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The panels of Mingote

Ribadesella according to Mingote

The panels of Mingote

Ribadesella according to Mingote

Special review of the local history with which the comedian and academic of the language leaves its mark as in any other of his works. With the happy stroke that has been filing in his long artistic career, Mingote plays the representation of the representations, in a way in his vision of the Paleolithic, which could well be interpreted as a metalanguage close to the Rock Art.


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Mingote He has left his most monumental vignette in Ribadesella, arranged in 6 large ceramic panels (four meters long by one and a half high, each). Of course, with characters cooked slowly in the stoneware, big noses and comic poses.

And as in the man of the cave, his recreations of the rest of the story put the Mingotesque accent at the appropriate time, with which an authentic prose, in the form of cartoon, to relate a past that is local in the facts and universal in its artistic reproduction.

Located in the popular Crane ride, one of the most beautiful maritime facades of the Cantabrian coast, the panels add an additional attraction to this busy path, uniting the cultural merits with those of the landscape, with the immediacy of the Sella estuary and the swinging sea in the background on the beach of Santa Marina. A unique estuary for a unique work.

What is officially known as the Historic Route of the Port are these six mosaics corresponding to six great moments of the past riosellano, previously selected by the local writer Toni Silva. Prehistory, Middle Ages, Renaissance, The War of Independence, emigration of the nineteenth century and the time closest to today, which includes the cariturized figures of the Prince and Princess of Asturias, occasional tourists of this municipality, in which Prince Felipe He appears without a head, since his improper height, Mingote seems to tell us, does not fit completely in the mural.

After the drawings made by Mingote, the panels began to be crafted in the workshop of the Asturian ceramist Pachu Muñiz, later they moved in hundreds of small pieces to the factory of earthenware of San Claudio, in Oviedo, to join them all, more than 300, in a final cooking to more than a thousand degrees. The result of this complex process are the six giant puzzles. According to Muñiz, who is the one who best knows the final work, the best way to appreciate the murals is from about three meters away, allowing the view to be recreated, from one side to the other, by the innumerable recesses of the composition, as if it were a question of large canvases of traditional painting.

Anyway, if we approach, the characters are more endearing and the general scenography is distributed in a multitude of gestures and details that could otherwise be overlooked. Dozens of faces and characters, each one different from the other, with their own expression and personality, magically populate historical scenes.

The episodes reported by Mingote they refer to the man of Tito Bustillo and the Palaeolithic culture of the caverns; to Rome and the Middle Ages, with basic elements such as the hunting and reelaboration of the whales or the granting of the Puebla Charter of 1270, foundational council, which granted the villa Alfonso X the Wise; the Renaissance, sixteenth century, with the visit of Charles V and the salt harbor; the War of Independence, with the occupation of the French; and emigration to America, nineteenth century, with the brig "Havana". A sixth mural, which Mingote calls "Modernity" has a picture of the early twentieth century, before the civil war, with the iron bridge crossing the estuary, bathers dressed in the old way, a man reading the local newspaper « L'Atalaya »and the Princes of Asturias.

But the best thing to discover the whole artistic dimension of the panels is to approach Ribadesella and enjoy them live. In this way, walking through the port, the sense of the drawings fits perfectly into the medium that gave them life and that was, finally, the one that convinced Mingote to decide on the job: «We came my friends and my wife and the interest that I had had for the project became an illusion to see this beautiful town that made us fall in love ».

Text: © Ramón Molleda for desdeasturias.com


coordinates Latitude: 43.4656296 Length: -5.0592470
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