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The Hispanic Society of New York loans the "Vista de La Alameda de Hércules" to the "Diego Velázquez Research Centre"

March 20, 2009

The Focus-Abengoa Foundation has received new international support thanks to the loan by the Hispanic Society of New York of the Vista de La Alameda de Hércules to the Diego Velásquez Research Centre, a painting that helps to illustrate Seville at the time of Velázquez and which places equal emphasis on public and urban space and the need for human space.

The loan helps to consolidate the excellent relationship between the two institutions, which began in 2000 with the exhibition From Goya to Zuloaga. The painting of the 19th and 20th centuries at the Hispanic Society, and which aimed to use the most important paintings that the famous Hispanist, Archer Milton Huntington, had amassed throughout his life.

This devotee to all things Hispanic also collected works that represented or illustrated the essence of being Spanish. This was the case of the Vista de La Alameda de Hércules dated 1647, one of the best illustrations of the importance of the Alameda as a public space and as a space for socialising during the Golden Age. The painting shows the appreciation of classical antiquity and urban planning, designed by the Count of Barajas, represented by the columns that remain from the temple dedicated to Hercules in Calle Mármoles, and in which the sculptor Diego de Pesquera represented Hercules and Julius Caesar as founders of the city of Seville.

These aspects have been reassessed thanks to the exhibition organised by the Focus-Abengoa Foundation entitled The Recovery of Classical Antiquity in Andalusia.

This loan enables the Focus-Abengoa Foundation to give Seville the opportunity to rediscover its past and to witness the relationship of the piece with the unique Vista de Sevilla, acquired some months ago.

The Diego Velázquez Research Centre aims to promote the study of the work by the Sevillian artist as well as to analyse the background of his professional career in the city of Seville. The Centre has a clear objective to instil in the city's residents the legacy of one of the most dynamic artistic periods of Seville, an era in which Andalusia became the benchmark for the whole of Europe.

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 or by Sevillian authors was created at the same time. This initial cultural work illustrated to 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.

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