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The Focus-Abengoa Foundation inaugurates a new edition of the Baroque School under the title Science, Nature and Art in Baroque time

10/11/2015

Keith Christiansen, Curator of the Metropolitan Museum of New York, gave the inaugural conference Poussin's Reflections on Man, Nature and Art.
Next Tuesday, 10 Father José Enrique Ayarra, organist of the Focus-Abengoa Foundation, will give an organ concert.

Seville, November 10, 2015.- The Focus-Abengoa Foundation has inaugurated today, in cooperation with Loyola University Andalusia, its 12th edition of the Baroque School, under the title Science, Nature and Art in Baroque time, and with the scientific coordination of Professor Antonio-Miguel Bernal, National History Prize. Like this, for three days, until Wednesday, November 11, renowned national and international specialists in history, culture and art will meet at the Hospital de los Venerables.

In the opening ceremony of this twelfth edition's, product of the work done by University of Cambridge's  researcher José Ramón Marcaida, winner of the fourth edition of the Alfonso E. Pérez Sánchez International Prize of Baroque Art of the Focus-Abengoa Foundation, Anabel Morillo León, Director General of the Foundation, has sought to highlight the continued "commitment to quality and internationalization of this School, which in its twelve editions brought together more than a hundred professors and researchers from around the world and that, once again, is hosting at los Venerables renowned speakers and specialists with whom the Foundation keeps both professional and personal close collaborations. "

Also, the director of the Foundation stressed that "undoubtedly, lovers of science, nature and art will discover in the School new perspectives and ways of perceiving and understanding these concepts, through speakers who will be sharing their knowledge and researching with an audience that, equally, stands out for its international character". This year, once again, attendees will be students from Loyola University, from Holland, France, Germany, Denmark, Korea, Italy and Czech Republic and, of course, Spain. Likewise, students from the University of Seville and the University Pablo de Olavide are expected to attend. In this line, the School can be attended from any part of the world thanks to its streaming broadcast on the website of the Focus-Abengoa Foundation.

Furthermore, all registered students will have the opportunity not only to attend a full program of conferences and round tables, but also to enjoy an organ concert by Jose Enrique Ayarra, organist of the Focus-Abengoa Foundation, and a tour on the Campus Focus-Abengoa in Sanlúcar la Mayor, guided by archaeologist Fernando Amores, chief scientist of From Earth to the Sun. History of Guadiamar Landscapes, and by painter and art historian Juan Fernández Lacomba, who was awarded the Prize for the Best Doctoral Thesis on a Subject Related to Seville in 2014.

This year's inaugural conference entitled Poussin's Reflections on Man, Nature and Art was given by Keith Christiansen, curator of the Metropolitan Museum of New York. In his conference, just as the name of its name shows, he praised the French painter Nicolas Poussin, whose work allows us to conclude that "the notion of the painter philosopher needs to be transformed to include in it the notion of naturalistic painter, that is, someone whose work belongs to the first great era of natural sciences. "

In addition to the students registered in the course, this year the School, which has been coordinated by Rocío García-Carranza from the Foundation, opens again its doors to all those interested in the subject. Thus, the entrance to the conferences in the program will be free until full capacity is reached (150 people). Also, the Focus-Abengoa Foundation has awarded scholarships among all the registered students.

The Baroque School is a project of first level, a key point in the cultural and educational offer organized by the Foundation, which makes the Focus-Abengoa Foundation a forum for reflection and reunion, developed by professors and researchers of international standing that aims at achieving the Foundation's objective to become a leading international center for the study of the Baroque era.

Tuesday, November 10

Tomorrow's session (Tuesday, November 10) will begin at 10.00 with the presentation Jesuits in the Baroque: Education, Art, Science, given by Guillermo Rodríguez Izquierdo SJ, from the Loyola University Andalusia. Afterwards, José Ramón Marcaida will make a presentation on Natural History and Visual Culture in the 17th Century.

After the break, the day will continue with the conference Science, Sciences and Baroque by Javier Viar, Director of the Bilbao Fine Arts Museum, to continue in the afternoon with the conference Symbolic Baroque Ornithology: Birds in Emblem Books and Companies in the 17th Century, by José Julio García Arranz, PhD at the University of Extremadura, and with 17th Century Italy: the Breeze through the Leaves, by Manuela Mena, Head of the Conservation Area of the 18th Century Painting and Goya at the Prado Museum.

The day ends with an organ concert by Father Jose Enrique Ayarra Jarne, titular organist of the Focus-Abengoa Foundation, which will take place at 7:00 pm in the temple, the same location where the sessions are held.

