The mayor of Seville, Juan Espadas, together with the culture counselor of the Junta de Andalucía, Miguel Ángel Vázquez and the director of the Museo de Bellas Artes, Valme Muñoz, the delegate of culture, Antonio Muñoz, and the general director of the ICAS, Isabel Ojeda, will lead the presentation of the Year of Murillo program in the Museo de Bellas Artes.
Eight exhibitions, two itineraries in Seville, concerts and musical series, audiovisual programs, educational activities, several research projects and a large international congress will recognize and value the figure and work of Murillo in the best scenario possible: the city where he lived and painted. The campaign to promote this important anniversary concentrates in the innovative gaze of the master linking his precursor to present-day Seville, a modern city that embraces its tradition to move forward into the future.
Seville, October 3rd 2017.- The City Hall of Seville has presented this Tuesday in the Museo de Bellas Artes ‘Murillo and Seville. The 400th anniversary of the birth of a universal painter’, an ambitious and multifaceted program of activities between November 2017 and December 2018 to honour the Sevillian master in his city in the event of his fourth centenary.
The Mayor of Seville, Juan Espadas, together with the culture counselor of the Junta de Andalucía, Miguel Ángel Vázquez and the director of the Museo de Bellas Artes, Valme Muñoz, the delegate of culture, Antonio Muñoz, and the general director of the ICAS, Isabel Ojeda, have staged an event in which all the details of the event have been revealed. It has been in the presence of some of the master works of Murillo in Room Five of the Museo de Bellas Artes de Sevilla, also called ‘The Church’.
‘We have had the opportunity to receive support and collaborations wherever we have explained our purpose of celebrating the work of the master linked to his city, 400 years after his birth to the present. London, Berlin, Los Angeles, New York and of course, Madrid, and important museums like Getty, Frick Collection, National Gallery. We established loan agreements with several others in Germany, Austria, France, United Kingdom, Italy and Portugal. They all know today that Seville wants to and can boast about Murillo’. Declared Espadas during his speech.
In addition, the mayor has revealed some of the key elements of the anniversary: ‘I can assure you that his way of seeing the world is revealed through the eight exhibitions programmed, the itineraries integrate 20 spaces and buildings where the visitor can contemplate more than 50 original paintings and 80 reproductions, the Casa Murillo wide open and taken as a point of reference.
The educational program and street program will make us see, live, feel and even eat the Seville of Murillo. We will enjoy more than 30 musical events of the municipal cultural program throughout the year dedicated to Murillo. And of course, the international congress will rediscover the painter and his work in March 2018.
The calendar and the campaign designed for its promotion and the new Internet portal murilloysevilla.org aim to deepen the innovative gaze of Bartolomé Esteban Murillo, an artist born in an era of profound transformations, in the full splendor of the Sevillian Baroque who developed throughout his life a pictorial production that anticipates modern painting.
Murillo worked his all life in his city, a metropolis where he illuminated convents, churches, palaces and mansions with his canvases.
Nevertheless, his fame spread fast beyond Seville to Spain and Europe even crossing the ocean. But it is in the Seville of his time, a city that was then Europe’s door to America, and in its contrasts and characters of its streets where Murillo finds the elements that give power to his work.
Many of his painting are exhibited nowadays in some of the most prestigious art galleries of the world but Seville is still the perfect environment to discover his work. The commemoration program ‘Murillo and Seville. The 400th anniversary of the birth of a universal painter’ will turn the Andalusian capital into a multidisciplinary museum that will follow the trail of the times and work of Murillo in his original context linking his innovation to the present showing a modern capital that embraces its roots to advance them towards the future.
The director and viol player Jordi Saball, together with Hesperion XXI and Capella Real will inaugurate this year dedicated to Murillo with a concert in the Teatro de la Maestranza on the 28th November. The musician is inspired by the master’s work to create a score of his time. A symphonic program created for the anniversary that integrates the voices of the Sevillian culture of the 17th century and recalls the emotion reached by the painter in his pieces showing his ground breaking way of interpreting reality.
