The Fabiola House takes its name from the street, which in turn was labelled as such by the City Council of Seville in 1865 in homage to the cleric Nicholas Wiseman, born precisely in this house on August 2, 1802. Wiseman, who became a cardinal in Westminster, he published the work 'Fabiola' in 1854 and in it he talks about the early years of Christianity.
Casa Fabiola is located at number 5 of the street from which it takes its name, on the corner of Madre de Dios street and in front of Aire Street. It is a classic Sevillian palace house, typical of the neighbourhood of Santa Cruz and Renaissance Seville, which has been chosen by the City of Seville to house the art collection of Mariano Bellver.
The palace house, which adjoins the wall of the old Jewish quarter, is distributed around a courtyard with semicircular arches and galleries decorated in Renaissance style. The building itself dates back to the 16th to 17th centuries, with decorative elements as significant as the coffered ceilings of the dining room and other rooms, the carved doors and the Triana tile base of the main staircase, from the 18th century.
For the rest, the Fabiola House is summarized in a sumptuous building of 2,000 square meters in great state of conservation after the rehabilitations carried out at the beginning of the 21st century.
The Wiseman family, who inhabited the house at the beginning of the 19th century, is one of the many pages housed in this building whose oldest record dates back to 1545, when after the death of Juan Mejía, passes to his heirs. Although the history of the House can be traced back to the sixteenth century, the current morphology belongs to the last years of the nineteenth century and the first decades of the twentieth when the Marquises de los Ríos reside there, the last owners and whose heirs sold the property to the José Manuel Lara Foundation. It will be in these decades when the baseboards of tiles that decorate hall, patio and practically all the rooms of the ground floor are placed, the ballroom is enabled with its previous stays and the winter dining rooms and summer are decorated. The house acquires a palatial aspect that the future Bellver Museum must put in value and use to give character and personality to the container of the collection donated by Mariano Bellver.
The collection work of Mariano Bellver goes back to 1960, when Bellver begins with the acquisition of pictorial works. The collection has been alive since then and now the Institute of Culture and Arts of the City of Seville has acquired the Fabiola House to develop, in collaboration with the collector Mariano Bellver and the curator Ignacio Cano, this museographic project with the aim of showing the different manifestations and artistic techniques represented in the donation that the collector has made to the Seville City Council with the aim that citizens and visitors can admire a part of our art history.
The collection has been formed through acquisitions to individuals, in national and international auctions and in local and national commerce. Mariano Bellver's predilection for painting is manifested in the quantity and quality of works that make up his collection, being true to his criteria of the search for the most representative authors of Sevillian painting known as customary, in which the theme includes scenes of customs or local landscapes.
The sculpture is gradually incorporated into its collection over the years. This interest is originated by being the grandson of the sculptor Ricardo Bellver, author of the cover of the Assumption of the Cathedral of Seville and of which he keeps an interesting legacy. It also highlights the casting of the fallen angel, whose original is in the Retiro Park in Madrid. Other artistic manifestations included in the donation are furniture and ceramics that, in most cases, have been acquired for home decoration and domestic use, playing the role for which they were created.
The donation is composed of 299 paintings, 18 marble sculptures, 7 ivory sculptures, 31 polychrome wood sculptures, 13 clocks, 44 pieces of furniture, 42 pieces of ceramics and porcelain and 50 figures of bone and ivory, as well as 63 clay figures and bronze A total of 567 pieces.
The cultural mission of this project -developed by ICAS-, is based on the peculiarity of a unique content and that of a singular container. This mission aims to promote an intellectual, scientific, educational and enjoyment dynamism that enriches the cultural offer of the city and promotes new ways of interaction with the public, while at the same time seeking new potential audiences. The history of Seville during the nineteenth century, literature, music, fine arts in general and the influence and transmission of knowledge imported and exported by romantic travellers, constitute the basis on which the reality of the current city is shaped. A challenge that positions the Bellver-Fabiola project as an icon of modernity when it comes to interpreting, spreading its heritage and establishing new and original cultural links with citizens and visitors.
The study and conservation of the collection constitute the indispensable basis for the management of the institution. The most interesting subject of the collection is Sevillian painting of the 19th to 20th and its relationship with literature, travellers and their influence on art and culture as the birth of tourism, artistic collecting. The significance of the continent itself - the Fabiola house -, an illustrious example of Sevillian civil architecture, links the continent with its original context.
The educational mission of the Bellver-Fabiola project will be articulated in two blocks: the first will implicitly address the material nature of the collection, where the learning elements are the paintings themselves, the sculptures, the furniture, the spaces, etc. The second block will base its discourse on all the relationships that the house itself, the collection, the arguments of the works, etc. establish directly or potentially with the physical, social, intellectual, media and traditional space of the city itself. The Bellver-Fabiola project is a unique tool to carry out a double journey: to help contextualise the present of Seville, from physical elements made in the past. For all this, there will be an educational department-laboratory, from which the most modern techniques of museological pedagogy will be put into practice.
Fuente: blog Cultura de Sevilla y Otros