In conjunction with the programming of Bizet’s zarzuela Carmen at the Teatro de la Zarzuela in Madrid, the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza will be organising a small exhibition of twenty works from Spanish collections on the myth of Carmen. The exhibition will allow visitors to learn more about the iconography associated with the controversial figure of Carmen, starting in the period of Prosper Mérimée’s novel of that title, written in 1845. Alongside Andalusian paintings of picturesque life and popular customs, the exhibition will include works by Gonzalo Bilbao (a preparatory sketch for his famous Women Cigar Makers), Ramón Casas and Picasso, who produced an illustrated book entitled Le Carmen des Carmen (1964). The exhibition concludes with the libretti and scores from the first performance of Georges Bizet’s opera in zarzuela format in Madrid and Barcelona in 1887 and 1890 respectively.

During the period of the exhibition there will be a Saturday film cycle in the Museum’s Auditorium, showing films by Otto Preminger, Jean-Luc Godard and Carlos Saura, among others.