The Meadows Museum Acquires a Rare Painting by Renaissance Artist Pedro de Campaña

by Jessica Fuentes February 22, 2022

The Meadows Museum at Southern Methodist University (SMU) in Dallas has acquired a painting by the Renaissance artist Pedro de Campaña.

Born Pieter de Kempener in 1503 in Belgium, Campaña spent more than twenty years in Seville, Spain and became one of the most influential artists working in the region. During this time, Campaña was commissioned to create paintings for churches and private chapels in and around Seville.

Because many of Campaña’s works remain in the places for which they were originally created, the acquisition of a work by the artist was a unique opportunity for the Meadows. As the first work of Campaña’s to be acquired by the museum, and perhaps the only painting by the artist in a U.S. collection, Calvary helps to fill a gap in the collection.

The Meadows Museum was born out of the private collection of Algur H. Meadows. Mr. Meadows donated his collection of Spanish paintings to SMU in 1962, and just three years later the museum opened to the public. Through business trips to Spain in the 1950s, Mr. Meadows cultivated an appreciation for Spanish art and culture. According to the museum’s press release, the institution maintains “one of the largest and most comprehensive collections of Spanish art outside of Spain.”

The Meadows Museum’s Director Ad Interim and Curator, Amanda W. Dotseth, said about the acquisition, “This painting will hold a special spot in our collection for being the last acquisition overseen by the Meadows’ late director Mark Roglán, whose passion for and tremendous knowledge of Spanish art left an indelible mark on every aspect of the museum and its collection.”’

A 16th century painting by Pedro de Campaña of the crucifixion of Christ. Christ appears at the top center of the painting on a cross and is flanked by two unknown men who are also being crucified. At Christ's feet, stand Mary and John both with halos. There is a large crowd of people in the distant background.

Pedro de Campaña (aka Pieter de Kempener), “Calvary,” c. 1560, oil on oak panel, 21 3/8 x 17 5/8 inches. Meadows Museum, SMU, Dallas. Museum purchase with funds from The Meadows Foundation, MM.2021.05. Photo by Kevin Todora.

Ms. Dotseth continued, “Campaña’s Calvary is not only the first work by the artist to enter the collection, but also the first by any artist active in sixteenth-century Seville. The acquisition thus greatly enhances our ability to present and study the history of Renaissance Spain.”

The painting is on view at the museum and will remain on view for the foreseeable future.

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