|Anastasio Martinez Hernandez|
|Birth|| January 9 , 1874 |
La Albatalía ( Murcia , Spain )
|Death|| April 5 , 1933(59 years old) |
He was born in the middle of the Murcian orchard —where his parents worked—, in the hamlet of La Albatalía on January 9, 1874. He was a student of the Academy of Fine Arts of the Royal Economic Society of Friends of the Country of Murcia and of the School of Arts and Crafts of Madrid.
In Murcia he founded a studio-workshop for sculpture, art, artistic furniture and decoration in general — where those who were going to be the promoters of the sculptural rebirth of the nineteenth century in Murcia came. This workshop was one of the centers where the most intense activity in artistic concepts was developed in the Murcia region, undoubtedly being one of the key centers for training in the trade during the first three decades of the century. The sculpture was worked in any type of material, natural stone - from marble to sandstone - and cast stone - not previously used in Murcia -, as well as wood, plaster, iron and bronze. Decorations were made in all kinds of materials, specializing in the ornamentation of public and private buildings - Recreative Garden ,Casino de Murcia modernist house in Novelda, Fortuna and Archena baths. The master was the one who used to provide the design, made the first sketch and controlled the execution process from the beginning until it was finished, but sometimes, in decorative sculpture, it was the architects who sometimes provided the designs; Pedro Cerdán , designed the façade of the Casino de Murcia, the Guirao pantheon in Espinardo and the Romanesque chapel of San Bartolomé, later executed in the workshop of Anastasio Martínez Hernández. In this workshop, most of the floats for the Burial of the Sardine and the Battle of Flores were designed and made , which earned them numerous awards.
One of the facets that had great importance in this workshop was the teaching work that was carried out in it, from there came the germ of renewal, not only sculptural but also pictorial. In order to fully understand the scope of these teachings, it is necessary to remember that during the first decades of the 20th century, some painting and sculpture workshops operated in Murcia, which are an important meeting place for artists and intellectuals of the moment and a more innovative teaching focus. than that taught in existing Academies. Artists of the stature of Nicolás Martínez Ramón - son of the sculptor - who began his apprenticeship here, and after his return to Murcia, continuing the work begun by the latter in charge of the workshop, were trained in this workshop.José Planes Peñalver , founder of the School of Applied Arts and Artistic Trades of Murcia, who entered the workshop as an apprentice in 1903, and remained there until he left for Madrid , Clemente Cantos, founder together with Antonio Garrigós of «Los Bellos Oficios de Levante », Lozano Roca who remained in the workshop until 1940, Antonio Villaescusa, Anastasio Martínez Valcárcel [ 1 ] and a large number of artists who began their journey here. Anastasio's workshop is located in the central Ángel Guirao street, in Murcia, behind the Romea Theater - it is currently the CajaMurcia exhibition venue .
He carried out notable works of religious ornamentation that he had carried out until that moment in the Cathedral of Murcia , in the Catholic Circle of that city, in Almería , in Novelda and in many towns of Andalusia , Valencia and the Region of Murcia - which included the province of Albacete—, having demonstrated in the construction of altars and chapels an absolute mastery of all styles, and being valued in the restorations out of great respect for the original work; with the creation in altarpieces and bas-reliefs of models in which the enormous beauty of the composition was completed by a firm and irreproachable execution.
He praised "the good idea he had when he founded in the city of the famous Salzillo , six years ago, a very important workshop from which valuable artistic works come out that reveal the merit of the young artist inside and outside Murcia and justify the unconditional favor of a large and distinguished clientele ”.
He continues to praise the fame acquired in the work of decoration of facades and interiors of buildings, «that this is one of the specialties that he cultivates with greater success can be seen in the splendid Arab Hall of the Baths of Fortuna (province of Murcia) that so much calls the attention of the intelligent, in the internal decoration of the house of Don Isidoro Lacierva; in that of Antonia Navarro, from Novelda, in the psychiatric and private home of Raimundo Muñoz and in various works carried out in Murcian Circles and Societies. Any of the aforementioned works would suffice to put the stamp on an artist's reputation. We know at present the state of conservation of some of these works, such as the Arab room of the Baños de Fortuna, in the process of Restoration, and a similar work carried out in the Baños de Archena,
Another specialty that this workshop offered was to satisfy artistic aspirations in terms of furniture, since Murcia still had to resort to the big houses of Madrid and Barcelona or abroad to buy luxury furniture.
Also noteworthy is the work done in ephemeral art, especially in the realization of a great variety of floats that marched in the Battle of Flores, Burial of the Sardine, White Coso, etc. in which he obtained numerous awards, and in which artists such as Agustín Querol also participated. and Julio Antonio, who visited the workshop and intervened in some projects on the occasion of these festivals. This was a facet of art in which the vast majority of painters and sculptors of this time intervened, as well as the owners of the Orchards, in the that in a short period of time and with a great commotion they were made from the propaganda brochures of the festive events, to the design of the costumes of the components of the float, without forgetting the decorations of the itineraries and places where the events were held As well as the floats, the realization of all of them was accessed by the specific competitions through sketches of the same, the floats later opting for the main prizes after their realization.
He died at the age of 59 in Murcia on April 5, 1933.
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