The word ‘analogy’ comes from Greek (αναλογíα: ana – reiteration or comparison – and logos – reason) and in its strictest and most etymological sense it means the comparison of or relationship between various reasons or concepts; to compare or relate two or more beings or objects using reason by pointing to general and particular characteristics, by producing arguments based on the existence of similarities between them, and by applying to one of them a relationship or property clearly present in the other.
To us, art is art regardless of place and time. It is true, nevertheless, that there is a delicate line which, like a thread of spider’s silk, connects some works with others. We are fond of the word ‘analogy’ due to the transmutation of the term and because it comes to us with the still fresh memory of having heard it used frequently by the late Professor José Milicua, to whom we dedicate this exhibition. In his characteristic low voice, so unusual among us, the professor savoured his words as if chewing them as he sought analogies for certain works that he was studying, for he knew that the history of art is the history of life and that behind a painting or an object there is always a story, a condensed, closed world that belongs only to that painting or object, that singularises it and connects it with other paintings and objects from other eras, and which he taught us to work out. In other words, he gave us the keys to unlock the worlds that the paintings or objects contained or condensed. The history of art is, in short, the history of analogies or of those subtle lines that connect works with others as if they were the imaginary links on a single chain.
The exhibition we present features an extensive range of works (paintings, drawings, sculptures, prints, ceramic pieces, furniture and works from the other decorative arts) from a geographical area centred around Spain and Italy and from a timespan that extends from Mannerism to the present day. This catalogue both explains and is a record of the exhibition. At the same time, it includes a selection of some of the analogies in the show. The works are connected because they are paired or part of a group. Or because they are linked by theme or style or technique or aesthetic approach. Analogies fuse two earlier projects into one: the “Obras singulares” series and La parella, projects that are important to our professional career, identifying marks of our offering of antiquarian culture focused on art collecting.
We are aware that some of these projects have been impossible in recent times due to the difficulty of the prevailing circumstances. We are also mindful that we are setting out on waters that are still troubled, but we believe that it is now, in these trying days, that we must passionately and resolutely defend what we believe in because of what it is and because of what defines it. Over and above our international specialist attention to drawing, we are antiquarians in the most noble and generalist sense of the profession. We are antiquarians but we are also gallerists. Our understanding of art crosses all boundaries and we uphold everything we appreciate, from Morales to Barceló.
Analogies is more than an exhibition that connects some of our finest pieces, it is more than the project with which we are opening a new season and our upper gallery with its new display cases. It is a portrait of us, a photograph of our way of being and feeling art as an extension of or sometimes a refuge from life.