During 2007, the city of Murcia will be commemorating the third centenary of the birth of Francisco Salzillo y Alcaraz, one of the greatest sculptors of the 18 th century, with the ” Salzillo, Witness of a Century” exhibition. The exhibition will be open to the public between March and July 2007 and will enable visitors to relate Francisco Salzillo and his work to the setting that made it possible – the city and region of Murcia – and to situate it all in the context of the advances and conquests that took place in the 18 th century, a century which Salzillo himself helped to shape. To this end, a carefully chosen selection of the sculptor’s works will be exhibited alongside those of other great artists of the period, from various angles: the historico-geographical context of the artist, Salzillo as a creator and Salzillo vis-à-vis his contemporaries.
The exhibition will be held at three different venues, all in the city of Murcia : the Salzillo Museum , the Nuestro Padre Jesús Church and San Andrés Parish Church.
More than 300 exhibits of incalculable value by artists such as Salzillo, Bernini and Zurbarán
More than 300 works of incalculable value from across Spain, Portugal, Italy, Germany and Austria, of which around 100 are the product of Salzillo’s chisel, will be exhibited, including paintings, sculptures, silverware, furniture, sketches, tapestries, religious objects, books, documents and engravings.
The aim of the exhibition is not to show all of Salzillo’s work, but rather a carefully chosen selection. As such, visitors will be able to see such emblematic works as the artist’s Nativity scene or his processional Passion scenes. A number of unique items of the renowned sculptor’s work will be on show, some of which have never previously been exhibited and others only on very few occasions, such as Saint Ann and the Virgin as a Child, recently restored and kept in Murcia’s Santa Ana Monastery, or Saint Michael , as well as others from outside the Region. Of particular interest are the only signed drawing by Salzillo, depicting the Virgen del Patrocinio, a silver monstrance designed by the artist in 1737 and a crucifix sculpted by the artist in 1769, which earned him the title of “Aplaudido Maestro de España” (“Commended Master of Spain”), a document which is also on display.
Accompanying those by Salzillo, will be works by Bernini, Zurbarán, Juan Carreño de Miranda, Paolo de Matteis, Luis Meléndez, Molinaretto, Pedro Duque Cornejo, Durero, Luisa Roldán, Luis Salvador Carmona, Nicolás de Bussy, José Risueño and Luis Paret, as well as classical sculptures.