. If there is one museum where it is clear that painting was not affected by nationalism, then that museum must surely be the Prado, with its eclectic and multifaceted collections demonstrating that art has no passports limiting its circulation, that rather it is a universal means to understand and convey the thoughts and feelings of human beings.

For this reason, taking the leading role in THE PRADO MUSEUM. A COLLECTION OF WONDERS are its art masterpieces and the great artists who made them, the crowned heads who collected them, but also the European and libertarian inspiration behind a museum and its wealth of art treasures and stories. This is the common thread that runs through the new documentary film written by Sabina Fedeli and directed by Valeria Parisi, a 3D Produzioni and Nexo Digital production in collaboration with the Prado Museum, with the support of the Intesa Sanpaolo Bank Group. THE PRADO MUSEUM. A COLLECTION OF WONDERS, a new event of ArtBeats – Great Beauty On Screen project, will have its world-premiere in Italian theatres on 15th April and will roll out to theatres from Russia and Finland in May, Australia in July, Spain and the US next Autumn to reach over 60 countries. Furthermore, there is an extra-special feature: Oscar® winning actor Jeremy Irons (Reversal of Fortune, Damage, The Mission, Stealing Beauty, The House of the Spirits, The Correspondence…) will be guiding spectators on a discovery of a heritage of beauty and art. Starting from the Salon de Reinos, in a deliberately bare architectural style that comes alive with people, lights and projections, taking the visitor back to the glorious past of the Spanish monarchy and the Siglo de Oro, when hanging from the walls then were many of the masterpieces exhibited today at the Prado. At that time, the space was used for dancing, holding parties and giving theatrical performances. This was a vibrant core of Madrid and of Spain as a whole, as was the Barrio de las Letras, where writers and artists from the Siglo de Oro lived, and, in the 20th century, the Residencia de Estudiantes, where intellectuals from the Generation of 1927 would meet, including Buñuel, Lorca and Dalí.

The paintings in the Prado reflect a unique epic era, that gave rise to one of the most important museums in the world. This is a collection put together “more with the heart than the head”, because kings and queens chose only what they loved. It is an inventory of tastes and pleasures that tells the story of public events, dynasties, cardinals, wars and coalitions. It is also an inventory of private matters: a wedding, a lavishly laid table, the madness of a queen. It is a close network of crowned heads, hidalgos, majas y caballeros, each with their lives, truths and messages. It is the story of an era of great patronage, of the Spanish monarchs’ love for the great masters, like Goya, whose strong presence at the Prado is a body of work totalling over nine hundred items, including most of his drawings and letters: correspondence with his childhood friend Martin Zapater. Goya’s art has influenced many modern artists, as is the case with 3rd May 1808, a painting that depicts the effects of the Spanish revolt against the French army. This work would become a symbol of all wars and would give Picasso the inspiration for his Guernica. Like Picasso, Dalì and Garcia Lorca were also captivated by the museum, while writer and painter Antonio Saura, who would continuously go there to bask in its magical atmosphere, called the Prado “a wealth of intensity”. So, this is art that illuminates the present and asks us: what has the Prado Museum been in these two hundred years, what is it today and what will it continue to represent for future generations – this living museum, a beacon for all Spaniards during the dark moments of the dictatorship, and a home to return to for exiled artists and intellectuals?

The aim of the authors, consequently, was to tell the story not only of the formal beauty and enchanting appeal of the Prado collection but also about how much the themes of the works exhibited are current today, and how through the history of art, they can also be a narrative of society, with its ideals, its prejudices, vices, new ideas, scientific discoveries, human psychology and fashions.

