May 12

In the footsteps of the three geniuses.

In the city of Zaragoza three names stand out for their relevance, their genius, their artistic legacy and their history. We are talking about Goya, of course, but also about Pablo Gargallo and Pablo Serrano. Today we introduce you to a journey in the footsteps of the three geniuses of Zaragoza and their great works. 

The three geniuses of Zaragoza: Goya, Gargallo and Serrano

 The three geniuses of Zaragoza: Goya, Gargallo and Serrano

Goya’s work in Zaragoza 

Francisco de Goya y Lucientes is one of the worldwide most known Spanish painters. Goya was born in 1746 in Fuendetodos, a small town in Zaragoza’s province, in the region of Aragón. He spent part of his childhood and youth in Zaragoza city, where he could learn in the workshop of the painter José Luzán. 

The presence of the young Goya was soon witnessed in the city. A plaque on a building in Plaza San Miguel indicates the location of the old house where the artist lived. During his stay in the city, he carried out important works in the Basilica del Pilar, such as the painting of the choir’s vault (1772) and the Regina Martyrum dome (1780-1781), as well as scenes from Virgin’s life in the Charterhouse of the Aula Dei (1772). -1774). 

Vault of the coreto of the Basílica del Pilar. Francisco de Goya.

Vault of the coreto of the Basílica del Pilar. Francisco de Goya.

Collection of prints and other works 

Currently we can also enjoy Goya’s work in the Museum of Zaragoza, located in the Plaza de Los Sitios. Among the collection, the court paintings stand out (the portraits of Carlos IV, Maria Luisa de Parma, Fernando VII, the Duke of San Carlos or the infant Luis María de Borbón), also the works made during his learning in Italy (Anibal crossing the Alps ) or the series of engravings (Caprichos, Nonsense, Disasters, Bullfighting). 

You can also enjoy his work is the Goya Museum – Ibercaja Collection – Camón Aznar Museum. The collection inside consists of a wide variety of paintings and the complete series of engravings, on permanent display. 

Collection of engravings of the Bullfighting. Goya Museum.

Collection of engravings of the Bullfighting. Goya Museum.

Our last stop is at the Alma Mater Museum to see Goya’s portrait of Archbishop Joaquín Company. But our route doesn’t end here, because just a few kilometers from Zaragoza we can find the artist’s mark in three places: the hermitage of the Virgen de la Fuente in Muel, the church of San Juan Bautista de Remolinos and the birthplace of Goya in Fuendetodos, National Historical Monument, where the Engraving Museum is located with four original series of engravings by Goya. 

The avant-garde Pablo Gargallo 

Pablo Emilio Gargallo Catalán was born in 1881 in the locality of Maella, near Zaragoza; His work is a benchmark in the artistic panorama of the 19th century, being considered one of the most important artists of the Spanish and international avant-garde artistic movement. 

Sculpture of Uranus, Pablo Gargallo Museum

Sculpture of Uranus, Pablo Gargallo Museum

Pablo Gargallo studied in Barcelona as disciple of the sculptor Eusebi Arnau and the sculptor Venancio Vallmitjana at La Lonja School of Fine Arts. In these times of modernist Barcelona, Pablo Gargallo knew important artists of the time such as Novell or Picasso, who influenced his first works. He continued his studies in Paris, where he delved into Cubist aesthetics and searched for schematics and the essentiality of figures and objects. 

In 1903 he was able to travel to Paris to complete his studies thanks to a scholarship. His was a brief stay, but from then until 1923, when he settled permanently in the French capital, his trips to Zaragoza were frequent. There he found the aesthetic formulations of Cubism, assimilated its expressive systems and searched for the schematism and essentiality of figures and objects, trying to find the authentic three-dimensional expression of Cubist postulates. 

His great works 

His works stand out for the use of metal and the simplicity of forms. Gradually he incorporated the void in his works, making light and air play a fundamental role in them. His best-known work is The Prophet (1933), a 2.35-meter work in which the fusion of the void with metallic forms can be seen to form the different volumes. 

Sculpture of the Prophet, Pablo Gargallo Museum

Sculpture of the Prophet, Pablo Gargallo Museum

Today his work can be seen at the Pablo Gargallo Museum, located in the Palace of the Counts of Argillo, in Plaza San Felipe. This beautiful Renaissance building, which has a patio covered by a glass dome, also has a documentation center to consult information on the life of the artist, as well as other contemporary sculptors. 

Pablo Serrano, ahead of his time.  

Our latest genius takes us to the town of Crivillén in Teruel, at the beginning of the 20th century. It was there in 1908 that Pablo Serrano, one of the most important Spanish artists of this time, was born. He began his career in South America and returned to Spain in the 1950’s as an established artist. His work was of great influence for avant-garde art, making expressionist and abstract sculptures. Some of his most outstanding works are found in Zaragoza, flanking the entrance to the Town Hall or occupying a leading place on the façade of the Basilica del Pilar, where the relief of the Coming of the Virgen del Pilar stands out. 

The coming of the Virgen del Pilar, Basilica del Pilar. Pablo Serrano

The coming of the Virgen del Pilar, Basilica del Pilar. Pablo Serrano

In 1957 he founded the Grupo El Paso together with great artists such as Antonio Saura, Manolo Millares, Rafael Canogar and Juana Francés. This group became the avant-garde movement that introduced abstract art to the peninsula, revitalizing the post-war Spanish art world. 

His greatest legacy 

His greatest legacy was the foundation of the Aragonese Institute of Contemporary Art and Culture, (IAACC) Pablo Serrano in Zaragoza, for the dissemination of his work and that of other contemporary artists such as Arroyo, Barceló, Saura, Picasso, Miró or Tàpies; Also international artists such as Michaux, Warhol, Lichtenstein, Bacon or Le Corbusier. 

IAACC Pablo Serrano

IAACC Pablo Serrano

The building stands out for its large geometric volumes and its striking finishes with large metallic plates lacquered in turquoise green and black. On its terrace you will find one of the best viewpoints in the city and a magnificent terrace where you can relax and enjoy live music and avant-garde cuisine.  

These are the three geniuses of Zaragoza and their brilliant works. Come meet them all! 

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