Frederic Marès Book Museum, Library of Catalonia

In this magnificent room, called the Via Crucis and dating to the end of the 17th century, there is a selection of almost 2,000 documents – manuscripts, scrolls, prints, engravings and bookbases – by the sculptor Frederic Marès i Deulovol (1893-1991) donated to the Library of Catalonia.

Located in the same building as the Library of Catalonia, it houses a valuable bibliographic collection of significant heritage interest, which was donated to the institution by the artist and collector Frederic Marès (1893-1991).

The exposed documents cover a range of pieces that begins with an 11th-century parchment, with a carolingian embossing of embossed silver (probably from the 9th or 10th centuries), adorned with a Roman camouflage dating to the third century. The documents are distributed in display cases that house parchments, manuscripts, printed (15th-18th centuries), engravings, and bookbases (15th-20th centuries).

The collection is an interesting journey through the long history of the book. It consists of more than 1,500 documents (some with more than a thousand years of history) in various types. On the one hand, it contains a set of 114 pieces between codices, manuscripts, fragments of parchment and paper (between the 12th and 20th centuries). On the other hand, 136 documentary scrolls from the s. XI, besides 483 prints, 848 printed ones (among which there are a hundred incunabula) and 106 loose bindings. The Frederic Marès Book Museum occupies the room of Via Crucis, chaired by a Gothic altarpiece by Ramon Llull.

The Gothic table is chaired by the Blessed Ramon Llull, also given by Frederic Marès. On the surrounding walls, you can see the effigies of personalities of Catalan thought and letters, sculpted by Marès himself.

Deulovol Frederic Marès (Portbou, September 18 of 1893 – Barcelona, 16 of August of 1991) was a sculptor and collector Catalan. modify modify

His works
On November 25, 2018, the new museum-presentation of the Frederic Marès Study-Library was inaugurated as part of the events commemorating the 70th anniversary of the inauguration of the Frederic Marès Museum.

The new museum presentation has led to the renewal of the museum’s discourse, providing informative content about the space, the character and the works on display, as well as the exhibition furniture and the replacement of the old lighting with LED lamps. The new presentation wanted to maintain the same atmosphere of warmth, as had been designed by Frederic Marès, and the uniqueness of the space.

The speech of the new museum presentation has been to explain, through six thematic areas, the career of Frederic Marès, as a sculptor:

Figures and Portraits
They are clear examples of the influence of Auguste Rodin on the work of Frederic Marès, the sculpture Rodio, the Portrait of Jaume Pahissa – in terms of the fusion of the head in the marble block and the treatment of the hair – or Nude man. Also the influence of the Noucentista movement is present throughout the years 1900 to 1910 and the second decade of the twentieth century in works such as the relief Maternitat (Mater amabilis), sieved by the Renaissance sieve, in the sculptures Tres tres or Joventut-Ritme, and in portraits such as that of Josep Maria Bassols, of Lluís Folch i Torres, of the child Josep Marès or even in theWoman bust with a mantle, showing characters of well-shaped features and not without some idealization. One of the most representative works of the style of maturity of Frederic Marès is Bust feminine (Serenity), typology that will not have continuity beyond the year 1936. After the Spanish Civil War, Marès did not return to work new models of sculpture of free creation, that is, of small format, not subject to order.

Public sculpture

Commemorative sculpture
Marès’ fame as a sculptor is linked to his dedication to monumental sculpture. From the beginning of his artistic career he has shown a preferential interest in this sculptural aspect, his first public sculpture projects being the commemorative monument dedicated to Canon Rodó in the square of the same name in the Sant Martí district, and the set designer Francesc Soler i Rovirosa, on the Gran Via, or the monument to Francesc Layret, in the Plaza de Goya. Shortly before the start of the Civil War, in 1935, it took over in honor of Apel•les Mestres on Calle de la Piedad, on Carrer del Bisbe.

