The Museum, inaugurated in May of 1980, is installed in three buildings in Oviedo's old quarter: the Velarde Palace, from the 18th century, to which a construction from the XX is attached, and the Casa de Oviedo-Portal, from the XVII century. The Museum currently has a fund of between 8 and 10.000 inventoried pieces, although they are really only exposed between 350-400 to the public. It contains paintings by Spanish artists -signing the Asturians- and foreigners (highlighting Italian and Flemish painting), as well as sculptures, photographs and objects of glass and earthenware.
Opened in 1980 and dependent on the Principality, the museum occupies two historic buildings: the sumptuous Velarde Palace, one of the most important in Asturias, was built in 1767 by the great Asturian architect Manuel Reguera González for D. Pedro Velarde Calderón and Prada, city councilor, and the Palace-House built in 1860 by D. Fernando de Oviedo-Portal.
In the courtyard of the palace there are large-scale works corresponding to Asturian and Spanish painters of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The great canvas "After a strike" by the Spaniard José Uría, an important work with a social theme, is striking. One of the rooms annexed to the patio is dedicated monographically to the Asturian painter José Ramón Zaragoza. There you can admire the huge triptych "Myth of Prometheus", attached to the post-impressionist currents.
In this lower room there is also the temporary exhibition hall of the museum and the rest room, intended for visitors. Through this you can access the garden, open space where a small set of contemporary sculptures are exhibited.
Works until the 19th century
On the first floor of the palace are exposed permanently works ranging from the Middle Ages to the nineteenth century.
A space has been allocated to the exhibition of works of the Flemish Renaissance. The splendid triptych of D. Alvaro de Carreño, of the Master of the Legend of the Magdalene, which can be dated to 1520, stands out here. Other important tables correspond to the Master of female half figures, Jan Van Dornicke, Ambrosius Benson and Marcelus Coffermans.
The «Altarpiece of the Santos Juanes», of the Master of Cubells, of Catalan school, and the «Altarpiece of the Virgin» and saints, of the Mallorcan Rafael Moger. Along with these, today outstanding pieces of the Spanish-flamenco world made by Jaime Huguet, culminating figure of the style in the Catalan field and Fernando Gallego, the most characteristic painter of the trend in the Castilian-Leonese kingdom.
The exhibition continues with significant Baroque examples by Rubens and a superb «Vase», by Jan Brueghel de Velours.
In the galleries of the patio have been installed works of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries of Spanish and European schools. They attract especially pairs of vases of Arellano and Yepes, from the middle of the XV century, and the paintings of the Spaniard Miguel Jacinto Meléndez, painter of King Felipe V and excellent epilogue of the Baroque school of Madrid, of whom a pair of real portraits is shown, the superb Portrait of the Marquis of Vadillo and an Immaculate Conception. The nephew of this painter, Luis Meléndez, capital figure of the eighteenth-century Spanish painting, is represented with an impressive set of seven still lifes and a portrait.
Works by Asturian painters
The central palace on the second floor, valued by a beautiful gallery open to the patio, welcomes a selection of the work of the most famous and popular Asturian painters: Evaristo Valle and Nicanor Piñole. Both carried out the most outstanding of his work in the first half of the 20th century. Its representation in the Museum, amazingly rich in number and quality, reaches in the case of Valle 36 oils, two watercolors and a drawing, and in the Piñole 36 oils and 39 works on paper, among drawings, watercolors and pastels. The work of Valle, linked to the post-impressionist currents, offers, through his great mastery, an original worldview of the people and the land of Asturias. For his part, Piñole, artist of academic training, was one of the painters who together with Valle contributed to the modernization of Asturian art.
Works of the 19th century
There is also a good sample of the Valencian painting of the nineteenth century, notably enriched with the incorporation of nine oil paintings by Joaquín Sorolla, some of the highest quality such as "Transportando la uva" or "Running along the beach". Also represented are Ignacio Pinazo, Navarro Llorens and Jose Mongrell. And a selection of works linked to Spanish modernism. Surprise the great work "Campesinos de Gandía", by Anglada Camarasa, the "Self-portrait", by Darío de Regoyos from Rio de Janeiro, and works by Casas, Santiago Rusiñol, Ricardo Baroja, Sotomayor, Manuel Benedito, Eduardo Chicharro, Julio Romero de Torres and Joaquin Mir.
It should be noted in turn the splendid collection of glass and earthenware, with more than 2.500 pieces. Almost all of the Spanish factories of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries are represented, as well as warehouses in Germany, Belgium, France, England and Portugal.Text: © Ramón Molleda for desdeasturias.com
Information of interestAddress / Location:
Velarde Palace - Santa Ana Street, 1
Telephone: 985 21 20 57 - 985 21 30 61
More information: Museum of BBAA