The Alhambra pays tribute to the sculptor Juan Cristóbal

This October, the Alhambra opened the exhibition dedicated to sculptor Juan Cristobal (1896-1961)...

The Council of the Alhambra and the Generalife has begun the restoration work on the monument to Ángel Ganivet erected by the sculptor Juan Cristóbal in the Alhambra Wood. The monument is made up of two bronze sculptures and a bust in stone of the famous intellectual from Granada. It was inaugurated in 1921 and an exhaustive recent study detected several conservation problems including; changes in colour, the buildup of mud and other products and a carbonated crust in the areas most exposed to damp. The restoration work will be completed in October to coincide with the inauguration of an exhibition entitled Juan Cristóbal, Escultor (1896-1961) (Juan Cristóbal, Sculptor (1896-1961), of which this monument will form part.

A team of restorers from the Council of the Alhambra’s Conservation Department are currently busy with the restoration work on the monument to Ganivet. Their methods include not only typical restoration tasks such as disinfection, chemical and mechanical cleaning and the removal of salt from materials in the sculpture, but also a preventive conservation procedure that seeks to optimize the life of the monument with viable improvements such as corrosion inhibition treatments on the bronze work, and the integrated protection and conservation of the materials in the sculpture.

The monument built by the Almeria sculptor resident in Granada, Juan Cristóbal González Quesada, shows a nude masculine figure holding a billy goat by the horns. The goat has a water-spout in its mouth from which water jets out into a rectangular pond on a stepped stone platform with a bronze panel, behind which is the bust of Ángel Ganivet.
The idea of commemorating the author of Granada La Bella was first put forward in 1908, but it was not until 1918 that the project began to take shape thanks to a group of young people from the Artistic Centre of Granada led by Melchor Fernández Almagro. It was finally inaugurated on 3 October 1921 at the Fuente del Tomate.

Almost a century later the Council of the Alhambra and the Generalife and the Ministry of Culture and Sport of the Regional Government of Andalusia have organized an exhibition entitled,  Juan Cristóbal, Escultor (1896-1961), which will display over 100 pieces including about 50 sculptures, as well as drawings and documents. Most of these works belong to the collection of Juan Cristóbal’s family. The exhibition will be open from March 2014 at the Temporary Exhibition Room in the Granada Museum of Fine Arts in the Palace of Charles V at the Alhambra.


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