Wednesday, November 11

The third and last day of the Baroque School 2015 will start at 10:00 am with the lecture by Professor of Art History at the University of Sevilla Enrique Valdivieso Still Lifes: the Vanitas in Valdes Leal. Then, at 11:00 am, Miguel Hermoso, from the Complutense University of Madrid will talk about Velázquez: Science and Fiction.

The conference cycle will close with a round table: About Landscape, which will be moderated by Juan Fernández Lacomba, with the participation of Javier Viar, José Ramón Marcaida and Miguel Hermoso.

After the closing at 1:30 pm, registered students will have the opportunity to visit the Focus-Abengoa Campus.

All lectures offered by the Focus-Abengoa Foundation in the framework of the School will be broadcast live on the Foundation's website. Similarly, detailed and complete information on the Baroque School is available at: www.focus.abengoa.es

Additional information

Antonio-Miguel Bernal Rodríguez

Antonio-Miguel Bernal Rodríguez completed his Bachelor of Arts at the University of Seville. Later on, he continued his studies at the Sorbonne and at the École Pratique des Hautes Études in Paris. Doctor with honors in History in 1973, he was for seven years Free Member of the Velázquez House as a researcher at the CNRS (Centre Nationale de la Recherche Scientifique). He was awarded scholarships and grants in their research from institutions such as the March Foundation, the Instituto de España, the Chamber of Commerce, the Real Academia de la Historia, the ICO Foundation and the Bank of Spain, among others. For several years, he has been professor of the Istituto Internazionale di Storia Económica "F. Datini "of Prato (Italy) and has taught at several Spanish, European and American universities. He is also a founding member of the Spanish Association of Economic History and of the editorial boards of the journals Histoire Economique et Sociale (Paris), The Journal of European Economic History (Rome) and the Marcial Pons History (Madrid) publishing company. He has taught as a professor of Economic History at several universities, such as the Complutense (Madrid), La Laguna (Canary Islands) and Seville, where he was full professor since 1982. From his publications, the following can be highlighted: Economics and History of Large Estates; Financing of the Carrera de Indias; Money, Currency and Credit in the Spanish Monarchy; and Monarchy, Empire and Spain, an Unfinished Project, for which he was awarded the National History Prize.

Keith Christiansen

Keith Christiansen is Chairman of John Pope-Hennessy of European paintings at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Born in Seattle (Washington) he attended the University of California, Santa Cruz, where he graduated in History in 1969. He subsequently went on to graduate school at the University of California, Los Angeles, and Harvard, completing his doctorate in Art History in 1977. His dissertation, for which he won a Fulbright Scholarship for research in Italy in 1975-76, focused on the Renaissance painter Gentile da Fabriano. His research was later published as a book, which was awarded the Mitchell Prize for Best First Book of Art History in 1982.

He began working at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1977 as an assistant curator, and during the 38 years he has been working there, he helped to organize more than 20 exhibitions in the United States and Europe. Themes contemplate a wide range of topics: The Age of Caravaggio (1985), Renaissance Painting of Siena (1989), Andrea Mantegna, Ribera (both in 1992), Tiepolo (1997), El Greco (2003), Poussin and Nature (2008) and The Renaissance Portrait: from Donatello to Bellini (2012). Currently, he is working on an exhibition about the Caravaggesque French painter Valentin de Boulogne, to be displayed at the Metropolitan and at the Louvre.

He taught as an adjunct professor at Columbia University and at the Institute of Fine Arts at New York University. Furthermore, he was Clarence and Ruth Wedgewood Kennedy professor in Renaissance Studies at Smith College in 1999 and a guest professor at Vassar in 2006. He has published numerous articles in academic journals and in addition to exhibition catalogs, and is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

The Focus-Abengoa Foundation

The Focus-Abengoa Foundation was created in 1982 as a result of the cultural work begun in 1972 by Abengoa with the publication of the works Temas Sevillanos e Iconografía de Sevilla (Themes of Seville and Iconography of Seville). A collection of documents, books and engravings on the Kingdom of Seville and by Sevillian authors was created during the same period. This initial cultural work showed Abengoa’s directors the importance of the company’s involvement in activities that directly benefit society, beyond the firm’s core technology work, which led to the creation of the Seville Cultural Fund Foundation. Following the acquisition of Velázquez’s Santa Rufina by the Foundation in 2007, the Hospital de los Venerables, a 17th century monument and the headquarters of the Focus-Abengoa Foundation in Seville, has housed the Diego Velázquez Research Centre, a leading institution for studying and disseminating the Baroque era and the Sevillian period of this universally renowned artist.Attention to this crucial moment of the Golden Age is completed with the legacy of Professor Alfonso E. Pérez Sánchez, received by the Foundation in 2011. Consisting of his library, photo library, archive and collection of artworks, its cataloging is enabling to create a library specializing in Baroque art and culture, http://focus.abengoa.es/ 

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