THE PRADO MUSEUM. A COLLECTION OF WONDERS is not only about these extraordinary works of art, which are the heart and soul of the documentary, but also about the landscape, the Royal palaces and buildings that set the scene and saw the birth and development of these art collections. This heritage is universal and includes not only the works of Vélazquez, Rubens, Titian, Mantegna, Bosch, Goya, El Greco preserved in the Prado, but also the Escorial, the Pantheon of the Royal family, the Royal Palace of Madrid, the Convent of Las Descalzas Reales, the Salon de Reinos. It is a fresco contrasting interiors and exteriors, paintings and palaces, brushstrokes and gardens. The birth of the Prado Museum is an engaging story. In 1785 Charles III of Bourbon commissioned court architect Juan de Villanueva to design a building to house the Gabinete de Historia Natural. It would never serve that purpose. The building was transformed into the Museum we know today. Walking through this place of beauty means never ceasing to be amazed, removing prejudices and contradictions, discovering the myths and symbols of a wonderful, sometimes revolutionary, world. It means an interactive exchange through the history of art. It means being enraptured by masterpieces such as the Deposition by Flemish artist Van der Weyden, Adam and Eve by Titian, the Black Paintings of Goya’s later years, Les Meninas by Vélasquez (“The air in Las Meninas is the best quality air that exists“, declared Dalì), El Greco’s twisted, elongated, unconventional figures, The Garden of Earthly Delights by Bosch, which arouses curiosity, expectation, attention in visitors of any nationality and culture, or the work of the Flemish Clara Peeters, who had the courage to paint miniature-self-portraits in her still-life paintings and stake a claim for the role of female artists, or even Ribera’s The Bearded Lady, where a woman, face covered by a thick beard, breastfeeds the new-born baby she holds in her arms.

The way the documentary feature develops is by interweaving the art narrative with a study of the architecture and an analysis of valuable archival materials, marked by interviews with various experts from the Prado Museum: Miguel Falomir, Director of the Prado, and the Conservators Andrés Úbeda de los Cobos, Deputy Director of Conservation; Javier Portús, Chief Curator Spanish Painting up to 19th Century, Manuela Mena, Chief Conservator 19th Century Painting and Goya; Enrique Quintana, Chief Conservation Coordinator; Alejandro Vergara, Chief Conservator of Flemish Painting up to 18th Century and North European Schools of Art; Almudena Sánchez, Painting Restorer; Leticia Ruiz, Head of Department Spanish Painting up to 18th Century; José Manuel Matilla, Chief Conservator of Prints and Drawings; José de la Fuente, Restorer of Wooden Panel Paintings. In addition, speakers will include Lord Norman Foster, architect for the Salón de Reinos remodelling project (Pritzker Prize), Helena Pimenta, Director of the Compañía Nacional de Teatro Clásico in Madrid; Laura Garcia Lorca, President of the Foundation bearing her uncle’s name, the poet Federico Garcia Lorca; Marina Saura, actress and daughter of the Painter Antonio Saura; Olga Pericet, dancer; Pilar Pequeno, photographer.

THE PRADO MUSEUM. A COLLECTION OF WONDERS is produced by 3D Produzioni and Nexo Digital in partnership with the Prado Museum and with the support of Intesa Sanpaolo. World premiering in Italian theatres on April 15th, it will roll out to cinemas in 60 countries.

We thank Patrimonio Nacional and Madrid Destino for their generous participation in the filming carried out in Spain.

This event is part of ArtBeats – Great Beauty on Screen, an original, exclusive Nexo Digital project.

Jeremy Irons in Madrid – January 2019

Jeremy Irons was in Madrid, Spain in January 2019, for the recording of a documentary on the Bicentennial of the Museo Nacional del Prado.

While in Madrid, Jeremy visited Capas Seseña.  He visited their workshop and learned of the history and craftsmanship behind each piece. Jeremy chose the Alfonso Cape in Loden Green.

Jeremy Irons in Zeit Magazin

Jeremy Irons is featured in the April 2016 issue of Zeit Magazin with a photo by Axel Hoedt.

Axel Hoedt’s Website

Jeremy Irons: “The burning obsession” has disappeared

The actor Jeremy Irons, 67, says of his profession that he is not as obsessed as before: “There was a time, when acting for me was like an addiction,” Irons explained in Zeit magazine. “I always wanted bigger roles, to outdo myself, like an addict who needs a higher dose.” Meanwhile, he has overcome this situation: “The burning obsession to have to stand on the stage or in front of the camera to get better and to play more important roles, has disappeared,” said Irons. “Today it makes me happy to work less. The older you get, the more one becomes aware of the shrinking time that remains for one.”

For several years he has wanted to pursue a new dream: “I have an old gypsy caravan and two horses can pull it,” said Irons. “My dream is to ship these horses and the carriage to Spain and to drive it for a month or two through the north of the country to traverse amazing landscapes, to meet people, to accompany them for a piece of their path, to wonderful places to rest and to look after the horses. A splendid idea! “

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Photo via Sally Fischer Public Relations

Jeremy Irons on ‘El Hormiguero’

Jeremy Irons was a guest on the Spanish TV show ‘El Hormiguero’ on Wednesday 9 April 2014.

