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Focus-Abengoa Foundation acquires "Vista de Sevilla", a great 17th century work that recreates the city that inspired Velázquez

July 3, 2008

  • The Foundation has recovered one of the most emblematic portraits of Seville’s physiognomy on behalf of the city, thanks to the purchase of this work.
  • The arrival of the new work coincides with the first anniversary of the acquisition of the “ Santa Rufina” by Velázquez.

Seville, July 3, 2008.- The Focus-Abengoa Foundation today presented Vista de Sevilla (17th century), a work that will be exhibited in the Diego Velázquez Research Centre and whose recovery reaffirms the Foundation’s commitment to the culture and the recovery of Seville’s artistic heritage.

The purchase of this extraordinary piece will mark a “before and after” for the Velázquez Centre and the city as a whole, which will be able to enjoy one of the most representative works of Seville that to date has been privately owned.

The work Vista de Sevilla (1.68 m by 2.79 m) is one of the most emblematic portraits of the city’s physiognomy and illustrates the socio-cultural and planning of the city that inspired Velázquez’s early works. Painted in the 17th century by a flamenco artist following the style of Mathäus Merian (1593-1650) –owned by the Foundation-, who illustrated the book by Ludwig Gottfried published in Frankfurt, it highlights the vitality of the capital of Seville in the Modern Age, seen from the Triana district.

The work, together with the work of the same name on display in the Museo de América in Madrid but painted between the 16th and the 17th centuries, are the two most important and representative illustrations currently preserved of Seville city.

The path that led to the Foundation to recover this piece of art was marked by fate and magic, similar to the circumstances surrounding the acquisition of the Santa Rufina one year ago. The purchase was only recently completed, although it was preceded by an intense period of reflection and work by the Focus-Abengoa Foundation.

The Vista de Sevilla was last exhibited in 2001 at the El Galeón de Manila exhibition, a display organised by the Foundation and the Ministry of  Culture. From now on, it can be seen in the Diego Velázquez Research Centre.

The Focus-Abengoa Foundation was started in 1982 as a result of the cultural work begun in 1972 by Abengoa with the publication of the works Temas Sevillanos (Themes of Seville) and Iconografía de Sevilla (Iconography of Seville). A collection of documents, books and recordings on the Kingdom of Seville by Sevillian authors was created at the same time. This initial cultural work showed Abengoa’s directors the importance of the company’s involvement in activities that directly benefit society, beyond its core technology based work, and this led to the creation of the Seville Cultural Fund Foundation.

Vista de Sevilla, Anonimo, sXVII

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