Pieces from El Prado museum exhibited at the University of Barcelona, in a catalogue

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Ramon Dilla, Sílvia Canalda and the vice-rector for Heritage and Cultural ActiviRamon Dilla, Sílvia Canalda and the vice-rector for Heritage and Cultural Activities Agustí Alcoberro in front of the painting Doña María Pacheco de Padilla després de Villalar.


Les pintures de la Universitat de Barcelona (I). El dipòsit del Museu del Prado , edited by Sílvia Canalda Llobet and Ramon Dilla Martí in collaboration with the Prado Museum, is the updated catalogue of a part of the paintings that are exhibited in the Historical Building of the UB.

The University of Barcelona guards one of the oldest, most extensive and varied painting deposits of el Prado Museum, formed by fifty-six pieces, most of which arrived between 1877 and 1882 at plaça de la Universitat to decorate the new building designed by Elias Rogent. This fund builds an identity sign for the institution, which starts the renewal of its artistic catalogue with this book which includes the collaboration of thirty experts from the most important universities and research centres of Spain. The authors’ contributions highlight the in-depth review of a unique collection and the will to share new attributions of authorship of the paintings and contemporary interpretative and contextual proposals for the pieces.

Les pintures de la Universitat de Barcelona (I). El dipòsit del Museu del Prado lists almost sixty paintings which, in the book, are divided into four sections: myths and fables (with pieces such as Llegada de Hermínia a la cabaña de los pastores and Apollo in the Forge of Vulcan), religion (such as Christ Seated on a Cold Rock and Bathsheba at her Bath, first attributed to Giovan Girolamo Bonesi), realist genres (such as The Tooth Puller and Hombre con mono y frutas) and history (such as Los heridos de África and Doña María Pacheco de Padilla después de Villalar). In addition to the portico, the inventory is also accompanied by an introduction and five writings by experts in art history that contextualize the catalogue from a historiographical and aesthetic point of view and capture the vision of the latest trends in this discipline.

The authors who have participated in this collective work coedited by University of Barcelona Editions and the Prado Museum are Esther Alsina Galofré, Juan C. Bejarano Veiga, Sílvia Canalda Llobet, Sara Caredda, Isabel Coll Mirabent, Ramon Dilla Martí, Borja Franco Llopis, Laura García Sánchez, Jaume González Cuadrat, Irene Gras Valero, Rafael Japón, Fàtima López, Palma Martínez-Burgos, Ida Mauro, Laura Mercader Amigó, Joan Molet Petit, Carme Narváez Cases, Ana Ordóñez, Mercedes Orihuela Maeso, José Antonio Ortiz García, Cèlia Querol, Immaculada Socias Batet, Cécile Vincent-Cassy, María Cruz de Carlos Varona, Oriol Vaz-Romero and Joan Yeguas Gassó.

The current volume renews the last catalogue of pieces of the UB, by Santiago Alcolea, published in 1980. There are paintings exhibited in the Historical Building, the Faculty of Medicine and the Faculty of Economics and Business. The one at the University of Barcelona is the largest deposit in Catalonia from el Prado Museum, which, with the "Extended Prado" project, aims to make the collection visible at a national level. In this way, the history of the deposit is reconstructed for the first time thanks to articles such as those of Mercedes Orihuela (Prado Museum) and Ana Ordóñez (curator and restorer), who have been key people for the Prado Museum deposit in the University of Barcelona.

This publication, which has an edition in Catalan and another in Spanish , coincides in time with the 150th anniversary of the Historical Building of the University of Barcelona, which is being celebrated this academic year 2022-2023 with a broad program of heritage dissemination (guided tours, exhibitions, conferences, etc.). The rector of the University of Barcelona will preside over the book presentation, which will take place on 10 November at 6 pm in the Aula Magna of the Historical Building at plaça de la Universitat (Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes, 585). You can follow the event on UBtv.