Ana Diguez: "The artists gathered some of the most notable collections" - La Provincia


"Only the collections of great artists like Rubens, Bernini, Velázquez and Mengs They have been studied in depth. However, other artists gathered some of the most important collections of their time. "With these words he introduced Ana Diéguez-Rodríguez, director of Moll Institute-Flamenco Painting Research Center, the international congress "Artists as collectors: models and variants. From the Modern Age to the 19th century", organized by the Moll Institute and the Spanish University Foundation, which is held at the headquarters of the latter institution, in Madrid. A scientific meeting involving researchers from all over Spain, United States, United Kingdom, Belgium, Czech Republic and Poland, which allows us to glimpse the relevance that these collections, both of works and artistic objects and of books, had in those creators who gathered them and, also, in their disciples and followers.

The approach of the congress is, in a certain way, disruptive, since the History of Art has traditionally emphasized collections gathered by the Royal Houses and the nobility, without paying too much attention to those that the artists treasured, except in very specific cases such as those reviewed by Ana Diéguez, co-director of the congress with Ángel Rodríguez Rebollo. But this innovative orientation is revealed, after the first of the two days of the congress, as a huge source of knowledge about the artists themselves and the way in which certain iconographic and aesthetic variants are transmitted.

Alfonso R. G. de Ceballos, academic of San Fernando and patron of the Spanish University Foundation, outlined the potential of this approach already in the framework conference, which he dedicated to a major figure in Spanish art, Alonso Cano. During the presentation, Ceballos revealed how the versatile "Miguel Ángel español" acquired a large number of drawings and prints, arriving in many cases in the mortars of deceased artists, such as Francisco López Caro, his fellow student and Diego Velázquez in Francisco Pacheco's workshop . But the most relevant thing is that Alonso Cano subsequently used these images as inspiration for his own works, as it happens without going further with his pride "Virgin with the child", which is preserved in the Prado Museum, and whose composition refers to a picture of Dürer." Cano should never have painted, and perhaps less carved, without using prints. He thus fertilized his fantasy so that he could give birth to his own work, "said Ceballos.

Following the trail marked by Ceballos, the different speakers of this first day explained the influence of this collector's vocation in artists such as Vicente Carducho and movements such as the "Pre-Raphaelites", in addition to explaining the extraordinary dispersion that some of those collections reached. This is the case, for example, of the formidable set of drawings and prints gathered by Francisco Solís, whose funds, as they have studied Ángel Rodríguez Rebollo and Isabel García Toraño (National Library of Spain), ended up nourishing the funds of relevant national institutions, but also foreign centers such as the National Gallery of London, The Hispanic Society of America (based in New York) or the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles.

Unfortunately, many of these collections did not come to this day. An important group of the drawings gathered by Solis ended up in the hands of Gaspar Melchor de Jovellanos, who acquired them advised by Ceán Bermúdez and later he bequeathed them, still in life, to his beloved Royal Asturian Institute of Nautical and Minerology. There they remained until in the Civil War they were destroyed, leaving only a few photos that show their wealth. For his part, Alonso Cano left the bulk of his collection in Valencia, where he took refuge after being accused of the murder of his wife. Now, these funds, and their relevance, come to light again thanks to the work of the researchers.

"The portrait of Rizi del Bellas Artes is a self portrait"

"The portrait of Francisco Rizi that is preserved in the Museum of Fine Arts of Asturias is actually the work of Rizi himself, it is a self-portrait." That is the thesis defended by art historian Eduardo Lamas-Delgado, researcher of the Royal Institute of Artistic Heritage of Belgium (IRPA, in its acronym in French) at the international congress "Artists as collectors: models and variants. From the Modern Age to the 19th century". Although the canvas is attributed to Isidoro de Arredondo, Lamas-Delgado, who dedicated his doctoral thesis to Rizi, makes strong arguments to review the authorship: "The painting has all the characteristics of a self-portrait and the typical way of representing oneself at the time. But in addition to using the language of a self-portrait, the picture is Rizi's style. " Lamas-Delgado also claimed a work "exceptional and that is also a singularity in the Spanish context, where there are very few examples of works that show the interior of a painter's workshop: practically this one, 'Las meninas' and 'The painter's family', by Martínez del Mazo ".

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