The Nicanor Piñole Museum is a monographic museum dedicated to the painter Nicanor Piñole (Gijón, 1878-1978), a landscaper, watercolorist, creator of costumbristas and / or work compositions of his native land. His work, which follows the maxim of simplicity, makes us confuse painting and reality. He stood out as an exceptional portraitist and, according to many critics, at this point he only has a parallel with Velázquez or Goya in Spanish painting.
Observing in detail the works of this museum we suffer the proper effect of postimpressionism well executed. The perfection and the expression of the subject always treated above the optical sensation. The viewer enjoys a very active role in the psychological and emotional analysis of the painted events.
None Asturian collective demonstration it has been alien to this universal artist: the collection of apples, the processions, pilgrimages, the rula ... But perhaps above all these scenes, and their landscapes, stand out The portraits, in particular the impressive and lauded portraits of his mother that catch the spectator with their deep gestures.
The affable character of this painter earned him great number of friends, some of them of relevance in the world of the arts, like Pablo Picasso, whom he met during his stay in France and with whom he shared his first prize. But little by little it left the Parisian life and its stay in Rome, in addition to the national artistic circuits (Madird and Barcelona), to develop its activity in its native Gijón. Maybe for this renounce the various European artistic movements and his andaura for free, and despite showing an impeccable technique, his work was ignored for a long time, reaching fair recognition in old age.
He would also die in his city a few days after completing 100 years of age. A decade later his widow donated to the City Council of Gijón more than 700 works and objects of the author, with which it would be inaugurated later this Museum in the old Pola Asylum building. This foundational collection was gradually enriched with the funds deposited by the Casa Natal de Jovellanos Museum and the Museum of Fine Arts of Asturias. The expository discourse is articulated according to chronological and thematic criteria and includes the most representative paintings of the different stages of his artistic career. Among its funds, there is also an important collection of more than six thousand drawings. The museum aims to capture his artistic career, making special reference to its meaning in the context of Asturian and national art. In this trajectory they highlight several milestones, such as the portrait of Melquíadez Álvarez that he paints in 1923 at the request of the Congress of Deputies. In 1928 his painting "Stevedores" deserves to be included in the exhibition "A Century of Spanish Art After Goya", held in Belgium and Holland. In 1930 participates in the Venice Biennial. In 1933 he makes an individual exhibition at the Ateneo de Madrid, inaugurated by Unamuno and Victorio Macho, among others. The following year the National Museum of Contemporary Art acquires his work "Mariners in the port of Gijón". The civil war, which inspired his paintings "El refugio" and "La retiro", surprised him in Gijón. In the museum rooms we discovered precisely a series of personal items, before and after the war. Objects related to his artistic activity such as some sculptures, activity that he practiced occasionally, the palette and the box of brushes, furniture and the catalogs of some of the exhibitions in which he participated. They are also very interesting pictures, which illustrate everyday aspects of his life and the scenarios where it was developed.
The year 1955 is key in his biography, since it is the subject of a great tribute in Madrid. In 1963, he is named the favorite son of Gijón, and ten years later the Diputación de Oviedo grants him the title of favorite son of Asturias. In 1974 he was awarded the Fine Arts gold medal.
Nicanor Piñole painted until very old age. The last painting he was painting that he left unfinished is «El piper de Gijón».
We can realize the visit to the museum following its nine halls and galleries along its three floors.
Room I: Self-portraits
Room II: The Roman stage
Room III: Family portraits and landscapes of Carreños
Room IV: Painting of genre and urban landscapes
Room V: The Thirties
Room VI: Set of drawings, pastels and watercolors
Room VII: The Civil War
Room VIII: Objects linked to the privacy of Nicanor Piñole
Room IX: Landscapes and portraits of last stage
Galleries: Library and personal items
There are complementary payment services such as audio guides, cultural itineraries and guided tours.Text: © Ramón Molleda for desdeasturias.com