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With the exhibition “Strength and beauty”, the Prado Museum pays tribute to Miguel Blay, one of the leading sculptors of the nineteenth century, the 150th anniversary of his birth, and along with Eduardo Chicharro and Cecilio Pla, was one the artists who broke the creation of the Spanish Association of Painters and Sculptors.
Miguel Blay Fábregas was also President of the Spanish Association of Painters and Sculptors in 1914
Intending to raise awareness of his magnificent work, the title of the exhibition sums up the artistic ideology of Blay (Olot, Girona, 1866 – Madrid, 1936) and has been extracted from the speech during admission to the Royal Academy Fine Arts of San Fernando in 1910.
The sculptures, drawings, medals and a little black book of notes that form the collection owned by the Prado show Blay “as a total artist. It was an exceptional artist, and these drawings allow to reconstruct its evolution,” said Commissioner Leticia Azcue, head Conservation of Sculpture and Decorative Arts Prado. Artist who was interested transmit “sensitivity and feeling”, its evolution developed along the paths of modernist, symbolist, realistic and naturalistic expression.
Studio in Paris and then traveled to Rome, where design “Cold first,” a group “dramatic and moving within the expressiveness of social realism prevailing at the time conception.” “The Naked Girl” (1892), which retains the Prado, is an individualized fragment of this group, a common practice of Blay, who made versions of fragments of his works. “He tried the nude figures to see how they were more expressive and to work well the anatomy that later would shape under clothes. Given the success of these anatomical studies and encouraged by Spanish artists who visited his workshop, he decided to leave the figures without clothes.”
In addition to paying tribute to the artist on the anniversary of his birth, this exhibition recalls the Museo del Prado “is not just an art gallery, but houses a magnificent collection of drawings, decorative arts and sculpture”.
We, as one of the fathers of the Spanish Association of Painters and Sculptors, founded by now 106 years ago, will also surrender this particular tribute and we join the disclosure of his life and his work to be recognized as worthy artists and general public.