After the war, Marès retained the prestige of his commemorative production and began to receive new orders, such as the statue of the monument to “la Victoria” commissioned by the Barcelona City Council, for which he recycled a project of before of the war dedicated to the Republic. Most significant, however, is that it expanded its activity to other cities in the country and abroad. His works are the monument to Alfons Sala, Count of Egara, in Terrassa; the monument of Alfonso III to Maó; those dedicated to Josep Maria Quadrado and Joan Benejam in Ciutadella; the monument of the Drummer of the Bruc; the one dedicated to Joan Maragall aMontserrat; that of Francisco de Goya in Zaragoza; that of Damià Campeny in Mataró; the one of the doctor count of Arruga in Madrid; the one dedicated to Lluís Vives in Elche; that of Jaume I and Ramon Muntaner in Figueres; that of Minerva in Tossa de Mar; that of Alexandre de Riquer in Calaf; and finally, the monuments of Segundo Ruiz Belvis and José Salvador Brau in Puerto Rico.

Sculpture applied to architecture / urban decorative sculpture
Apart from these commemorative works, some of Marès’ most outstanding productions are in the area of urban decorative sculpture, such as the Barcelona and Emporion sculptures, which adorn the Plaza de Catalunya, or the sculpture applied to architecture as the facade of the building of La Unión and the Fénix of Paseo de Graciaor as the decoration, inside and outside, of the Banco de Vizcaya in the Plaza de Catalunya, all of them in Barcelona. One of the last commissions before the Civil War was the image of the Sacred Heart of Jesus crowning the Temple of Tibidabo. From the 1940’s and 1950’s, some decorations by banks such as the Banco de Crédito in the Plaza de Catalunya and those of the Banco Hispano Americano and the Banco de Vizcaya stand out, both on Paseo de Gracia. In Madrid he made the frieze for the facade of the building of Banco Zaragozano. The only urban decorative sculpture project in which Marès took part during the period 1939-1991 corresponds to an ornamental group of deer, in the Gardens of Jaume Vicens Vives, which the Colonial real estate commissioned him in the promotion of a set of houses,

Restoration and recreation
After the Civil War, Marès ‘s extensive and extensive postwar production focused on three areas: the restoration of monuments, official commemorative works, and religious sculpture. Noteworthy in the field of monument restoration is the recreation of the royal tombs of the church of the monastery of Poblet, begun in 1944, but also other restorations of memorial statues, such as those dedicated to the painter Viladomat and the admiral Roger de Llúria, in the Paseo de Lluís Companys, or the equestrian of Ramon Berenguer el Gran in the square of the same name in Barcelona. He also reproduced the statues destroyed during the war of the monument to Joan Güell i Ferrer (1945), of the monument to Antonio López y López(1944) and the Fountain of Santa Eulalia in the Plaza del Pedró (1951). One of the main artistic consequences of Marès’s intervention in the reconstruction of the royal pantheons of Poblet is the emergence of a new typology in his production: that dedicated to the lying statues of the kings, such as the subsequent commissioning of the tomb of the King Martí, also for Poblet, the lying statues of James II and James III of the Cathedral of Palma, the lying statue of James I for Montpellier and the one of Sanç de Mallorca of the Cathedral of Perpignan.

Funeral art
The funeral work of Frederic Marès has enjoyed success from the beginning of his artistic career. The sculptor had good friends among the bourgeoisie, some of whom he had been since he was in the workshop of the sculptor Arnau, and for them adapted his production to the domestic sphere of private devotion. As a result, the decoration of niches and funeral pantheons with reliefs relating to the death of Christ, as well as the execution of reliefs of the Virgin and Child, altars and altar crosses, became one of the highlights of the its production. They conserve decorations for pantheons made by Marès in Mataró, El Masnou, Sitges, Figueres, Valls and Barcelona, made mostly in collaboration with architects.

Religious sculpture
The effects of the Civil War make it necessary to reconstruct much of the religious heritage damaged during the war, and the Church becomes the main client of the artists. Marès becomes a prolific sculptor of religious imagery, specializing in images of marededées, saints and saints. The images made by the basilica of Santa Maria del Mar, the church of Sant Pere de Figueres or the abbey of Montserrat stand out, among others distributed throughout Catalonia. Within the religious sculpture it is possible to emphasize, like sculptural set, the one that executed for the rebuilding of the church of Sant Esteve of Parets of the Vallès, that allowed him to unfold an extensive iconographic program in the altarpiece altarpiece, the eardrums, friezes and capitals of the covers and other artistic elements.