The exhibition program starts with ‘Murillo and the Sevillian Capuchins’ in the Museo de Bellas Artes, a proposal that will reconstruct the composition that Murillo realized for the convent of the Capuchins. The public will be able to enjoy the all series for the first time thanks to the loan of some pieces that are not in the city like the ‘St. Francis in the Portiuncula Chapel’, the main canvas of the altarpiece, handed over for the occasion by the Wallraf-Richartz Museum in Cologne. Furthermore, the show will study through drawings and sketches the way the artist conceived the project.
Other exhibitions follow like ‘Murillo’s trail in Seville’ curated by university professor Benito Navarrete that will take place in the Espacio Santa Clara from the 5th December. The purpose here is to study the latency of Murillo’s images and their power of survival revealing the destiny of his models like anachronistic symptoms that survive throughout history. 62 pieces of the artist’s work, among them some of the most original works in this exhibition.
To complete the exhibition program, ‘Murillo and the Sevillian Cathedral’ will delve into the pairing, Murillo and Church; ‘Murillo application. Materialism, charity and populism’ that will ask about the functioning of the Murillesc in the present through the invention of Murillo in the collective imagination and the critical recovery of values like charity, community and affect that modernity had censored. ‘Facultad de Bellas Artes and Murillo. 400 years later’ conceived like a multidisciplinary homage to the master from the university field through the works of more than 60 artists.
‘The Neve. Merchants, noblemen and patrons of Murillo’s epoch’ will explore in the Archivo General of Andalusia the contribution of one of the families that became a pillar of the baroque splendor. And Ephemeral architectures’ that will adorn the historical centre reproducing the structures created for the festivities of the 17th century where many great artists of the era participated, among them Murillo.
The exhibition ‘IV Centenary’ curated by María Valme Muñoz and Ignacio Cano in the Museo de Bellas Artes de Sevilla deserves a special mention. It is conceived as a great cultural event: the first anthology of more than 50 pieces dedicated to the main artist of the Sevillian baroque in his city. Open from the 28th November 2017 until March 2019 and based in a discourse built on the diversity of the work of Murillo, emphasizing his innovative approach to traditional topics.
Of special importance are as well the ‘Murillo itineraries’, some routes throughout the city that will answer questions like ‘who painted for Murillo?’, ‘What characters inspired Murillo?’, ‘Why are some objects placed in his paintings?’, ‘What is the final significance of his paintings?’ In this activity visitors will access a direct and participative experience that will approach the artist from different points of view. This initiative will from now on enrich permanently the touristic and cultural offer of Seville.
Firstly, the itinerary ‘Behind the steps of Murillo’ will tour the Seville of the 17th century following the footsteps of the artist along the key places of his biography: some buildings that were frequented by the artist and for which he made some of his most relevant works. The visitor will contemplate in them more than 50 original works and more than 80 reproductions.
The second itinerary, ‘The gazes of Murillo’ offers the public the opportunity to discover the work of Murillo through the gazes of the artist about certain topics and matters that he approaches in his work. This itinerary has a complementary and cross-sectional character that allows the visitor to delve into certain issues and understand their significance.
The Casa Murillo situated in Calle Santa Teresa 8 will turn into a center for the dissemination of his legacy. It will be the starting point of the itineraries and it will be equipped with a reception space for visitors, a screening room and a children’s classroom.
Music will be another path through which to travel the time of Murillo. The series ‘Under the sign of Murillo’ will take place in different chapels of the city and will rediscover some compositions of the baroque period in relation to Seville. The pieces will be interpreted by bands and solo musicians in places related to the biography of the painter.
The musical series ‘Murillo’s Europe’ dedicated to the innovation that took place on the continent during the 17th Century will also take place. From Italy to Norway, from England to Germany, we will go over the composers and musical techniques of the most innovative century in history for the classical music tradition. Groups like L’Arpeggiata, Les Arts Florissants, Vocal Consort Berlin and soloists and conductors like Dmitry Sinkowsky, Emma Kirkby, Paul Agnew and Marco Beasly among others will visit us.
Among the musical offerings figure the representation of the Autos Sacramentales ‘Gratia Plena’ conducted by Rafael R. Villalobos, a show that combines historical and modern texts with religious and electronic music interpreting the plastic imaginary of Murillo from a contemporary perspective.
