The treasures of the Palace of Liria discovered

The duke of Alba receives ABC days before opening the doors of Liria The duke of Alba open to the public, the Palace of Liria. You will finally be able to vi

The treasures of the Palace of Liria discovered
The duke of Alba receives ABC days before opening the doors of Liria

The duke of Alba open to the public, the Palace of Liria. You will finally be able to visit without restrictions one of the private collections most beautiful in Spain. Those who suppose that this adds little to Madrid, home of several museums, fantastic, you are mistaken. The spectators are not only going to now have the occasion to contemplate a handful of works by leading-edge from Fra Angelico to Chagall , but also know the ambience of a large stately home in which those works are integrated in the everyday life, have become even in museum pieces.

Strictly speaking, there are no paintings, statues and decorative pieces, arranged into walls and cabinets, but memories of a clan, an aristocratic whose History is confused with that of Europe . If we can not impress too much with the luxury, without falling into the prejudices that encourage people to convict him, maybe we'll get to capture even the slight oppression which, under the glow of so many things venerable, must produce the omnipresence of generations of ancestors who have lived since children surrounded by their memory.

A list that does not fail

three of those ancestors of the Alba we all know well: the great duke of Alba, Fernando Álvarez de Toledo , the general of Charles V and Philip II that appealed to her mothers belgian to frighten naughty children; the duchess Cayetana , whose affairs with Goya have given rise to all kinds of steamy fable; and Eugénie de Montijo , the wife of Napoleon III, who died in 1920 at the age of 94 in this same palace, assisted by her sister, the then duchess of Alba. His portraits, signed by Titian, Goya and Winterhalter , occupy a very important place in the collection of the Alba and in the imagination of any spaniard who has gone to school.

When you belong to a family like this there is no other choice but to stick with the past: titles and estate, yes, but at the same time, as involved in its possession

The list of major artists represented in the palace is not exhausted, however, with the names mentioned. There are added many others: El Greco, Velázquez, Zurbarán, Ribera, Rubens, Guido Reni, Luca Giordano ... And, with them, sculptors, goldsmiths, and craftsmen of all kinds. They are, in addition, the documentary collections, also of great cultural importance (from the autographs of Columbus to the marriage settlements of Juana la Loca or the last testament of Ferdinand the Catholic ) and the library, with several thousands of specimens, many first editions of "don Quixote", for example.

"Last Supper", of Titian and workshop

One thinks of what that should mean to belong to all this and can't stop feel a certain anguish . Under the gilded splendor of wealth and privilege there are presumably a lot of expensive obligations. is "Deo patrum nostrorum" (The god of our fathers), he prayed the motto of the grand duke, a god which surely also includes all kinds of personifications earthly: homeland, king, lineage.

Are, in addition, the documentary (from the autographs of Columbus to the terms of the marriage contract of Joanna the Mad or the last testament of Fernando the Catholic) and the library

When you belong to a family like this there is no other choice but to stick with the past: titles and estate, yes, but at the same time, as involved in its possession, beginning with the impossibility of being what one wants. "I am my only ancestor", he said with pride Voltaire . And I knew why. The last duchess, in spite of their vaunted independence, they never forgot the promise he made to the father of rebuild the palace of Liria, destroyed during the Civil War, not ever, not even when you are determined to update the majismo of his celebrated ancestor, stopped working in favor of the "House", exactly the same as any of its predecessors. is Noblesse oblige .

Rebel against destiny

The current duke of Alba is called Fitz-James Stuart . Is the family name since the early NINETEENTH century inherited the title a nephew of the duchess Cayetana, Carlos Miguel, duke of Berwick. A grandfather of this built the palace of Liria in the EIGHTEENTH century. Cayetana is apellidaba Silva, a name that came to his family with his paternal grandfather. A little tradition reliable assures that the obsession to retrieve the original surname of the house led the parents of Cayetana to marry her at the age of thirteen with his cousin Jose Alvarez de Toledo . Unfortunately for them, the marriage had no sons. If the things of the lineage were so crucial it is not surprising that the duchess was to revolt against the fate shocking to the madrid society with his behavior libertine. is The history heavy .

And that's not lived in the palace of Liria, or owned more than a part of the current collection, contributions of the Berwick family property. It was the owner, instead, of the "Venus of the mirror", from Velázquez , in reality the entire collection of VII marquess of the Carpio , who married his heir with the duke of Alba. The painting of Velázquez liked it so much that he asked Goya that the portrayed naked. Not as came into the world –the Dawn are born clothed– but naked of truth, of herself. What will be the nudity is a secret dream of those who have inherited too?

Updated Date: 19 September 2019, 22:01

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