Beyond the gold reserves, the Bank of Spain (BE onwards) has been accumulating since 1782, when it started as Banco de San Carlos, another heritage with its own pattern: an art collection. A collection that has Francisco de Goya as a banner and from which he retains eight portraits of the founders of the entity. The first of the commissions to the artist was José de Toro-Zambrano, in 1784. For the piece, 2,328 reals of fleece was paid. And that is the title of the exhibition - which has opened the king - with which he exhibits a first part of his funds. Or, more exactly: the beginning of its beginnings. At the forefront of scientific work of this exhibition are Yolanda Romero (conservative of Bank art) and Manuela Mena, an expert in the work of the Aragonese painter.
Many of the pieces of this collection could only be contemplated if they were borrowed for exhibitions alien to the institution. Among them the portraits of Fernando VII (by Vicente López) and Isabel II (Benito Soriano). It is now when the BE premieres its own space to exhibit the origin of its artistic funds, in an act to which Felipe VI has attended. It is now when this set will have its meaning as a public space. It is now when it will be possible to trace from paintings, sculptures, the library and other artifacts not only another sequence of art in Spain, but also the history of the institution. Works by Mariano Salvador Mallea, Vicente López, Antonio María Esquivel, Agustín Esteve, Federico de Madrazo and Benito Soriano, among others. And documents -70,000 has scanned the BE corresponding to 218 books where the modern economic memory of the country was set. A crowded party.
"Goya begins the tradition of portrait and custom at the BE," says Romero. And he owes an aesthetic line that would keep the institution in his first compass. Manuela Mena highlights these works of Goya like those of a young painter, at the start of him as a portraitist. "But as all the great art knows how to raise the characters they possess for him." However, on the work of the Aragonese, denunciation, have already fallen and tons of topics, clichés, confusing and malicious interpretations: "I have no hope that we can clean up the work of Goya. I'm afraid I've lost it" .
- For many things. Among others because for 20 years I had the effort to make the reasoned catalog of Goya's work, but I have lost hope. It would have to continue explaining Goya little by little, but there are too many interests in not doing things as you have to do.
This permanent exhibition space of BEAs now with thirty pieces of 14 artists. Also with the founding books of the Bank of San Marcos where the first actions are set, which were King Charles III. Also the first Spanish bills when there was still no robbery paper or the small print.
At the moment, the young Goya reigns. That artist opening a passing that since 1780 he was a member of the Royal Academy of San Fernando by acclamation by presenting the crucified Christ that today is part of the collection of the Prado Museum. "Then he was appointed a professor of anatomy of the Academy," says Mena. "Although in these portraits there may be something stuck in some expressions, which is undoubted is its expertise. For example, they said that Goya did not know how to paint hands, but that is denied if we look at the Portrait of the Count of Floridablanca, how they are made Your hands. What a detail to the bone ".
This sequence of portraits that already take place and accessible in the bank not only account for a moment of painting, but of a time of confection of the country. Of a modernity for brand new.Updated Date: 15 October 2021, 11:36