New home for Madrazo collection by 2010

Unesco World Heritage site of Alcalá de Henares is the likely venue

madrid. It is likely that the Madrazo collection—a series of works by a family of major 19th-century Spanish artists—will find a permanent home by 2010 in the city of Alcalá de Henares, a Unesco World Heritage site 35km northeast of Madrid. An exhibition of the collection—which consists of 84 oils by three generations of the Madrazo family: José and his sons Federico and Luis; and Federico’s sons Raimundo and Ricardo—is set to be held in Alcalá’s Hospital Santa María la Rica, though no date has been confirmed. There are also plans for temporary shows this year in various Spanish cities and possibly in Italy. The collection is valued at €2.9m and was acquired by the Community of Madrid in lieu of taxes owed by descendants of the Madrazo family.

“[The Madrazos] are among the most distinguished Spanish painters of the 19th century,” said Carmen Diaz Gallegos, curator of 19th-century painting at the Royal Palace of Madrid, whose collection includes works by José, Federico and Raimundo de Madrazo. “They were appreciated by the highest classes in the court and among aristocracy.”

According to Juan Andres Alba of the Alcalá Council of Culture: “It appears that [the collection] is going to come here for sure, though for the moment we have only a verbal agreement. What remains is to make a study of the proposed buildings and come to a decision.”

One of the buildings being considered, according to Mr Alba, is the Palacio de los Casado, also known as the Antiguo Hospital Universitario de San Lucas. “It’s a building that fulfils all the right conditions: It’s in the city centre, it’s monumental and it’s being reformed.”

The intention to house the collection in Alcalá originated with Santiago Fisas, the newly elected member of the European Parliament and ex-Councillor of Culture for the Community of Madrid.

Pablo Muñoz, speaking for the Council of Culture, told The Art Newspaper: “The Madrid Community is working with the Alcalá de Henares City Hall to find a suitable location to install the collection. Fisas was working towards this end. Now his successor, Ignacio González, intends to follow it through.”

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