Revello de Toro Museum
by Meena Mistry
The Revello de Toro museums opened in late 2010 in the restored home of sculptor Pedro de Mena and houses the collection of 142 works by Malaga-born artist Felix Revello de Toro (born in 1926) of which 104 belong to the Museum's permanent collection.
The six rooms, divided across three floors and organised around a central patio, exhibit the work of a painter famous for portraits and figurative paintings, including oil paintings and sketches, which he has bestowed to his native city. The building - one of the few remaining examples of 17th-century Malagueño architecture - with Tuscan marble columns and the original woodwork, is a delight.
Félix Revello de Toro was born on 10 June 1926 in Malaga. His first exhibition took place in 1938 when he was 12 years old. At 16 he received his first professional painting commission by a local brotherhood. The following year he received a scolorship to study in Madrid for five years at the Real Academia de San Fernando. He later received another scolorship to study in Rome. From about 1953 he begain to be recognised for his Works.
The first two rooms are an exploration of Revello's life, and his still-lifes. With a self-portrait, Autoretrato (1990), and paintings of his parents, wife and daughter. Just as powerful are his still-life paintings, notably Elementos de pervivencia (1978). Also found in these galleries is an abanico (fan) that Revello painted for his mother.
The work of Revello reveres the beauty of the female figure. The largest two galleries are dedicated to his evident appreciation for the womanly form and his talent at depicting it. Revello can capture a woman's grace and beauty, as well as her seductive nature. Worthy of a mention are the elegant Mis Tres Gracias (1986) and the nude Donde el silencio duerme (1973).
DRAWINGS AND SKETCHES
The top floor, with its sloping ceilings and selective lighting around the displays, illuminates Revello's drawings and sketches. Protected by a panel of glass, these drawings clearly demonstrate Revello's ability to bring as much power and art with pencil and pastel as well as with paint. Here you can see further portraits of women, in addition to a collection of drawings of Revello's daughter Carmen as a child.
But the most striking thing about the Museo Revello de Toro is the final work on display in the collection. After seeing the drawings and sketches, you step into a smaller room. It is pitch black, with lights placed only around the painting Sumida en el sueño (1989), which translates as 'Deep Slumber'. The painting almost covers the whole wall, and is described as a 'symphony of his famous whites', showing a pale-skinned woman in a white nightdress sleeping peacefully on a bed covered with white sheets. The shades of white are intense in contrast with the dark of the room. Noted as one of Revello's favourite works and with his current wife as the model, it is an impressive end to the museum.
There is also a temporary exhibition gallery, showing either works by guest artists, or other works by Revello. The first exhibition has been dedicated to 'Las fiestas profanes en los carteles de Revello de Toro'.
PEDRO DE MENA
The museum is housed in the workshop and home of Pedro de Mena, the 17th-century sculptor of religious images. The Memorial Room, dedicated to de Mena, plays a 10 minute video highlighting the life, work and achievements of the artist, including his education in Granada and his work in Malaga.
His work can be seen in Malaga Cathedral as well as locations around Spain.
This museum, well thought-out in its layout and content, showcases the lives and works of both Revello de Toro and Pedro de Mena, using beautiful paintings and advanced technology to create an enjoyable, informative and interactive visit.
Tuesdays - Saturdays: 10.00 - 14.00 hrs and 17.00 - 20.00 hrs
Sundays and Public Holidays: 10.00 - 14.00 hrs
Closed: Mondays, December 25, January 1, and afternoons of December 24 and December 31
General Ticket: 2.5€
Groups (more than 5 people): 1.50€
Under 14 and over 65s: free
Calle Afligidos 5, 29015 Málaga
Telephone: 952 062 069