Marès’ artistic career took place within the limits of traditional figurative sculpture learned at the Higher School of Arts and Industries and Fine Arts in Barcelona and at the Eusebi Arnau workshop, where he learned not only the craft of sculptor, but also a certain conception of sculpture, heir to the tradition of the nineteenth century and that favored commemorative, ornamental, funerary, and medalism.

After the Spanish Civil War, commissions for commemorative medals, especially by the City Council of Barcelona and the National Currency and Timbre Factory, were significantly increased, resulting in an extensive catalog in its production.

Frederic Marès Collection
Marès, as well as being a sculptor, from an early age felt a passion for collecting. In Paris, as early as 1913, he discovered the world of antique dealers and auctioneers, and acquired the first collections. He gradually enriched and collected them in his sculpture workshop and at home, until in 1944 the Association of Friends of the Museums of Catalonia organized an exhibition with a selection of his collection in the Historical Archive. of the City, and he made public the will to donate it to Barcelona.

As a sculptor, he was particularly interested in this discipline, collecting a large collection, especially of Hispanic sculpture from the 11th to the 19th centuries, mostly religious and in polychrome carving, exceptional because it allows to reconstruct its history through the various schools, artists and workshops. Also, faithful to the nineteenth-century tradition, he also collected some collections of sumptuous arts – furniture, goldsmithing, clothing…-.

Most of the sculpture collection was acquired by Frederic Marès in the Spanish antique trade, mainly to antique dealers in Barcelona, Madrid, Valladolid and the north of the Peninsula. The socio-economic circumstances of Spain from the 1940’s to the late 1960’s, the abandonment of the rural world and the economic needs of some dioceses led to the sale of their artistic heritage, a sale which at that time was lawful, – realized with the authorization of the ecclesiastical authorities- and it favored that a great amount of works of religious character, among which the sculptures abounded, was in the antiquarian market.

For more than eighty years it has collected not only a large number of art objects, but also a large and diverse collection of objects, more than 50,000, essentially from the 19th century, a huge collection of cabbage Collections, which bear witness to the life and customs of the past: dolls, watches, fans, pipes, naipes, daguerreotypes, pharmacy jars, chromos, inks, laces and embroidery, menus…

From this diversity of objects, the tips and some needlework helped to found the Marès Museum of the Punta d ‘ Arenys de Mar on March 13, 1983. This collection began with visiting in 1914 to Madrid: The Exhibition of Lingerie and Spanish Lace from the 16th to the 19th centuries, organized by the Marquis de Valverde.

Library of Catalonia
The Biblioteca de Catalunya is a Catalan institution whose main mission is to form the Bibliography Catalana with the acquisition of the bibliographic collections printed in Catalonia.

It was created in 1907 as a library of the Institut d’Estudis Catalans. It was opened to the public in 1914, in the days of the Mancomunitat de Catalunya at its headquarters in the Palau de la Generalitat. Its current director is Eugènia Serra. In 1931 it occupied a large part of the buildings of the old Hospital de la Santa Creu de Barcelona, a whole of the fifteenth century, owned by Barcelona City Council.. The Library currently occupies a total area of 8,820 m², has a fund of approximately three million copies, and apart from the headquarters it has other external premises, in Barcelona itself and in Hospitalet de Llobregat. In 1981, the Library of Catalonia became a national library of Catalonia, in accordance with the Library Law approved by Parliament, and as such assumed the reception, conservation and dissemination of the Legal Deposit of Catalonia. It receives funds from Enric Prat de la Riba, Marià Aguiló, Jacint Verdaguer, Isidre Bonsoms, Joaquim Furnó, Eduard Toda, among others.

It currently has 1,500 linear meters of free-access shelving, with 20,000 volumes, and 49,000 more meters of storage, and about 3 million documents.