Watch Jeremy’s entire appearance on the show HERE at the Antena3 website.

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Jeremy Irons in Madrid, Spain Promoting ‘Night Train to Lisbon’

Jeremy Irons attended the ‘Night Train to Lisbon’ photocall and press conference at Ritz Hotel on April 9, 2014 in Madrid.

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W Radio interview with Jeremy Irons:

Jeremy Irons in Madrid, Spain – September 2012

Original article and photos from the Mail Online

Jeremy Irons and Sinead Cusack were in Madrid, Spain the weekend after Jeremy’s birthday in 2012.  Jeremy was in town to participate in a TimesTalks Madrid interview on Friday 21 September. 

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Jeremy Irons in Motorrevü Online – Interview and Photos

Interview – Motorrevü Hungary – Jeremy Irons

2012-09-20, Written by: Ivan Zomborácz, Catherine Burner , Pictures: Peter Kőhalmi

Gallery at the bottom of this post. Click on the photos for full size.

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Translated from Hungarian

Though being an Oscar-winning actor, he arrived without bodyguards, only his make-up artist was sitting behind him in the saddle. He wore simple canvas pants, leather boots and a shirt ripped at his elbow. For someone with such a strong presence, he doesn’t need a fuss around him – as he arrived, the air thickened around him, Mr. Irons has a presence of weight. Although it was the first time we’d first met, he greeted me as an old friend.

MR: You have not started riding too early. What made you start riding at 30?

Mr. Irons: I think I started to be interested in motorbikes because of my brother. He had a BSA He advised me not to sit on the motorbike until I had driven a car for at least 10 years. You need this amount of time to learn how other drivers behave, one of whom may be your murderer one day. You need to get used to how to get around in the safety of four wheels. I took my brother’s advice, so I committed my first mistakes driving a car. By the time I was 30, I knew that I was not invincible, that I could die. It is missing from young people.

MR: Almost at the same time that you started to ride, you settled your family life, and started up your acting career. What happened to you at age 30, that brought about so many changes in your life? Do you see a relationship between these?

I: I think it’s just a coincidence. If someone learns to be an actor, he spends his twenties with learning the profession and starts building his career. By the time he crosses 30, he’s picked up a lot of knowledge and begun to attract attention. So the really interesting things start happening for people in their 30s and 40s when they are still full of ambition and energy. At that time I lived in London, and was driving a little Honda 50. But it was enough for me. I remember once we went on a Christmas shopping trip, behind me my wife and our newborn baby, and our dog, and all the presents we bought. We looked like the Chinese. I was once in China, and I saw how they drive the motorbike there. Ladder, and anything that you can pack up on their bikes. So, there I was in London and I looked like them.

MR: When did you feel like leaving the Chinese feeling behind and move up a category?

I: When I passed 40, I stopped for a few years, until I moved to the countryside and reminded myself that I always ​​promised myself a bigger bike. So I bought my first BMW, second hand. It was a RT100’s, which I really loved. I remember when I bought it, I did not even know how to start it at first. In addition, I wanted to go to London that evening to pick up a friend for dinner and watch a movie. So I called her and told her to wear pants because I would be with a bike. But when I got there, she appeared in a long black skirt that was cut up high at one side and left her entire left leg free as she sat up on the motor. I thought immediately that it was worth it.

MR: Have you stuck to BMW?

I: I loved the RT100. When I heard that they would stop the complete production and adjust to a new model, a boxer engine, I bought one of the last RTs on the market. I use it to this day. Unfortunately, in the last 22 years I only put 87 thousand miles on it. I like it because it is so reliable, and because … it is not a computer. It’s so simple. If there is a problem, there’s a good chance it is the carburetor that I can adjust. Of course, it has no ABS, but I have never had a need of it. I evaluate the road on the basis of the abilities of the machine. Its wheels are a bit narrow, but still I love it.

MR: You have been in Hungary many times, you did hiking too. Do you have a favourite motorcycle route? And what would you recommend for the Hungarian bikers in Europe, that they shouldn’t miss?

