Seville, 25th of November, 2017. Seville is counting down the hours for the start of the commemorative calendar of the IV anniversary of Bartolomé Esteban Murillo, a symbol of the baroque internationally and cultural bastion of the Andalusian capital. From the 28th of November 2018 to the 19th of March 2019, there will be numerous exhibitions and activities where streets and other main points of the city related to the life of the master will take you more than ever to the 17th century.
The first appointment is in the lounge of the Museo de Bellas Artes, where at 13:00 Susana Díaz, the president of the Junta de Andalucía, will inaugurate the exhibition called ‘Murillo and the Sevillian Capuchins’, curated by the director of this institution, María Valme Muñoz. For the first time, people of the 21st century will be able to contemplate the complete pictorial series that the artist painted for the Convento de las Santas Justa y Rufina of the Sevillian Capuchin Franciscans.
The goal of this project is to totally rebuild one of the most outstanding artistic ensembles of Murillo. For this occasion, the commission has decided to gather the paintings that are currently in the collections of the Museo de Bellas Artes with other works loaned by other institutions. The highlight is the ‘St. Francis in the Portiuncula Chapel’, the main canvas of the altarpiece in the Convento de los Capuchinos which is considered one of the masterpieces of Murillo.
The recovery of this work was made in cooperation with the Wallraf-Richartz Museum of Cologne, owners of the canvas since 1876. This museum has loaned the piece for the next 10 years to the Sevillian museum which just restored the painting. This painting was in different locations, like the Real Alcázar de Sevilla (The painting was removed from this location to avoid the French looting and separated from the rest of the ensemble that was brought to Cadiz) and the Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando in Madrid.
Moreover, the recognized director and viol player, Jordi Savall, will be in charge of musically inaugurating the Year of Murillo with an unique concert taking place the same Tuesday from 20:30 in the Teatro de la Maestranza. This concert was made possible thanks to the support of the Fundación Banco Sabadell. Tickets for the concert can purchased through the ICAS website ( www.icas-sevilla.org ). For his occasion, Savall, one of the foremost experts on antique music internationally, has created a program inspired in the work, and life and times of the Sevillian painter. Saval gives form to this historic interpretation together with the Capella Real de Catalunya and Hespèrion XXI.
He is considered one of the most versatile personalities of his profession: orchestra director, educator and with more than 230 records released on medieval, renaissance, baroque and classical music. His passion for the Hispanic musical heritage has earned him several awards like Midem, International Classical Music and Grammy.
The week after Savalls concert will see the inauguration of the cultural and touristic itinerary of the Year of Murillo. The tour has been curated by Enrique Valdivieso, one of the foremost experts on his oeuvre. The tour visits up to 20 emblematic spaces where the visitor will be able to get to know the life of the painter through more than 50 original paintings and 80 reproductions of his most relevant work. Among these spaces is the newly restored Casa Murillo, which will be the starting point of the tour.
The next appointment with Murillo is the 5th of December in Espacio Santa Clara. This day inaugurates the exhibition ‘Murillo’s trail in Seville’ curated by Benito Navarrete. This show is the result of an extensive investigation about the legacy of Murillo in disciples like Pedro Núñez de Villavicencio, Juan Simón Gutiérrez, Francisco Meneses Osorio, Domingo Martínez and Juan Soriano.
Before Christmas, the Year of Murillo offers other inaugurations and appointments. This includes the presentation of the first official book of the anniversary, ‘Corpus Murillo. Biografía y documentos’, from historian Pablo Hereza. The book collects unpublished details about the life of the painter like the fact that he was incarcerated. Continuing on, the 12th of December sees the Facultad de Bellas Artes inaugurate the exhibition in which contemporary artists will honor the work of the master from diverse disciplines. The 18th of this month will also inaugurate the exhibition ‘The Neve. Merchants, noblemen and patrons of Murillo’s epoch’ in the Archivo General de Sevilla.