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Inaugural conference of the International Encounter on Naturalism at the Focus-Abengoa Foundation

February 6, 2006

Seville, February 6, 2006. – Today, at 20:00 hours, the Focus-Abengoa Foundation will inaugurate, in its Hospital de los Venerables headquarters, the International Encounter on Naturalism, with the conference entitled “Caravaggio in Spain”, which will be given by Professor Mina Gregori, director of the Longhi Foundation for the Study of the History of Art, and Lecturer at the University of Florence. At the conference, Mina Gregori will present the key works that are linked to Sevillian art, as well as collectionism and the presence of canvasses by the artist in our country. Professor Gregori discovered Caravaggio’s authorship of "The Sacrifice of Isaac", from the Piasecka Johnson collection, which is on show in the exhibition.

Professor Gregori is the maximum authority at international level on Caravaggio painting. Of note among her numerous publications are “Caravaggio e i caravaggeschi” (Milan, 1951), "La pittura in Italia. Il Seicento della serie Electa" (Milan, 1989) and "Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio. Come nascono i Capolavori" (Florence-Rome, 1991-1992), among others. In addition, Gregori is a member of the Art Design Academy of Italy and was professor at the center for Advanced Studies of the Visual Arts of the Washington National Gallery of Art, from 1999 to 2000.

Tomorrow, Tuesday February 7, the conference entitled “Ribera and Spain”, will be given by Gabriele Finaldi, director of conservation and investigation of the Prado National Museum. An expert on Ribera, Finaldi dedicated his doctorate thesis to the study of Ribera’s years in Naples, and participated for the Ribera exhibition organized by the Prado Museum in 1992.

Entry to the conferences is free of charge until full capacity is reached. The objective of the conferences is to dig deeper into the new means of investigation propitiated by the exhibition entitled "From Herrera to Velázquez. Early naturalism in Seville"; and they will also provide those interested in the exhibition with the opportunity of gaining more in-depth knowledge on Naturalism and the reason for being of this exhibition.

The Focus-Abengoa Foundation was established in 1982 as a consequence of the cultural activity initiated in 1972 by Abengoa with the publishing of the works "Sevillian Topics" and "Iconography of Seville". During this same period a collection of documents, books and prints on Seville, or by Sevillian authors, was being put together. This initial cultural activity brought Abengoa's senior management to see the importance of the company being seen outside its essential technological functions through an activity that would be of benefit to society as a whole, which led to the founding of the Fundación Fondo de Cultura de Sevilla.

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