March 31, 2021

The San Diego Museum of Art Welcomes Two New Exhibitions this June

Collections Offer a Broad Range of Works, From Old Master Paintings to Contemporary Drawings

SAN DIEGO – The San Diego Museum of Art is pleased to announce the opening of two exhibitions, Cranach to Canaletto: Masterpieces from the Bemberg Foundation and Everything You See Could Be A Lie: Photorealistic Drawings by Ana de Alvear. From Old Master paintings to contemporary, hyper-realistic drawings, works from these exhibitions are rarely seen in the U.S. and will be on view at the Museum beginning June 18, 2021, through Sept. 27, 2021.

Cranach to Canaletto: Masterpieces from the Bemberg Foundation

Organized by the Bemberg Foundation, based at the historic Hôtel d’Assézat in Toulouse, France, the exhibition features over 80 works produced between 1500 and 1800. This exhibition marks the first time these works have been shown publicly in the U.S. and features some of the biggest names in European painting.

Artists represented include renowned Venetian painters: Jacopo Robusti (Tintoretto), Tiziano Vecellio (Titian), Paolo Veronese, Giovanni Antonio Canal (Canaletto), Giandomenico Tiepolo and Alessandro Longhi; French artists: Jean Clouet, Jean-Marc Nattier, François Boucher and Elisabeth-Louise Vigée-Lebrun; and Flemish and Dutch painters: Pieter Brueghel The Younger, Jan Van Goyen and Anthony Van Dyck. Four Lucas Cranach the Elder paintings will also be on display, a testament to Bemberg’s appreciation of this seminal figure of the German Renaissance.

Grouped thematically in four sections, Cranach to Canaletto: Masterpieces from the Bemberg Foundation explores themes of portraiture, landscape, mythology and domestic environments with layers of storytelling within each painting. Along the way, issues of perceived beauty, romance, realism and faith are considered. The exhibition space was also created specifically to highlight the collection, including gallery archways inspired by the Hôtel d’Assézat architecture, long sightlines and a dramatic, intimate final section.

The exhibition is composed entirely of works from The Bemberg Foundation and is co-curated by Philippe Cros, Director of the Bemberg Foundation, and Michael Brown, Ph.D., Curator of European Art at The San Diego Museum of Art. The exhibition is made possible in collaboration with Manifesto Expo.

Georges Bemberg was an Argentina-born French collector, world traveler and Harvard-trained scholar, who amassed an extraordinary collection of Western art from the end of the Middle Ages to the 20th century. Bemberg’s private collection was preserved through the Foundation, which is currently closed for renovations.

“It is a exceptional and unique opportunity to collaborate with the Bemberg Foundation and bring these magnificent masterpieces from France to the U.S. for the first time in our Cranach to Canaletto: Masterpieces from the Bemberg Foundation exhibition,” said Roxana Velásquez, Maruja Baldwin Executive Director at The San Diego Museum of Art. “This collection is very complementary to our own permanent collection and a true delight for the senses.”

Everything You See Could Be A Lie: Photorealistic Drawings by Ana de Alvear

Ana de Alvear is a multidisciplinary, Madrid-based artist known for her hyper-realistic drawn works of art that play with the equivocation between reality and its representation. De Alvear uses visual archetypes that inspire investigations of the self and exploration of obstacles related to self-esteem and self-identification. Placing these visual archetypes outside of their usual environments allows the viewer to isolate their own relationship to the main objects and the response they elicit.

Everything You See Could Be A Lie: Photorealistic Drawings by Ana de Alvear features more than 20 works of art executed in colored pencil, including two extraordinary, large-scale murals. The hyper-realistic drawings are created in response to traditional still life paintings in Europe and the U.S. De Alvear’s works offer a means for viewers to reflect upon the identity they have constructed about themselves and the world, as well as the opportunity to see those constructs more clearly. 

De Alvear’s work has been shown at museums of natural sciences and botanical gardens around the world. In 2006, de Alvear founded Vital International Video Art (VIVA), a traveling exhibition where international artists can find a meeting point for intellectual discourse and create a network around the globe with curators, galleries, institutions, foundations and private collections.

“Ana de Alvear’s work is exquisite. It is really quite remarkable that these images are not made with the assistance of a digital or mechanical process; they are done by hand in incredible detail with nothing other than colored pencil on paper,” said Velásquez. “Her drawings also yield subtle humor with some eye-opening discoveries that we know our visitors will appreciate.”

Everything You See Could Be A Lie: Photorealistic Drawings by Ana de Alvear was curated by Anita Feldman, Deputy Director for Curatorial Affairs and Education at The San Diego Museum of Art.

The San Diego Museum of Art will offer a variety of programming tied to the two respective exhibitions. Programming will include a Virtual SDMA Film Club of Exhibition On Screen: Canaletto and the Art of Venice, as well as performances by the San Diego Opera, San Diego Shakespeare Society and Disco Riot. For more information on The San Diego Museum of Art or to purchase tickets, visit

About The San Diego Museum of Art

Providing a rich and diverse cultural experience, The San Diego Museum of Art houses some of the world’s finest art. Located in the heart of Balboa Park, the Museum’s internationally renowned collection of more than 20,000 works—dating from 3000 B.C. to present day—includes Spanish and Italian old masters, South Asian paintings including the Edwin Binney 3rd Collection of Indian paintings, East Asian art, American art and Modern and Contemporary paintings and sculptures. The Museum regularly features major exhibitions of art from around the world, as well as an extensive year-round schedule supporting cultural and educational programs for children and adults. It hosts engaging experiences that invite visitors to explore art through music, dance, film, food, and so much more. The Museum also offers Virtual SDMA, a variety of online experiences, including the SDMA App, Masterpiece Minute podcast, virtual performances in collaboration with other local arts institutions and more. At The San Diego Museum of Art, exhibition text is always in English and Spanish.

The San Diego Museum of Art is located at 1450 El Prado in Balboa Park, San Diego, Calif., 92101. General Information, (619) 232-7931, Group Sales: (619) 696-1935, Website: Twitter: @SDMA, Instagram: @SanDiegoMuseumofArt Facebook: