'Galdós in the labyrinth of Spain', a journey through the life of the writer

This photograph of Galdós was taken in the work room of his house on Paseo de Areneros. / canaries7

The exhibition, curated by the photohistorian Publio López, will be open to the public at the Casa-Museo Pérez Galdós from July 7 to December 14

CANARY ISLANDS7 The Gran Canarian palms

Tour the Spain of Galdós in images. It is the purpose of 'Galdós in the labyrinth of Spain', the
successful exhibition with which the Galdosian centenary was commemorated in the Royal Academy of Fine Arts of San Fernando, in Madrid, and that
now arrives at the Pérez Galdós House-Museum hand in hand with its curator, the prestigious academic and photography historian Publio López Mondéjar.

The sample, which brings together
more than 140 photographs of the writer and the places where he spent his life, mainly Madrid and Santander, is promoted by the public body Acción Cultural Española and
will remain open to the public from July 7 to December 14 in the house where the writer was born.

More than half of the images in the exhibition are portraits of the writer, almost all of them unpublished, alone or in company. The rest correspond to the scenarios in which he spent his life, especially Madrid, although the importance of the city of Santander and Cantabria in Galdós's life is also highlighted. In the capital of Santander, Galdós built the famous Quinta de San Quintín, where he enjoyed the summer period, which has unfortunately disappeared today.

The photo historian Publio López He has been in love with the work of Galdós since his childhood. «Galdós always interested me and when I began my research work in earnest, I paid special attention to his portraits, which were published in Aguilar's editions in an excellent photogravure. This is how my collection of portraits of Don Benito was born”, explains the historian. «Over time I also became interested in the scenes of his life, in the historical events that he recreated and in the protagonists of his narrations. Little by little, that humble collection became a graphic corpus of undoubted documentary value».

In this exhibition you can see many
previously unpublished photos. The curator of the exhibition also points out that some of the images on display belong to the Casa-Museo Galdós itself.

A life in pictures

Galdós frequented the company of some of the photographers who photographed him on numerous occasions over more than half a century, such as Franzen, Alfonso and Kâulak. The photographs that have been brought together in this exhibition constitute in themselves a
chronicle of the writer's life and a graphic document of considerable documentary and historical value. They show the changing image of the author of 'Marianela' and of the Madrid he found in 1862, Galdós being the great chronicler of the capital of the kingdom, a witness to the urban development of the city since the end of Elizabethan times, the reign of Amadeo de Saboya, the First Republic, Restoration and Regency.

To the protagonists of these periods of the history of Spain
The exhibition dedicates a chapter that corresponds to the vital period of the writingA: Amadeo I, Cánovas, Sagasta, Generals Espartero, Cabrera and Prim, Alfonso XII and writers such as Bécquer and Emilia Pardo Bazán, among others.

In 'Galdós in the labyrinth of Spain' one could not miss either
selection of photographic reports dedicated to Galdós in the most important publications illustrated films of the time, such as 'The Spanish and American Illustration', 'ABC', 'Black and White', 'El Fígaro', 'Those Worlds', 'The Art of Theatre', 'New World', 'The Sphere ', 'El País' and 'Graphic World'. An audiovisual made by Arantxa Aguirre completes this exhibition project.

Investigation process

The organizing team of this exhibition has carried out a
extensive research and search in more than fifty archives and public and private collections from Spain, France, England and the United States, such as the IPCE, the National Library of Spain, the Spanish Academy, the Library of Congress in Washington, the Municipal Museum of Toledo, the National Gallery in Washington, the Menéndez Pelayo Library, the Madrid History Museum, the Juan March Foundation, the Pérez Galdós House-Museum in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, the Bibliothèque Nationale de France, the Regional Archive of the Community of Madrid, the National Museum of the Almagro Theater and National Heritage. Likewise, the contribution of numerous private collections and, very especially, the family archives of the writer's descendants has been decisive.

The exhibition could be seen in the Community of Madrid between September 2020 and January 2021 and had the collaboration of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts of San Fernando. Now it arrives in Comillas after passing through Malaga and Murcia.

About Publio Lopez Mondejar

Publio López Mondéjar (Casasimarro, Cuenca, 1946) is a photographer, photohistorian, journalist and academic at the San Fernando Royal Academy of Fine Arts. He's considerated
one of the great historians of photography in Spain. Author of numerous books on the history of Spanish photography, he has dedicated more than three decades of his life to recovering the visual memory of our country, rescuing innumerable images from oblivion.

He has published most of his works in 'Lunwerg', among them: 'Photography as a source of memory' (2008), 'History of photography in Spain: photography and society from its origins to the 21st century' (2005), '150 years of photography in Spain' (2002) , or 'Madrid, labyrinth of memories: (one hundred years of photography, 1839-1936)', among others. He has been curator of important exhibitions related to the history of photography.

His career has been recognized with the
prize of the Arles International Photography Encounters (1996) and the Special Prize of the Ministry of Culture (1989, 1997, 2002).

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