I: Unfortunately, due to my work, I do not have much time to hike. But there is a section in the mountains, at the old capital city, Esztergom. I love that route. But I know there are a lot of good routes here. Once I headed east, but I found that area too flat. I could not yet get to the south. I know that there are a lot of good routes in Hungary, but you should not ask my advice. I love Slovenia. There are beautiful roads there, once I went down to the sea on little serpentine.

MR: Do you prefer travelling alone or with a passenger?

I: With a passenger, because I think the most interesting part of the ride, when you stop, talk, relax and explore. It is just the opposite of when you only drive and concentrate and go on. Of course, that also has its own beauty, but then you stop at one point. To smoke a cigarette, drink a cup of coffee while browsing around. And it’s very good to have someone there with you, with whom you can share the experience.

MR: What do you think of the Hungarian transport morals?

I: When driving in town, you musn’t forget that people can be tired, crapulent, or nervous because they are late, or they are simply old, and it can have thousands of other reasons why they may not notice the rider. Then the madness of young people on their scooters! However, I do not think that Hungary is more dangerous than any other country in the world. Every country has its own particularities. In Italy, for example, everyone is driving fast, but exactly for this reason, they concentrate more, even if they drive on the other side of the road sometimes. You can’t do anything about it, you need to get used to it. Budapest is not more dangerous than anywhere else, where you need to pay attention to a lot of people. For example, at each overtaking I try to see where comes an intersection, where one could suddenly turn on you without signalling.

MR: Is the Guggenheim motorcycle club still operating whom you are a founding member of?

I: It’s having a rest now, but we’d like to organize a trip in the memory of Dennis Hopper. Organizing is a problem though, since I have been very busy in the last 18 months. So, it’s on ice now. Where was the last tour? Spain, perhaps, 1.5 years ago, when the rest of them toured the Basque Country. Unfortunately, I could not be with them. So the heart of the club is still beating. Gently.

MR: When it comes to motorcycle clubs, what do you think of the classic motorcycle clubs? Do you attend some?

I: I do not like motor clubs. I mean, for me, riding is about to get a break from people. You may take your loved ones or a very small team with you, but big companies are not for me. There are enough people in my life, I do not like to ride with more than two or three, because with them you can still disappear. I do not like noisily letting the world know, I’m here.

MR: In 1995, your license was withdrawn for fast driving. Does speed still attract you?

I: I like to go fast, as fast as is safely possible. This is variable. I’m trying to remember also, where the cameras are and trying to drive safely. I believe that it is much safer to go a pace that is allowed by the motorcycle and the road, than to balance at the edge of the speed limit all the time. So much easier to concentrate and enjoy the journey, which is the point of the whole thing. You can’t feel this in a car. You have to concentrate on a motor, see where the rocks are, and the water flows, and what the road and other drivers let you do. Personally, I’m trying to slow down when I see a camera. And I do not compete. Some people go nuts, when they see that someone gain on them. There are many sides to this, but I think I am a careful and conscientious driver. But fast, too.

MR: One of your sons is following your path in acting, have you infected either of them with motorcycling?

I: No. I gave them the same advice that I got back then. Wait with the motor until you had driven a car for at least 10 years. My older son has been driving since he was 18, so he could even change now. It would make sense, too, since he lives in London. Interestingly, my younger son is not interested at all in riding. He drives, too, but only got the driver’s license at the age of 24 in America. He’s simply not attracted to the idea. Although when he was little, he drove a quad on our farm, he jumped with that everywhere. As I would not advise anyone to be an actor, I would not say to buy a motorcycle. Or buy, but be aware of the dangers. Because there are. Though nothing more than in the case of horse riding (which I also like very much). But the motor riding, just like horse riding and anything else that is exciting, carries potential risks. Therefore, be sure you are very good at them. So, you have to be careful with such an advice. One day the sign will come anyway that you are ready and you can go and buy your bike and start up on the thing.

MR: You live in a medieval castle that you restored. Do old engines attract you in the same way as old buildings?

I: I like looking at them. I really liked the exhibition that was organized by the Guggenheim Museum, but I’m not obsessed with technology. I think I like motorbikes, because they give me freedom. I am interested how reliable they are, how well they work, how nice they look, but I am not crazy obsessed with them. What I enjoy in bikes is what they do to my life.

More new photos of Max modeling for Mango