The anniversary wants to turn into a city project where citizens and visitors participate through a catalogue of activities that contribute to the knowledge about the artist and the Seville of the 17th century. The visitor will also be able to participate in ‘Murillo and the American Seville’ where the festivities of the Indian Fleet will be recreated as when Seville was the port and gate to the New World.
This is one of the sections for greater citizen participation in the fourth centenary. An itinerary that will explain how the port was in the times of Murillo, with theatrical dramatizations to show the trades of the India Run (dock workers, ship captains, custom officers, lads, swindlers among others that appear in the paintings of the artist). The stops will be located in important places of the American Seville: the Casa de la Contratación, the Puerta de la Aduana, the Carretería neighbourhood, the Puente de Barcas, La Sardina (todays Barranco market), the docks of the Arenal, Barranco, Camaroneros and Muelas, the Postigo del Carbón, the Atarazanas and the Torre del Oro.
Finally, upon arrival to the Muelle de la Sal, a festival concert will be held in recreating the ambience of the landing of the India fleet.
This consisted on an exhibition of lamps, fireworks and volley salutes from the mount of the Baratillo. A group specializing in antique music will perform liturgies and parties with fanfare and percussion and the bell towers of the area will join in to celebrate.
Other proposals will conduct the public through different aspects like gastronomy, in collaboration with ASET that has prepared numerous activities and tours. Baroque ceramics will be shown in connection to their presence in the work of the painter and we will rediscover through a series of talks in the IAPH in collaboration with La Caixa, the sense of the religiosity in his work and the details of the canvases restored for this occasion.
In the research and publications section shines the international congress ‘Murillo facing his century. Cultural and historiography perspectives’ directed by Benito Navarrete. A great academic event that from March 19th to March 22nd of 2018 will offer a new vision of the artist through the most prominent experts on the artist and his time. This will be a unique event in which 42 experts from all over the world will approach the rightful value of one of the most universal painters of all times.
The program is complemented with the editing of different studio works like ‘Corpus documental de Murillo’, from Pablo Hereza, ‘La Fortuna de Murillo’, from María de los Santos García Felguera, ‘Los discípulos de Murillo’, from Enrique Valdivieso in collaboration with the Universidad de Sevilla and ‘Les peintures des maîtres anciens espagnols en France de 1800 à 1914: Spoliateurs, collectionneurs et marchands’, from Claudie Ressort y Véronique Gerard Powell.
Furthermore, one of the key efforts of this year is assigned to develop a great pedagogy of the master in all his complexity. In order to do so, the program counts on the complicity of the Education area of Ayuntamiento de Sevilla (City Hall of Seville), the Instituto Andaluz de Patrimonio Histórico (Andalusian institute for historical patrimony) and the Consejería de Educación de la Junta de Andalucía (office of education of the government of Andalucía).
Lastly, cinema has also a presence in the celebration. The Festival de Cine Europeo de Sevilla 2017, SEFF (European cinema festival of Seville) will show the world premiere of the documentary ‘Murillo, el ultimo viaje’ from José Manuel Vidal, a piece that not only aims to join to the stream of information that will put value the figure of Murillo but also wants to fill the cinematographic void the exists in relation to the artist. It will be on 6th November in the Teatro Lope de Vega.
The SEFF 2018 will celebrate the series of itinerant cinema ‘Murillo y los niños al margen’ together with specific sessions for education centers.
Once the full program was presented, the mayor has finished his speech with the following words: ‘This is the innovative, suggestive, sincere gaze. The motto with which to teach Seville through the eyes of Murillo. The innovation is the element that joins the Murillo from 400 years ago with Seville’.
From the 4th of October tickets will be available for the opening concert of Jordi Saball and the exhibition ‘Murillo’s trail in Seville’. Available also online through murilloysevilla.org and the website of the ICAS www.icas-sevilla.org.
From the 29th November the tickets will be also available physically in Casa Murillo. Lastly, from the 5th December on, the Espacio Santa Clara will have a ticket window for the sale of tickets for the exhibition ‘Murillo’s trail in Seville’.